Rocio takes on the most important institution in Cambridge - Revolution Bar and ClubRocio Leyva Thomas with permission for Varsity

Last Wednesday, I rushed off from my 10am seminar. A coursemate asked where I was off to: “Revs,”II replied, looking at my phone. “Oh shit, I’m late!”. I left them confused as I sped from Sidge to arguably the most important institution in Cambridge – Revolution Bar and Club.

Over the (roughly) 12 hours I was at the place many Cambridge students call home every Wednesday, several people came up to me asking why I did it. For the glory? A perverted bet? The true answer was, in fact, worse. In all honesty, with my exams over by week 0, I had nothing to do. (Please don’t send me death threats, STEM students; make a Voodoo doll of the Seeley to take your anger out on the History department instead).

“It was more like an Ibiza rooftop, if that rooftop was looking over the Grand Arcade’s John Lewis”

Armed with my incredibly low expectations, I walked in at noon. “Are you sure you want to do this? ,” my friend Kate asked, one of six people I had lined up to entertain me throughout the day. I wasn’t, but went in anyway – who is ever ready for Revs? The first few minutes felt awkward. Instead of sitting at a table, I felt like I should sway towards the bar and ask for their finest Jägerbombs. Resisting the temptation to get smashed before 5pm, I took in my surroundings. Revs in the day is a strange combination. With kids running around, it’s more like a Zizzi’s than a venue for night-time regrets, but the mild nightclub smell still induces the trauma of being pressed up to that Napoleon cosplayer from the beginning of this year. After doing all of the NYT games and facing a gap in my friend rota, I felt lost. A small beam of light in the darkness that is the bottom floor of Revs was the discovery of their £8.95 meal deal, which sadly genuinely excited me (what a sad little life, Jane) and was surprisingly good value for money.

Scared to continue annoying the downstairs staff, I migrated to the top floor. This wasn’t the Revs ‘networking’ floor I was used to – where were the rugby boys in shirts and ties drunkenly trying to make intellectual conversations? It was more like an Ibiza rooftop… if that rooftop looked over the Grand Arcade’s John Lewis, not the Med. With a bachelorette party taking full advantage of happy hour cocktails and a warm breeze through my hair, this was starting to become, dare I say it, a pleasant experience. This change in mood may have coincided with the beginning of my drinking, but the real turning point was the discovery of the Revs App.

“When a ‘Smelly Cat’ house remix came on, I knew it was time to go”

Sipping our cocktails, we oohed and aahed as we used our free spins, winning a free pizza that was better than Aromi – bold statement, I know – as well as a cocktail and stick of shots. The tipsy conversations started flowing, with a discussion of the psychology behind the balcony’s disco playlist (which is at 120 bpm to make your body want to dance). By my fourth large cocktail, I was getting dangerously tipsy. Looking back at my notes, I have three words from 9pm: “Drunk. Need nap.”

Re-entering the Revs everyone knows and loves/hates/has a complicated relationship with after a half-hour nap back at college and collecting a friend from nearby Pembroke, I felt like I was coming home. I strutted in, claimed my six Wham-flavoured shots and made my way to the dancefloor. As always, it was largely uneventful, mostly spent ordering people to download the Revs app, prompting a stranger to ask me whether I was getting paid by the establishment (to which I replied “use my code for 20% off”). I tried to last until the end, I really did. We danced through ‘Cheerleader’ and the techno music with mild beat drops, but at 2.45am, when a ‘Smelly Cat’ house remix came on, I knew it was time to go. It was enough to deter even the strongest of ‘Wev-ers’.

Would I do it again? No. Would I recommend anyone else to do it? No. Did I enjoy it? Strangely, yes. Often, as Cambridge students, we like to be wildly fatalistic about the nightlife on offer, but having gone through what I have, I now feel as though there is an element of beauty that can be drawn out of the little city’s clubs and bars. Within the shittiness of their music, and stickiness of their rooms, we meet new friends, make bad decisions, get drunk, and dance. It isn’t really that bad at all.


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I’d like to thank the people who helped me along the way: this is for you. Jane, thank you for the gossip about your brother’s ex-girlfriend. Kate, thank you for letting me set up your Hinge. Anna, Laura, Emily and Tom – cheers for babysitting me, have a free app spin on me. People have asked me when I’m going back. I know it will take some time, but Revs will always have a place in my heart. And a place on my phone’s home screen. Download the Revs app.