Fresher’s Week: Lessons Learned

4 Oct

People who go clubbing frequently were born superhuman

Tried it, didn’t like it. Nonetheless, I secretly envy those that do. Here are some characteristics they were blessed with:

– Infinite stamina: I don’t even like standing up for four straight hours, but these people do it dancing.

– Unlimited patience and concentration: Fifteen minutes of queue time for a tiny drink might embody mere mortals with a deep, burning sense of quiet indignation, but for clubbers it’s a blip. They also share ancient yet powerful mind-merge powers with the bar staff, who can easily understand their muttered orders whereas you or I must SHOUT. NO, SHOUT. S-H-O- OKAY YOU’VE GOT IT. NO, ONE. JUST ONE. WHEN DID I SAY TWO etc.

– No shame: Put your shirt back on, you look ridiculous.

Socialists are, like, mean and stuff

Obviously this isn’t universally true, except for that of all the societies charged with grabbing the attention of thousands of wristband-clad young adults this is the one whose marketing strategy employs the most petulent namecalling. Pretty much every pinboard, lamp post and bus stop in the south of Wales features a poster calling poor old Nick Clegg a scumbag. Why is this cool? The various sports clubs don’t put up banners saying “GET MORE WOMEN THAN THOSE PASTY DORKS IN THE GAMING SOCIETY” (even though, unlike the Clegg thing, that’s pretty likely to be true). Generally, when your goal is to recruit, it’s not the best idea to imply that people who don’t wear Che Guevara t-shirts are some kind of Untermensch.

That said, I do miss the days when major politicians didn’t look exactly the fucking same.

The likelihood of me reading a pamphlet given to be by someone on the street diminishes with each successive someone on the street

For reasons I no longer remember – I might’ve been hungry? – I wanted to go into the Student Union. It’s a ghastly red-bricked monolith of a building and most of the times I’ve been there have been either to queue or club, so I hardly associate it with endless happiness and joy as it is. Anyway, walking the seventy feet or so from the unsettlingly thin metal bridge that covers the adjacent train tracks to the front door, I think I ended up with seven or eight bits of paper and card. Much like idly Googling a phone number instead of having to heave the Yellow Pages off the shelf and thumb through it, when confronted by such a sheer mass of meaningless dead tree I skipped over my usual routine of at least reading the damn thing and deposited them all in the nearest bin. At first I felt bad for the young folks handing them out – even in the deflating grey weather they performed their task of giving strangers a thing with indestructible cheerfulness. Then I realised they themselves must have been fairly sure of their wares being mostly dumped immediately afterwards, and the smiley routine was almost certainly an order bestowed upon them by their paymasters in order to get more people through the doors of his or her glorified disco. The feeling passed quickly.

Coco Sumner is pretty damn good

I Blame Coco rapidly became my surprise favourite act at the Fresher’s Ball. Alright, so she was up against Roll Deep, the real-life Pictionary response to “Non-specific rap collective”, a man whose name I forget but kept shouting “Get the fuck up!” like a bad impression of Andy Samberg in I’m On a Boat, and a disappointing Zane Lowe. I love Zane’s presenting style, and his genuine affection and excitement for the stuff he plays is frequently contagious, but his output last night was practically indistinguishable from the same shit playing in every other building with a stereo in Cardiff (side note: if I hear Love The Way You Lie at any point in the next two days, I’m cutting someone with my glasses lens).

Coco is also outside my hopelessly narrow music tastes, except her vocal style is “uplifting” and “powerful” rather than “whiny” and “white X Factor finalist”. Backed up with a tight band and a commanding stage presence, she’s hypnotic live as well – maybe not to the thrust-dancing, balance-challenged thundertwats that surrounded me in the crowd. But I thought she was ace. Check out this highlight of her set – even through my cheap PC speakers it makes me imagine a marvellous fantasy world where epic choruses do more for an artist’s profile than wearing bacon on their head.

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