We were there.

It was something special.

Now, both of your anonymous journalists have been to the almost-mythical Vaults a few times before, for events put on by the excellent Cellar-Door team. This was different. This was something else.

So, if you weren’t there, here’s a cruel snapshot of what you missed and if you were in that hedonistic cesspool of sweat, bright lights and base with us, let us stroll down memory lane and reminisce on a night for the history books…

1. Poor Choice of Footwear

As soon as I got out of the taxi, I heard it; that click-clacking sound. Barely believing my eyes, I saw them. Five, very dolled up, fresher girls, looking like they were ready for their cocktail social in Revs and tottering up the street towards the big brown doors. I was already nervous on how an earth they thought they were going to navigate the rather precarious stairs down to the underground clubrooms, let alone stay on their feet for the length of the 11-5am opening hours. 

2. Finest Refreshment 

When it comes to drinks at Shang you have three options: Red strip, Strongbow (both in tins, obv) or a water bottle (which you will refill in the loo taps).

All three will be warm and equally disgusting within 5 mins but when you are drenched in sweat and got a bad case of the ol’ dry mouth, it will taste like liquid gold.

Sips of water, lollies and gums are shared around and everyone seems to be watching out for each other. It’s kinda cute how caring everyone becomes at Shang… in its own gross way.

3. Dress to Impress (No-one)

Now the standard raver’s outfit was the main one of choice. For the boys: tight t-shirt, skinny jeans, trainers (but not your best pair). The girls, black halter top, shorts, bum-bag and the retro 70s shell-suit jacket. It’s the people who dare to be different who are the real heroes; the ones who have said: “Yes I will look like a Muppet but my attire sets me above the sheep”. 

I’m talking about the light-up laces which make every shuffle into a kaleidoscope of colours, the dodgy, oversized, Bahama shirts which swirling design glows in the U.V. light, making it impossible for their mates to lose them in the crush. These are the people you want to be skanking with. 

4. Skin Show

It hits about 2 am and we begin to enter what we like to call ‘Sweaty topless guy stage’. Room Temperature is starting to resemble a sauna and you begin to question the life choices that have led you here. Anything for the sesh. The sweat drips down your face, you can feel your clothes are soaked: A grim but also beautiful sight in the eyes of any sesh gremlin. You look around and suddenly there are topless ‘house lads’ everywhere and girls swaying in their Calvin Klein sports bras, with a mesh top around their waist, warm red strip in hand, and jaw swinging. Once one goes they all go and it’s more sweaty skin to accidently rub past.

5. Piss-Poor Effort

 As the hours went on would find small crowds of smashed seshers chatting deep and pensive rubbish and bonding over whichever bitter substance they had shoved up their gums.  At around 3 am a class (A) idiot thought he didn’t fancy the queue for the loo and flopped himself out right there and then and started stumbling around pissing. People weren’t sure if to just stare, laugh or be horrified. After an alarmingly long time where all everyone could do was just stare, the bouncers clocked on and it was a swift exit for him into to the night 

6. That Conversation

If you weren’t monged out, looking up at the ceiling, you might have thought it was time to make some new friends. I can guarantee this is how the conversation went.

Raver 1: Alright mate

Raver 2: Alright

Raver 1: You having a good night?

Raver 2:  Sick one mate, you?

Raver 1: Safe. Yeah man sick. What you on?

Raver 2: A bit of XXXXX

Raver 1: Nice man, same.


Raver 1: You got any to sell?

Raver 2: Nah mate.

Raver 1: No worries man, have a good one.

Every. Single. Time. 

7. Angel of the Sesh

Amongst the accumulated sweat dripping from the ceiling and the guys with the wandering hands, last Saturday hosted some moments of real beauty. One as much for me, was amid the seething mass of dirty house, there floated an angel of the Sesh. Her eyes were closed, her long blonde hair was flowing down her back, her arms were raised above her head, gently swaying to a tune. I don’t know whether it was the way the lights of the DJ booth were illuminating her in an almost heavenly glow, or the large portion of narcotics in my system, but in that moment, she was a Rembrandt come alive.  

8. Like We’re Six Again

Do you remember when you were a kid, you got given a party bag after your mates rad birthday party? You instantly shoved your hand in and went straight for that small plastic bottle. It was all about the bubbles! That night in The Vaults, a visionary appeared. This hero, the champion of the people, had only brought bubbles with her! It was tremendous. The look of spell-bound adoration on the guy in the snap-back with eyes like bin-lids, who had no idea where they have come from, was hilarious and endearing. We are easy to please, really.

So yeah, it turns out that when you are messed up, bubbles are the tits. 

9. That Two-Step 

This move is adopted by about 60% of the club. When dancing for six hours straight the list of possible dance moves soon gets exhaustive. You have the kind of crazy thrashers who throw their body around like a rag doll, the shufflers, and then the two steppers. It’s a simple one, left foot forward, right foot, left foot back, arms about the same. And then repeat, and repeat, and repeat…

10. Not in Pryzm Anymore

Fresh out of the sixth form, they have come to uni in search to become cool and edgy. They get a nose piercing and a few “wavey garms” and suddenly they think they know it all. They swag up to the bar, order their usual VKs and the barmaid thinks they are taking the piss. They look puzzled at the cans of Red stripe and Strong-bow and soon, they realise this isn’t quite the event they thought it was. 

11. What a night!

They last thing on our list and the honestly the most important, what you saw that night in the vaults, was people having a bloody good night. No fighting or drunken arguments to be seen but just an old bank vault full of sweaty happy people, with their friends, having the time of their lives. 

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Written by Tom Peters, 8 months ago