Clubbing On Caffeine

Amongst my various social circles it would be unheard of for someone to go clubbing to a banging techno night without the use of any sort of alcohol and/or drugs. Well that’s exactly what I did for this “social experiment”. After a recent battle with a lifestyle-threatening batch of tonsillitis (I won) I had no intention of self inducing a state of hungover dredge upon myself anytime soon. The problem was I had tickets to go and see Gaiser and didn’t want to miss it for the world. Que Clubbing on Caffeine.

Gaiser’s Elastrik to help with those unfamiliar.

I’ve attended hundreds of events during my 22 years that induce effects on the body the day after that render everything a complete write off for at least 12 hours. Lessons are never learnt, we continue to drive ourselves into incomprehensible messes for an evening of fun followed by a day that may as well never have existed. Is caffeine the be all and end all cure for this?

As we embarked on the boys night out (BNO) to Manchester I explained to my guys the plan. They don’t want to be named (god forbid the drug police come knocking on doors because of this article) so I’ll call them Bobandy and Phil. Already wired from americanos I sat on the train with a can of Coca Cola and a fruit salad. Why not? I figured healthy foods went better with the evening I had planned. The other two guys supped on Heineken stubbys, steadily building a buzz ready for 9 hours of dancing. They were doubtful of my idea to not drink or do drugs and doubted whether I would last the night. The relationship between these sorts of events and drugs has become somewhat a needy one. It’s almost a necessity amongst club goers to stimulate their mind to enjoy it. I’m not saying I am completely void of that in this experiment, caffeine certainly gives me a buzz. Give me enough of it and I can become a twitchy nervous wreck. It certainly alters your state of mind but there’s no chance I’m going to be hungover from a heavy night on lattes anytime soon.

A trip to the train toilet by Bobandy to stuff some illicits down his pants made me feel oddly content. Bobandy and Phil were getting increasingly nervous as we approached the venue. The entrance of the club consisted of three stages, the first of which includes a drug amnesty box. Sniffer dogs give you a good going over at stage two followed by a full body search. I wore the baggiest jumper I own and inevitably got a full on upper body pat down, more so than I’ve had before. They are doing all they can do to limit drug usage at this place but there’s no way they will ever fully stop it and they are fully aware of this. All of the stewards remind you in a friendly way to look after valuables and more importantly each other if you are planning on taking anything.

Safely in the club I’m absolutely buzzing, I fail to see how you can’t get excited to be in such a raw, primal building with some of the best DJs in the world spinning. Bobandy and Phil continued on the Coors Light and carefully planned out which times would be best to take their pills. 11pm was decided to be a good time for a half. As I nursed a Red Bull, Nicolas Jaar drew me in with intense visuals and anticipating beats. Phil tells me at 1130pm that he feels like he is flying and “can smell the ecstacy.” He’s having a great time, as is Bobandy who strangely enough seems completely unphased by the chemicals.


As the night went on my drug fueled partners fell into states of incomprehensible euphoria. Phil couldn’t hold a sentence together without confessing his love for me and Bobandy. He was on another planet and we had to leave him be. For me I felt more in control than I ever have at one of these events before. Steadily sipping on Red Bull, the music had my complete concentration and I could appreciate it way more than usual. I could react the right way to the hundreds of beard compliments from drugged up girls (never had so many compliments in my life, I wish all girls were on ket). I could navigate my way to the toilets without stumbling into other people and buy drinks without taking too long to figure out what currency the coins I had in my hand were. When Gaiser took to the stage I may as well have been on all the drugs there ever were anyway. I felt fantastic but I felt like the odd one out. As I looked around myself the clear clarity produced a scene of a mass of people, 90% of which were fucked. It was like turning up to a non fancy dress party in fancy dress. I stood out. And of course no one else there realised it because they were sky high but I certainly felt it. Because I was stone cold sober I felt I was the one who had to look after my friends, I felt like a parent with these extra responsibilities, attempting to look after a group of rowdy misbehaving school children. With Phil repeatedly disappearing in the crowd I felt I had to keep checking to see where he was and that he was safe and this distracted me from the music.

espressoAs the night came to a close and we sat on the train back to Leeds I felt good. I got to bed at 7am and got up at 11am. I felt even better. No hangover. No headache, no sickness, no dizziness, no blurred vision. I felt a little tired but I got an espresso down me and spent the day at a film festival critically analysing films. This would not have happened had I clubbed on drugs the night before.

The experience certainly had its ups and downs, its pros and cons. It’s not something that I will be repeating week after week but it is definitely something I will be doing again. Unfortunately I don’t see this method of clubbing catching on to the masses. It’s a shame really, travel and tickets aside I spent £10 that night.