Me and clubs have a bit of a problematic relationship.
The first time I went clubbing I was 14 or 15. Heads full of images involving exciting drinks and available, promiscuous young women, me and a few friends made for that well-known Mecca of teenage dreams – Guildford. Having been denied access to all but the shoddiest of bars we stumbled our way towards Cinderellas, surely Guildford’s – nay Surrey’s – premier nightspot for the young and beautiful.
It was a pretty quiet Thursday night and so the bouncer happily (as happily as a bouncer can) let us in. This was it, we were through the looking glass and ready to experience Wonderland. What followed was four hours of overpriced alcopops, awful music, and being shot down by a lot of women (with regards to the women, working with data as I do, I now know that this was the beginning of what we call a ‘trend’).
I’ve always been a slow-learner and so I’d repeat this exercise numerous times throughout my teenage years. It was only at the ripe old age of 21 that I decided to swear off these types of venues once and for all, contenting myself with the darkest of corners in bars and pubs. My mistake with clubbing was twofold; the type of places I was going to and my motivation for going there.
I maintain that puberty is one of the most insane periods most of us will face in our lives and I think we all deserve a big pat on the back for just making it through. Feeling paranoid, confused and sexually frustrated 24-hours a day, it’s kind of similar to consuming a buffet of random narcotics every day, just with none of the benefits. Riding this hormonal high, the main reasons I went to these kind of establishments was simply to drink somewhere when other places were closed and to convince a random woman that taking a drunken, incoherent man back to her place was a really good idea. The idea of clubbing because I actually enjoyed it never entered my mind, it was simply a means to an end.
In fairness to Cinderellas and all the the other terrible clubs I’ve patronised over the years they were simply accommodating my needs. I didn’t care about the music or the atmosphere so why should they? It was only when I hit my mid-twenties and began feeling a bit more certain about myself that I made a few hesitant steps back towards the clubbing scene. Of course, what I look for now in a club is slightly different and SECT, taking place at Beat Bar on Friday 2 May, is exactly that.
Remove the pressure that comes from obsessing over getting drunk or trying to cop off with a stranger, replace it with a real passion for music along with an open mind and suddenly clubbing becomes a completely different experience. The dancefloor, rather than place to show off or assess the ‘talent’, turns into an area where you can feel completely free, away from the stresses of everyday life, where only the beat matters. At the right night random people who’ve never met can be transformed into the best of friends by a song; SECT looks to be one of those events.
Put together by a group of friends who met at various nights in Leeds, SECT wants to bring the best of underground techno to the city, something that the organisers felt was sorely lacking from the Leeds scene. Rotating six residents, all respected producers, artists, DJs and label managers, SECT launches on Friday 2 May with a residents special before it starts to bring choice headliners, DJs and live artists to Leeds on a monthly basis.
I’m not going to lie and say that I’m anywhere close to being an expert on techno music but having spoken to the organisers what I do know is that this music is incredibly close to their hearts. With performers including DJ Ford Foster and Chrononautz, this night is a chance for them to bring the music they love to city and provide an amazing night for those in attendance.
Tickets are limited due to a 303 person capacity (which I’ve been assured is a homage to the TB303 synthesiser) so make sure you get there early to guarantee you get in.
The SECT launch party takes place on Friday 2 May, 11pm-6am, at Beat Bar on Merrion Street, Leeds. Tickets are £3 before 12am and £5 after. To find out more go to https://www.facebook.com/SECT.Leeds