Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gotham: darkness, despair and cheap drinks

Before I talk about the neat little goth event that I attended on Friday evening, I need to mention one thing: Cape Town has proven thus far to be remarkably incestuous. I don't mean this in the way that siblings are suddenly giving each other sly winks and funny looks (at least, I've not seen it first-hand), but the number of cases where Jonny happens to know Jimmy, the man next door who's currently dating Sally (a naughty little fox who once had a fling with Jonny's stepbrother) and is best friends with Robbie – being thus indirectly linked to Robbie's brother who showed up on Jimmy's doorstep last night for a party, and whom Harry (who was staying overnight with Jimmy at the time) recognised vaguely from a meeting in Gauteng six months ago – is getting kinda insane, especially once Harry invites Robbie over and discovers that Robbie has brought along Harry's long-lost cousin. And cake.

Long story short, the amount of people who know other people through the most absurd of coincidences is really streamlining introductions at the parties. The interconnectedness of the social web here seems to be rivalling that of Grahamstown.

Pictured: Approximately half the population of Grahamstown.

Now, on to Friday night. Because of that oh-so-special link to my friends (“that guy from Durban who is crashing in their flat for a while”), I managed to crack an invite to a 21st birthday party thrown for somebody who I didn't even know existed until Thursday morning. After learning the birthday boy's name off by heart, studying his Facebook profile and rifling through the documentation that the CIA held on him, I did a merry little hop-and-skip to the celebration – a house braai with a gothic theme.

Our Barbeque of Despair. My Boerewors of Torment is waiting on the side.

Okay, it wasn't seriously goth, but people made an effort to wear black clothing and a few spikes here and there (except for those silly gits in white t-shirts, that is). I was delighted to discover that the party had a considerable geek population – a far cry from the jock-strewn, pop-collar fest that I'd feared the moment I heard the utterance, “This guy is turning 21 and having a party.”

While hob-nobbing at the braai, I discovered that we were to head off to a goth club after our meal. My oh my! And not only were we to be guests of honour at the establishment known as Gotham but it turned out that the entire club had been booked out solely for our party group. Totally kickass.

Of course the picture's dark! It's totally goth!

Gotham is situated in Observatory, just next to the Gandalfs night club (a club themed around Lord of the Rings – just how awesome is the night life in Cape Town?). It occasionally caters for events and themed nights – hence our ability to book – and sports a vibey atmosphere that makes for a welcome change from the ubiquitous evening haunts of preppies and poppies. And, as my one friend insisted on repeatedly pointing out, you can get yourself a double brandy and coke for only R12,50. I'm no authority on these matters, but apparently that's rather cheap. Either that, or my poor companion was just a little too drunk.

The music lineup that evening wasn't exclusively goth – it was from the birthday boy's personal playlist instead of the club sets – but as a fan of any stuff that's slightly heavier than Dirkie Cuberkie's Toe-Tapping Boogaloo Hits (not a real album) it was refreshing to headbang to artists such as System of a Down, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth and even Metallica.

At the end of the evening (by which time I had a horrifically strained neck), we retreated back to the car. For reasons I can't quite remember, I ended up clambering into the boot. Probably to fetch my hat or something. I decided to take a few pictures on the way home.

This was actually way more comfortable than the back seat.

It was a pretty good night of clubbing overall – something which I rarely have the benefit of being able to smile about. Go go Gotham!

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