Deep in the forests of England, swathes of dreadlocked Caucasians will hula-hoop, sway and orb their way into transcendence, thus surpassing their real-world responsibilities and realities back at home. These pseudo- celestials are in search of experiences inconceivable to their bosses and parents. Few outsiders are aware of these occurrences, and those who are typically lack the courage to make the trip. How did I, an individual incapable of finding the desire to even explore Club Rio, find out about these phenomena? His name is Clive Martin, and he’s our guide to the dark art of the UK club scene.
In his eight-episode YouTube series, “Big Night Out”, Clive visits a variety of UK clubs in attempts to better understand some of the subcultures that exist within the country’s borders. One of these sub-cultures is Psytrance, and its fans are those described at the outset of this piece. In the second episode of his series, Clive goes to a patch of land in an English forest cordoned off under the name “tribe of fog” to smell the smells, listen to the melodies and interact with the people in their chosen party element.
His segments are short and sweet, typically lasting around five minutes. The series is published by the Vice subsidiary channel Noisey, whose videos are dedicated to musical exploration, appreciation and criticism. Although short in duration, each episode is chock full of life enriching information about the lives of UK clubbers. Psytrance is only one of the subcultures the show investigates. Clive takes spectators deeper into the world of UK Gabbers, Drum n’ Bassers, university students, indie fans and hip-hop heads.
The shows are about as authentic as you can get without either going to the clubs yourself or repeatedly succumbing to your friend’s recorded iPhone footage from that one absolutely insane night that they simply won’t allow you to forget they had. He goes in with only his ego and cameraman to document these small fragments of the human experience for history’s sake. It must be noted that he is no club night armchair anthropologist that simply walks in, grabs a few good shots and then gets out as fast as he can. In almost every episode he commits to drinking the drinks, doing the drugs and dancing the dances that I could never see myself doing if offered the opportunity.
His filmed experiences are then voiced over with his hyper-critical and witty criticisms, rich with pop-culture references and allusions. To me, it’s absolutely hilarious. Yet some people take great offense at his less-than-kind remarks about how people choose to party. These keyboard warriors then take to expressing their hurt feelings in the comment sections located below the videos. Instead of working to disable the comments, which would effectively end the barrage of death threats and personal insults cast his way, he embraces them by dedicating the last episode of the series to personally addressing and combatting a handful of the most comical.
The brevity of the shows makes for excellent study breaks when I need a little real-world escapism. There are few other forms of entertainment that will make you feel more cultured than watching a bunch of people from a different country get wasted.
If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you take a trip with Clive and see a Big Night Out for yourself.