In Defence of Cambridge’s Clubbing Scene: A Fresher’s Perspective

Sofia Johanson shares her observations about a night on the lash in Cambridge

Sofia Johanson

'Life' became 'Vinyl' last year in a renovation which saw the club's decor overhauledMaia Wyn Davies

With my friends at London universities ridiculing Cambridge clubs for their tacky interiors and themes, and my Bristolian acquaintances mocking the choice of drinks, clientele and music, I find myself determined to defend the clubbing scene in Cambridge. 


My initial experience of Vinyl showed me that Abba can be just as at home in a club as RnB. Whilst in Vinyl you hear the whole 6-minute version of songs that contain only 3 different lines, you get the other end of the spectrum in Cindies, where the lack of a music licence means you only hear a snippet of each song before being thrown into the next. Overall, the music isn’t exactly ‘cool’, but as the people inside aren’t either, it kind of works.


Literally anything goes...anything. I’ve seen a safari-themed Girton pub crawl decked out in animal masks and every form of leopard print, a group of guys in full suits (they didn’t take their ties off all night), and 35-year-old men clad in full lycra catsuits (leaving very little to the imagination). 


As most freshers turned up absolutely smashed from their pre-drinks with 10 people they barely knew, it didn’t seem to matter what the drinks were like, either because people didn’t need them or because they were so far gone that they wouldn’t mind paying £6 for a gin and tonic. 

"Literally anything goes... anything"


My first night out in Cambridge ended promptly with my companion depositing her dinner over the railing in the smoking area of Cindies and, although this hasn’t been my favourite moment of freshers, we were offered Ubers and chaperones by about 10 different people we had never met, and when we were kicked out of the taxi (it transpired not all the dinner had reappeared yet), several students asked if we wanted to be walked home. 


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Initially I thought that medics would be a hard-working, low-key bunch, but how wrong I was. Within 10 minutes a 1st-year medic from Pembroke stumbled up to me and some other future-doctor friends to declare, with weeping eyes, that he’d just completed a suicide shot, amidst conversations about the cadaver they had ‘met’ that morning - an odd combination to say the least. And, gearing up for lives in exclusive London venues, I had thought that the lawyers would be ostentatious and extravagant, but I don’t know if that’s true as I didn’t meet a single one. 

Cambridge clubbing is relaxed, ridiculous and really good fun. It’s just a shame all that will have to stop now that lectures have started.