Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Lauren Kendrick goes on the town at the Welly Nightclub.
The Welly nightclub is situated on Beverly road, near to the heart of Hull university student area. Boasting on it’s website as being ‘East Yorkshire number one night club and venue’. The equipment they have is top quality, not only a 32k sound in Welly 1 (a downstairs room), as well as a D and B festival set up in Welly 2 (an upstairs room), and if that wasn’t enough to fill your ears then they also have a separate Dj lounge which they claim as an intimate space with a premium bar. This sounds like a brilliant club, not only do they have a variety of rooms to explore, they have spent a lot of money to ensure a high quality of the sound. The line up of acts that they book range from well known established djs such as 'Dj Hype' to alternative bands like 'The Futureheads'. Those who do not know this club or come from a town without a venue to see live popular acts may think that I do not realise how lucky I am to have the opportunity to see these sorts of acts. I am not contesting their ability to draw in some big names in the music industry, or that their systems could be any better. My comment is on the club, the atmosphere and the crowd, which really should be part of the determination of whether a club is as good as it claims. This club on paper sounds amazing, but personally I don’t want to see an act under a dictatorship and scummy surroundings which stops you from enjoying your night.
The evening in which my contempt for this club grew to complete disgust was the night of the 15th November. Headliners for this night were Pendulum. Loving their music, but disliking Welly due to the prejudice Indie clientele mostly seen here, I decided to swallow my pride as surely their usual bigoted indie crowd would not come to a drum and base night? The ticket was an extortionate £15, compared to many of their nights being below £10. But Pendulum are very well known now and what more did I expect from this capitalist venue?
Pendulum were due on stage at 10pm, though due to unforeseen personal circumstances that day I was not able to get to Welly until 11pm. There was no sign on the ticket to suggest that late-comers would turned away, I would be able to see at least half an hour of their set. What a fool I was. There was a queue of about fifteen people when I arrived at the gates which seemed slightly odd. Surely they should have got all of the people inside by now? Like true English at first we just joined the queue unquestioningly. After about ten minutes of waiting with the only movement from people giving up hope and jumping in taxis. It was time to find out what on earth was going on. Walking to front of the queue to enquire to the bouncer what the situation was, the only response I got was that I would have to wait with everyone else. But I have a ticket!? ‘You will have to wait till the back room clears.’ He turned away from me at this point showing there was no debating this. I walked back to my place in the queue. Why should I have to wait till the back room clears? I had paid for my position in that room.
Returning to the queue there were people behind us who had also bought tickets and were wondering what was going on. As time went by the queue started to grow bigger and bigger and filled out with people without tickets. What on earth was going on here? Behind us now were a large group of people who were loud, and were trying everything they could to get ahead of us (they didn’t have tickets ). So not only was I not allowed in to enjoy what I had paid for, I was also having to fight for my position in the queue with people who were not even there to see Pendulum. As time went by we waited for another half an hour, to add frostbite to our freezing bodies we had to watch those who had seen Pendulum come out, even out of the iron gates to have a cigarette as there was no room in the smoking area for them all. By now the queue was surrounding me, as well as the gates and tailing off down the road. Not only were we squashed, our place in the queue was irrelevant to what order we would get in now. Seeing a gap in the queue I squeezed out to inquire what was going on what. Surely they would do something about this shambles of a queue after some of us had been waiting so long? Once again I was let down by thinking that this club actually cared about the people. The bouncer once again gave me a very dismissive answer, ‘My concern is within these gates, what do you expect me to do?’ Before I could respond to this question I was moved once again by the surge of the crowd. If his responsibility was within the gates, why were people allowed out of them for a cigarette causing more pandemonium outside? I have been to see many bands at different venues and I have never been made to feel so helpless and like my custom was not valuable. What I expected him to do was to ensure that this crowd did not get out of hand, which it obviously had, the surges in the crowd made it difficult to not only breathe but to keep your footing.
So maybe the way he got us in would be organised? No, when the gates were opened everyone just ran to the door and moved into a queue here. This really was ridiculous. I had waited over an hour and a half in the freezing cold just to then be asked for another £3 to come in! They did just accept my admission with this ticket after asking a superior. Though the people I had been queuing with only had to pay £3 to come in. How on earth was this rationalised? Well as Pendulum had only been on till 11.30 they decided to open the club for their normal customers and have an Indie night. This was a D’n’b night, I thought I had paid £15 in order to hear this not to have just half the club (well the room upstairs).
The floors were soaked and sticky, causing me to nearly slip over numerous times, in the main ladies toilet only one cubical had toilet roll and by the end of the night that was out as well. Many left due to the fact that the upstairs room was not opened for a while after pendulum had gone, and the only music available was the alternative downstairs. The buzz of Pendulum being here had almost completely died.
How can this be East Yorkshires number one club and venue? They are unable to sustain a charged atmosphere or standard of cleanliness and only think of maximising their revenue rather than the organisation that a night like this demands. I will not be wasting my money on this shambles of a club ever again.