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14th February 2015

Club: Stevie Wonderland’s 2nd birthday w/ Breakbot

Morris Seifert examines whether a roller disco in academy one works
  • The first time I went to a roller disco I was about twelve. I didn’t want to go but I was assured that it would be fun and also they were playing S Club 7. I thoroughly enjoyed skating in circles around that bland and imposing hall and looked forward to the day I would be able to wear inline skates. Unfortunately that day never came; however thanks to Stevie Wonderland the day to relieve one of my most cherished childhood memories did come.

    But it wasn’t exactly how I remembered it. Instead of a big hall in a clean leisure centre, it was in a small fenced off enclosure surrounded by fierce eyed revellers. Instead of nice bright lights, the arena was lit like a Nazi interrogation room. And instead of friendly fellow skaters, the pen was filled with three types of people: the speed skaters, the bad skaters and the so angry they had to queue for an hour they stopped caring skaters.

    Nobody really seemed like they were enjoying the act of skating much past the novelty of it – not that they could with the size and awkwardness of the arena – and the heaving mass of eager skaters facing off against aggressive burly bouncers made matters worse. Being cramped is bad enough, but being pushed around and cramped is even worse and being pushed around and cramped and drunk is a recipe for disaster, which leads me onto why a roller disco was both the best and worse idea possible.

    When I was twelve I don’t remember there being a bar in the auditorium. I think I’d like to meet whoever thought it would be a good idea to combine roller skating with a club. They’re probably the kind of person who saves a computer in library for six hours with a note that says “in use” or flashes their high beams at people walking the other way or makes drunken people roller skate in near darkness or puts a giant bloody mirror ball in the same room, making skating there akin to doing so whilst having a laser periodically shone in your eyes.

    They’re also probably one of the Tuborg fuelled sadists who stood by the arena and couldn’t stop laughing at how many, admittedly hilarious, drunk people fell flat on their face in an attempt to balance on four wheels. Or maybe they were just someone left 500 pairs of roller skates in the will of a distant relative and didn’t know what to do with them. But it’s probably the former.

    But my desire to meet them is a testament to the fact I bet they’ve got loads more wacky, probably on balance bad, ideas like that. Frankly I can’t say roller skating was much fun in and of itself and Stevie should leave it to the leisure centre in that regard. But I can say that walking into a club and seeing people zooming around (or being helped around) an enclosure the size of a boxing ring as drunken sadists chuckle on and dance music throbs from the stage was one of the most farcical and memorable things I’ve seen in Manchester. If Stevie were going for absurd hilarity with the whole endeavour then in that regard it was a great success and I suggest the next Stevie Wonderland have a small adventure playground in the middle of it. Although I probably wouldn’t say that if I’d broken my ankle.

    But the wacky roller skating wasn’t the only greatness this night had to offer – no, Breakbot and Irfane were excellent and provided the perfect accompaniment to inebriated roller skating. Naturally all the disco classics were spun from the likes of The Whispers and Earth, Wind & Fire. Breaktbot’s own ‘Baby I’m yours’ was another a pretty smashing selection – a song which was shamelessly ripped off by Bruno Mars’ ‘Treasure’. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed every song that was played and there was never a moment I got bored or stopped jiving. The music was perfect for the occasion, which is essentially the highest praise I can give.

    In the end, I thought it was a stellar night, a cut above the average for sure. The music was great, the whole roller skating thing was hysterical, the venue wasn’t too packed and everything seemed to go smoothly. The bouncers were very aggressive, to the point of calling two drunk student girls retards just for not being able to move in a packed queue. But all in all Stevie’s second birthday was great fun and I look forward to what the great minds that brought us this roller disco will do for their third.

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