My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Clubbing Etiquette

Hints and Tips To Make Clubbing More Enjoyable For Everyone

I was re-reading old Gothic Charm school posts, and this is inspired by a couple of posts by The Lady of The Manners (The wonderful Jillian Venters) which can be read ::here:: (contains swears), ::here:: and ::here::. I've taken my own spin on this, and decided to mention a few other points based on my own experience of life in Goth club-land.

Photograph from Alternative X in the Karma Lounge, Inverness.
Raven and I. I think him being a cyber/industrial type has been mentioned.
Photograph by Sammi from Karma Lounge in Inverness. 
Do not bitch about how club nights never play music you like, instead do something positive about it and make requests, or politely enter the music discussions that often exist on the web pages for club nights. If they play things you do like, mention it, and if they play something you like and you don't know what it was, check the playlist afterwards - you can find some interesting bands that way. When making requests, remember that you are supposed to request and not demand, and do be polite to the DJ. Also, keep a note of what has already been played and remember the musical theme of the night. E.g Goth night is not metal night, and Goth night is also not back-to-back Bauhaus night. (yes, I am on something of a Bauhaus kick at the moment.). It is often easier to make a written request than to try and shout over the music and noise of the club, and sometimes there are request lists on a clipboard or similar. 

If you want to request things at the DJ booth, first of all plan a route to it that is not
a) directly across the dance floor, especially if there's lots of dry-ice and/or strobing as people dancing may not be able to see or hear where you are and you could get accidentally hit or bumped into  (also, remember to either finish your drink or leave it guarded if you want to venture anywhere near the dance-floor)
b) stumbling through cabling, speakers, or anything else to do with the sound system. Accidentally unplug things, or dare I say, it spill drinks on electrical things at your own peril. I will not save you if the DJ or club-owner feeds you to the Rivetheads for breaking their things through your carelessness.

Tip the bar staff, be polite to them, and order clearly. Remember that clubs are loud places and that getting your drink right involves them having to understand what you ordered - there is a difference between "an Amaretto, and a coke" and "an Amaretto & coke", something I did not enunciate clearly enough in a club once - I will not blame the bar staff for what was me not being clear enough in a crowded and loud environment. If it is an honest mistake, do not get shirty with the staff, although I admit I have only seen already-drunk 'tourists' do this, not the alternative regulars of any Goth night I have attended. 

In the Karma Lounge with fan after much dancing.
Alternative X club night.
Photograph by Sammi from Karma Lounge

Try and keep an eye on where other dancers are. I admit I have terrible spacial awareness and have flailed into other club patrons before, and therefore try to keep to the fringes of the dance floor or open spaces where there is less chance of me hitting someone. Alcohol impairs co-ordination, so try to take this into account as the night progresses and give yourself extra room as you go on. I know that's not easy because alcohol also impairs good sense! 

If people are buying you drinks, do buy them drinks in return. Do not raise the hopes of people looking to chat you up just to get free drinks - it is generally unkind, and also can be potentially dangerous as there are incidents of dosed drinks (thankfully not at any club I've been to) and of people reacting nastily to being 'led on' (also not something I have personally encountered). Make it clear you are not interested in sex or romance if you are not, and remember there is nothing wrong with making new friends instead of finding a new partner (romantic, sexual, or otherwise), and nothing wrong with turning people away. If people keep trying to chat you up despite you making it clear that you do not want to be chatted up, or even in their company, tell them directly, and then leave the situation and tell someone (e.g club security). It is not 'causing a scene' to do so.

Do not monopolise the bathrooms. If your makeup, hair, outfit or wig needs adjusting, stand out of the way of people using the sinks to wash their hands after using the toilets. Queue politely. It does not take four people for one person to use the facilities - socialise on the club floor, not in the bathroom. If you need space outside of the club for a bit, consider standing outside for a bit (factoring in weather, concentration of smokers, etc.) rather than standing in the bathroom. A lot of clubs have quite small bathrooms and they can get very crowded very quickly. 

Read what the Lady of the Manners had to say about it over 10 years ago, and remember that it still applies now. Think about how your behaviour at the club impacts on others' enjoyment of the evening. Generally, be considerate.

Photographs by Sammi from the Karma Lounge, used with permission. 


  1. Thanks for the advice. It's amazing how many people don't practice simple club etiquette.

    The photos of you are lovely!

  2. Thank you for bringing up the bathroom etiquette comment. I cannot stand when people bring ten friends with them into the bathroom or people socialise in there or when people take three hours to do their hair or makeup (please do that BEFORE you come out!) It makes me very uncomfortable to try and use the washroom when there are 10 other people in there.

    1. I think it's an important point, as crowding the bathrooms annoys me too.

  3. Nice to see etiquette and manners being practiced now can you apply some of the same to some of the teenagers and I am ashamed to say adults I come across daily who could do with being infected with a dose of manners! On a serious note some good points made especially for people like me who rarely go out never mind go clubbing!

    1. Oh, I wish I could wave a magic wand and give EVERYONE who does not have them a does of good manners!


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