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The Pony Nightclub

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by Thomas Moorhead (subscribe)
Thomas Moorhead, could be the next Hemingway (he drinks enough), or could just be a student who wants to write upon his view of Melbourne.
Published May 12th 2012
It's 3am and everywhere is closed or closing. Where do you go? This is the first in a series of reviews which will tell you.

The Pony

A few words come to mind when one thinks of The Pony, most of them ending in –ench. Stench, drench, quench, hench wench, put any combination of these words into a sentence and you will have half an idea of what's in store for you at the premier late night dancehall of the city.

Situated up the east end of Little Collins, The Pony is conveniently located near an ATM, and Pie Face. Upon entering, if the bouncers let you, which they usually do, one is instantly immersed in the dingy world of people who might be in bands. It's not much use staying downstairs on the tattered couches, this isn't what you come to The Pony for. So get a pint, and head upstairs.

Upon reaching the second story by way of the very narrow staircase, the fun begins. The dancefloor is covered in muck and crowded, even at 5am. Now, I think the upstairs is usually used for gigs of unknown bands trying to make it, and can be quite good, except I've never been in The Pony early enough to see this legitimate side of their business.

So, upstairs, having slopped your pint on yourself a few times, get dancing. As mentioned, it is packed, so my mates and myself usually head for the stage because there is more space to move, and also because we are drunk enough to think people want to watch us dance. Sodden hilarity ensues. Some of the things we've gotten up to on that stage - push ups, stripping down to our dacks, all sorts. This may not sound very appealing, and it isn't, but it's a rare place where you can get away with such hijinks in this modern age.

What's more, the music is banging. Really fantastic tracks, that you wouldn't usually hear at a nightclub. My memory is hazy, but I do recall losing my shit to 'Bullet with Butterfly Wings', 'This Charming Man', and 'Black Betty' to name a few. The great music selection is perhaps the major attraction of such a scummy place, and the reason why it is always full. Or maybe it isn't, but everyone is too inebriated to care.

One word of warning, don't wear good shoes. This is hard to do, as no one in their right mind would expressly plan on ending up at The Pony, but if you do, your suede desert boots or boat shoes will take an absolute hammering from the 3 inches of gunk which covers the entire upstairs. Mind the inevitable vomit chunks in the dunny as well.

In closing, it is always a mistake to go to The Pony - but I'd be damned if it isn't cracking good fun. The regret will set in immediately upon exiting the venue to sound of birdsong in the dawn light, shoes ruined and covered in other people's sweat, however if the party isn't over, The Pony is the place to go.
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