Wednesday 5 November 2008

A Nerdy Night In Manchester

I had warned people when I sat in for Ken Bruce the other week that there was going to be another ‘DJ Fun Nite’. This is where various mates from the radio industry get together, eat and drink far too much and bore for Britain on a wide variety of subjects. They also talk about jingles and try and remember obscure "b" sides from equally obscure singles. One guy is such an idiot savant he can even tell you the colour of the label. Think ‘Rain Man’ with probably more farting. If you ever find yourself in the proximity of us on one of these evenings, flee before the life-force is sucked from you.

I am running approximately two weeks behind on the blog at the moment. This is due to there being a lot going on, so this night out took place on Friday 24th October.

The way it works is that somebody ‘curates’ the evening. Invites go out. A lot of people say they will definitely come. Then the day before - or on the day itself, there’s a stream of phone calls and emails from people saying that they can’t make it!

This one was going to be in Manchester. I’d not been there for years so I decided to drive up from London - stopping in the Midlands on the way to see my Dad, before heading up the M6. Bad mistake on a Friday afternoon. There were no accidents, but the traffic was terrible and it took more than 4 hours to travel 80 odd miles.

Thanks to the masterful Sat-Nav, I found the hotel easily enough but that was where the problems started. It was a modest city centre place with car parking underneath. The building was on stilts, so the spaces were tiny and a nightmare to access. Everyone who turned up that night had a horribly frustrating time inching back and forth until they gave up and left their vehicle half-in and half-out of a space.

By this time I had donned the mantle of my alter ego: ‘The Sweating Curmudgeon’. This is a bit like the Incredible Hulk, but with a worse temper and also probably slightly more odiferous. I stomped into the hotel in order to get some change for the car park as the ticket machine didn't give change. As I recall, an overnight ticket was £7.50. I handed over a tenner took my change and stomped back down the three flights of stairs I think it was a below-ground car park. I then discovered they’d given me ten £1 coins!!! "Boom"!!! Luckily, I found a 50p in my back pocket, which meant that a return trip wasn't necessary.

I checked-in, was given my room key and then discovered that the whole world was staying at this place: seven stories and two lifts of which only one was working – ‘Double Boom’.

Saw everyone gathered in the bar waiting. "Just have a quick shower as I am really feeling grubby.” Got to the room, (Look away now if you are of nervous disposition), clothes off…into the shower. No soap, nor shampoo and just one small towel. ‘Triple Boom’.

The room had obviously been a former crime scene. The door frame was splintered and had been hastily repaired. There was a sofa against one wall without a cushion and on the base there was an ominous stain. I checked the carpet so see if I could see any tracks where the body had been removed. One quick rinse later I was steaming in the bar. (Clothes on).

We had a drink and waited for everyone to arrive before heading out to the restaurant. As we left I noticed a slightly tipsy bloke texting frantically. The restaurant was very good and the mood improved as the drink flowed and the food arrived. I had corned beef hash.

After that we went to a swanky nightclub on the 23rd floor of a hotel and accommodation block in the centre of the city. Our hosts had fixed it so that we had a VIP entry. This meant we swished past a long queue of ‘Lairy blokes’ and ‘WAG wannabees’. Into the express lift and up we went. Lynda Bellingham of ‘Loose Women’ fame was there, although she seemed very well behaved. I’m not a nightclub person but it was very upscale and there were great views of Manchester at night. They also had a clever trick in that the tables were lit from underneath. This meant your cocktail, (Freddie Fudpucker anybody?), looked terrific and so did you.

Friday night, as it was pointed out, was not the night for the ‘WAG wannabees’ as all the footballers were tucked up in bed ready for the match on the morrow. So maybe the ‘Lairy blokes’ we saw earlier were reserve players chatting up the WAG second team. It’s a stereotype, but one that I found funny. When I was in Newcastle before Xmas last year, we noticed that even at 2 o'clock in the morning, a lot of the young women were spectacularly underdressed. The same was true of a lot of the girls we saw in Manchester, with one main difference. They were wearing layers and layers of fake tan and makeup to keep them warm.

At about 1 o'clock we headed back to the hotel where the bar had filled up with a spectacular selection of drunks. One of the bar staff was despatched from time to time to ensure that they were all sitting upright and hadn't given in to the temptation by having a lie down on the banquettes.

The tipsy texting guy was still there but he was now the fantastically drunk haphazardly texting guy. "What is the problem?" Debs, the only woman stupid enough to want to go out with us, asked the bloke with genuine concern in her voice. "My gurfrensh dummmmmmmpt mi" he hicced. "What happened?" "I schleptt wiv hur besht frenn". At this point you could hear any slight sympathy drain from the room like water gurgling down the plug hole!

Ended up in bed about 4am having put the world to rights as far as anyone can recall.


Unknown said...

I didn't know Phil Harding from Time Team was out with you! Now you have made it "look at this Tony" Great picture.

Eve said...

When I lived in Wigin (you can tell I did because I say Wigin) my husband used to refer to those WAGs in their small dresses, make-up and cardies as "gangs of ugly women".

He would never go out unaccompanied at the week-end in case one of the gangs of ugly women trapped him (or more likely in case one of them didn't try.) I always wondered how they got their vests on under those tiny frocks.

Matthew Rudd said...

That hash was too photogenic to ignore. Hurry up now...

Unknown said...

You actually ate that?

Black Cat said...

Sounds great. Corned beef hash, erm... :) xxx

Lady Lara Croft said...

'They also had a clever trick in that the tables were lit from underneath. This meant your cocktail...looked terrific'

What kinda club was this?!

(Koff)...Got any pictures of that, love?