Some environments are best avoided: the dentist, the theatre and Grimsby spring to mind. To that list you can add nightclubs where, recently, I ended a self-imposed drought and found myself attending one in full flow. How I ever enjoyed these places as a youth, and actively encouraged others to come with me, I will never know, suffice to say maybe it’s an age thing.

Not much has changed. Queues are still long and littered with girls wearing weather inappropriate clothing. All male groups attempt to split up to be allowed entry and paranoia enters as you near the front of the queue where discrimination actively takes place from bouncers who chew gum furiously and attempt to spread their arms as wide as an eagle whilst attempting to not look like a steroid abuser. Dependent on the club, there are a variety of reasons you will be refused entry: you are deemed too ugly, are wearing inappropriate clothing or you don’t have ID. Disappointingly I passed all three tests although I have on occasion not been as ‘fortunate’ in years gone by. On one such outing, I was wearing trainers at a club in deepest darkest Oxfordshire. Sent away, I took my socks off and placed them over my trainers and was then allowed past the gatekeeper. It is difficult to dance on a laminate floor with that lack of friction and the pair of M&S black cotton socks were ruined by the end of the evening.

As you walk up the stairs you mistake the music for roadworks up the street, due to the incessant boom, boom, boom. Then the decision awaits as to whether to pay a stroppy looking teenager three quid to ‘look after’ your jacket in a basement room that has damp and smells like the men’s toilets. Not trusting the cut of his jib, you empty the jacket of phone, keys and any items of value, which leave you with bulges in your jeans and wishing you’d just saved the money and the hassle.

Entering the club arrests the senses. It is akin to having your front door being kicked down by the flying squad at 4am and being hauled into the street naked as the neighbours mock you despite them having raided your house by mistake.

The queues for the bar are outrageous, packed with arrogant young men, chewing an unknown foodstuff like Friesians on heat, whilst looking around for victims, nay, potential partners. You get back to your perching point having lost ten quid’s worth of lager after being jostled due to overcrowding, and attempt to strike up a conversation. Screaming in your friend’s ear and covering each other in spittle is not enjoyable, and you only catch every other word anyway, until, pretty soon, you both give up and look around for something to appease you. All the time you are aware you are now that guy: the old boy in the nightclub, past his peak. Guys look at you with pity or fury, dependant as to how far gone they are, and the ladies cover their drinks as they walk past you.

The music’s dire, the lager flat, you can’t converse and you are not on the ‘pull’, leaving no option but to sup up and skulk out, on full show to the bright young things watching granddad go home at 10pm as clubbing is a little too much for him. To be fair, they are not wrong and you walk off pleased to have escaped, thus avoiding the inevitable piles of sick on every surface around midnight and the pre-requisite ruck at the taxi rank. But then you realise you have left your jacket inside. The bouncers escort you to the cloakroom that is now under two inches of water due to a pipe exploding, which has caused the plaster holding the cloakroom hooks up to disintegrate and take all jackets to the floor.

A half hour wait ensues before you are given your jacket, which now resembles, and smells like, a drowned sewer rat and depart with no apology. Grabbing a fistful of flyers outside you both make Godspeed toward home and manage to slip into the country inn local for last orders where the real party is going on.

Sidling up to a friend, you converse about Brexit, the Liverpool football team and then he throws in that it’s his birthday in a couple of weeks and you accept an invite to attend. ‘Sounds great…I’m up for it…what are we doing?’ ‘Well’ comes the reply…… ‘I haven’t been clubbing for ages so I’ve booked us a VIP table at the club in town.'