Every Friday and Saturday nightclubs across London are filled with the
‘yoof of today’. Girls with (usually peroxide blonde) hair scraped away
from their faces, (presumably to avoid catching fire due to the toxic
combo of cigarettes and hairspray) squeeze themselves into a variety of
hideous lurex tops, micro-minis (not intended for those with legs like
sides of ham) and stiletto heels in several shades of neon. Complete
with make-up applied with a shovel and a few select pieces of
tin-plated jewellery, they’re ready to hit the dancefloor. By the bar
are the men – mostly in jeans, ‘bling’ and Ben Sherman shirts in
colours like puce and mauve. The night will predictably end in a fight,
usually between girls!
For me, this is not glamorous, though of course, there’s nothing
strictly wrong with it. For me the true ‘glamour’ of clubbing lies in
London’s glam-rock-and-glitter girls and boys who frequent alternative
hotspots such as Trash, Slimelight, Synthetic Culture and Stay
Beautiful. Here the music ranges from 80s to indie to electro to
industrial, with not even a hint of hard house. The atmosphere is
decadent yet dirty with a sleazy rock twist, and the clientele are
always done up to the nines – the dress codes of many of these clubs
demand it.
Girls tend to choose three main looks:

  • Electro cyber goth: the sort of girl you see wearing a lot of
    neon, glowsticks, synthetic hair, UV make-up and the sort of lycra
    creations you see in Cyberdog, Camden.
  • Indie waif: usually very slim, tall types with asymmetric
    haircuts, leggings, brightly coloured heels, denim mini skirts and
    assorted band name t-shirts.
  • Goffick fairyxcore: usually adopted by younger clubbers, this
    look tends to include a lot of pink, platform shoes, tutus, corsets,
    fairy wings and copious amounts of glitter.

The boys tend to mirror these choices with a similar set of fashion choices:

  • Electro cyber goth (boy): a similar look to the cyber girl, with
    a lot of neon colours, synthetic hair/dreads, dramatic make-up and
    anything UV.
  • Indie boy: somewhat of a feminine look, velvet blazers, tight
    jeans, band t-shirts (tight and fitted), assorted stylish haircuts and
    an alluring pout.
  • Gothic hardcore boy: obviously dressed head to toe in black, lots
    of long hair, metal pushed through all available skin and heavy black
    boots with plenty of buckles.

This fascinating alternative underworld oozes glamour in a way most
mainstream clubs can’t fully appreciate or come close to replicating.
The heady mix of colour, style, glitter and pure attitude makes these
places intriguing and great fun each and every time you visit. It’s
Halloween all year round and lets face it, everyone likes to dress up –
whether it was your mum’s shoes when you were six, your wife’s
underwear or a carefully put together costume.
The only real downside to these clubs and their associated clientele is
the somewhat elitist attitude that appears to come with being one of
these ‘beautiful people’. Online friends sites such as MySpace.com even
have ‘vanity cliques’ for clubs and music genres that deny entrance if
you are deemed too unattractive or not ‘scene’ enough. The clubs that
cater for the gothic Londoners often refuse entry and some visitors
have a ‘gother than thou’ attitude – for example, if you don’t shave
‘n’ draw your eyebrows, or have some kind of synthetic attachment to
your hairstyle, you just aren’t goth enough to be either let in or
associated with. Cue lots of looking-down-noses and snooty comments –
something you’d think would be alien in a scene that welcomes freedom
of expression.
However, this sort of thing doesn’t ruin the overall glitz and glamour
of these clubs and the majority of the crowds who flock there are
simply open-minded, fun-loving, attention-grabbing everyday superstars
who openly welcome ‘newbies’ and regulars alike. If the music is to
your taste, go anyway, if only to witness the carnival of colour and
the do-as-you-please revolution.