No, I wasn’t among the hundreds who piled into Aberdeen nightclubs on Monday.
Now, there’s a surprise. In fact, I’ve barely heard of Prohibition; as for Atik and Tunnels – pass. But I’m delighted the three venues could open their doors for the first time in 18 months since Covid struck. Ticky-bets most of us wrinklies would have been first in the queues to get in for a bop had we been a mere half a century younger.
It was also great to see glorious old photos on the Evening Express this week of some of the city’s much-loved night-spots down the years. What a superb memory lane to totter down.
In the 1960s, the young teens’ first experience of going out on Saturdays was either to Madam’s in the Cowdray Hall at teatime, where – when the rest of the world was learning The Twist – we were taught antiquated dances like the Palais Glide. Or there was nearby St K’s, which was a whole lot more fun.
Once into our middle teens, the Beach Ballroom was probably the equivalent of today’s nightclub; the place to be on Saturdays, for dancing and, wi’ ony luck, gettin’ a click (a likely loon loon takin’ ye hame); Sunday afternoons for the pop quiz and evenings for appearances by all the top groups of the day. Jings, were we jammy?
Quines met around 9pm at Etam’s or Dorothy Perkins, having laboured for at least an hour and a half on perfecting oor backcombed and sprayed helmet-hard hair
A bittie older, we graduated to the Palace in Bridge Place, where the loons shuffled roon eyein’ up the giggly talent. The Palais in Diamond Street was aye a bit rauch for us (Snobs!) By contrast, The Mitch in Marischal College, mainly for students, was so damnt up itsellie, we were bored to tears.
Those were our haunts every weekend. Only losers stayed in. No drinks before. Quines met around 9pm at Etam’s or Dorothy Perkins, having laboured for at least an hour and a half on perfecting oor backcombed and sprayed helmet-hard hair.
Going steady and getting married put an end to big nights out
But all those wonderful and usually hilarious (depending on which comedian asked us up) nights oot ended when – queue Jaws music – we started going steady then, worse, got married.
By now, Mo reckoned hersellie to be a bit o’ a sophisticate, into good food and wine. On o’ you remember the superb Gerard’s French restaurant at the top of Rose Street? That’s where eye-watering prices reflected the start of the oil boom and I tasted my first fillet steaks (still canna stand them bloody) and funcy vino.
A girls’ night oot usually involved knocking back pints at nearby Mr G’s then hurtlin’ doon the road to the Light of Bengal for our favourite dhansak or massala.
At work, our local was the Cocket Hat, where many a departing colleague ended up unable to depart unaided. Later our nearest watering hole was the much-loved Treetops; fab food, marvellous music, great company. For many years it was the top socialising spot for thousands of Aberdonians. Recently, bulldozed to kingdom come, all that remains of it is a crater behind a fence. But every time I go past, I swear I can hear the laughter, the singing and the swish of the pints being pulled. So sad.