“ City: Colchester „
Since the last owner sold the Twist it has been totally refurbished and now has a warm and Vibrant atmosphere - The bar is well stocked(what a change), proper "Coke" not the happy shopper stuff, and the biggest surprise is the prices have dropped to a similar level to pubs. The sound system and lighting has been improved beyond all recognition, the toilets have been repaired and decorated (new toilet in gents) - They seem to have their act together now.
The capacity is now 220, the Bands and customers have changed and such well known performers as James Hunter and Eddie and the Hotrods have recently appeared on stage at the Twist. they have Reggae bands, Rock, Indie and even Jump Jive so it is no longer the domain of the black clad youths of old
Definately worth going along to see the bands and I would recommend this place as one that is going places.
When I was a bit younger (pre-18), The Twist used to be a great hangout for myself and my friends. We'd just discovered the 'alternative' music scene and were vainly trying to force our way into this culture, and this place allows under 18s in (though is strict on them buying alcohol).
So what is The Twist? It's a music venue, in basic terms. Used to be called the Oliver Twist, and before that more of a pub than a 'venue'. It's situated on the outskirts of Colchester Town Centre in Essex, right next to one of Colchester's main train stations, so convenient for those who don't drive/want a drink.
Many bands have played at The Twist. Funeral for a Friend probably being one of the most recognised now, although when they played there they were relatively unknown. Now, it's mostly local bands who use the venue as a starting point for their gigs/tour.
It's a fairly small venue, I wouldn't think more than 150 people can fit in there. They've recently installed air conditioning so now it's not sweltering, very welcoming for many bands and customers! The place comprises a main area which has a small bar and a stage, a side corridor which leads to the toilets, and a backstage area (although I've never been here not being in a band myself!).
Entry price varies depending on what band you've come to see. For local bands the price is generally about £4/£5, rising to £12 for more well known bands (recently Sonic Boom Six played there and entry was £10).
I would like to say it's a variety of bands who play there, but really they all are fairly similar. Mostly hard rock and metal bands play in this joint, which attracts a minority of people, but people who do come along are generally returning customers or those who are fans of the band. It's rare that this place is packed out, maybe because they've alienated their customers so much. It used to be a place where drinkers could go and have a few pints, listen to some music playing in the background, and this place blossomed. However, under new management, the music venue is literally that, a music venue, so now all focus is on any bands playing there, and because it's such a small room there's no chance of chitchat over the top of the band. You only really go here if you're interested in seeing bands.
The bar is a very poor part of this place. Drinks are quite overpriced, and are along the lines of a club more than a pub. I often drink Jack Daniels and coke on a night out, and in most pubs this is between £2.00 and £2.60. However, in The Twist, a JD and coke is about £3.10. One other thing, they ALWAYS seem to run out of coke. They don't have coke on tap, just in bottles. And when they run out halfway through the night, they don't seem to bother getting more in. Countless times I've had to drink JD and lemonade, or a completely different drink, and I wasn't impressed.
The toilets aren't particularly wonderful, but they are clean. The ladies often runs out of loo paper though, which is a shame. And when a big-ish band is playing, there ARE queues, as there are only two toilets. I can't say what the blokes are like, but I don't think they have the same queuing problem otherwise I'd have noticed it coming out the door.
If you plan on going to The Twist, I recommend drinking before you go out so you don't have to spend too much in there. Definitely bring your ID as they are strict on that. And the main thing, you won't be able to hear anyone else talk, so be prepared to spend the night headbanging and moshing in an almost empty room!