I tend to react against nightclubs with the magnetic repulsion of a cat being thrown into water. Something in me longs to hear bass pumping through a rig so solid I can feel it in my bones. But such systems tend to lurk within dingy venues haunted by dubious characters who create an atmosphere so dank it pools in the corners and sticks to your skin.
The push and pull of these conflicting desires can make for strange nights out and even stranger days after. So it takes a lot for me to take the gamble of going out. My most recent wager was on a club called The Flamin' Galah. Only two things persuaded me into the place:
1. It was my friend's birthday so she kind of got to call the shots;
2. The joint is called The Flamin' Galah.
The Flamin' Galah
Impressed with the quintessentially Australian name (and unfairly coerced by arbitrary birthday rules), I ventured out, prepared for a night of average tunes, overpriced drinks and boozed up blokes on hormonal autopilot. What I got instead, was a heady cocktail of perfectly blended techno which slipped smoothly from DJ to DJ and built to a joyously frenetic peak. The music undulated through the crowd like a living being, slipping into the background while people mingled, and then roaring up to claim attention, foot stomping, and screams of delight.
Behind the decks
From the moment you meet the suave bouncer with the dry sense of humour and twinkle in his eye, you get an inkling you are stepping into something more than just a club. The Flamin' Galah is designed for looseness, drinking and hilarity without the excessiveness that leads to next-day regrets.
At one stage I was accosted by a bothersome bloke who seemed to have devolved to the behaviour patterns of a fly: unable to be discouraged despite clear indications that his quarry didn't want him around. My constant rebuttals and his increasing insistence were noticed within moments by the bar manager who stepped in and led flyboy away. The staff were observant to any little incidents like this and approached them all with a kind-hearted firmness that kept everything flowing smoothly.
Throughout the night, the organisers mingled with the crowd, asking us all what we thought and whether we'd enjoyed the evening's festivities. I have never experienced this on a night out before. When I expressed my surprise, they explained their intention with The Flamin' Galah is to create a space that's removed from the hecticness of the club strips; to make a sanctuary of musical and human goodness where joy and frivolity are encouraged and wasted unpleasantness ejected before it has the chance to escalate.
The happy crowd at Flamin' Galah
This positive attitude resounds within the walls of The Flamin' Galah and draws a crowd who resonate with its frequency. With their befuddling bathrooms (you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it), killer tunes, and beautiful attitude, the crew at The Flamin' Galah know the secret to an unexpectedly worthy night out.