Image sources: Residentadvisor.com, theclubmap.com, dw.de, whatsupinberlin.com
"You have to come out, guys. We go to the most famous club in Berlin!"
I'm not sure if it was the promise of sampling my first Berlin techno-house club, or the fact that the above sentence was delivered by a hyper-enthusiastic Italian Legolas doppelganger that made the prospect of jetting across the city at 3am so appealing. I suspect it was a smidgen of both. The fabled Golden Gate club is hidden away under the U-Bahn track in Jannowitzbrucke, and is as far away from the grand dance floors and sugary alcopops of mainstream 'famous' UK clubs as you can imagine. It's frequently called the grittiest club in Berlin, and music purists (or as I like to call them, 'wankers') claim it's one of the only true techno joints left in the city.
I'm no stranger to an edgy club, but have to admit that my first experience of Berlin's notoriously selective bouncers threw me a little. The best clubs usually turn approximately half of the queueing masses away, often for the most bizarre reasons. Not enough girls, not enough fashion sense, too much fashion sense, not wearing a scarf, too old, too young, talking too much, talking too little and simply not being 'Berlin' enough are just a few of the rejection stories I've heard from various disappointed clubbers. The group in front of us didn't make it past the bouncers, and we exchanged frantic stares.
"Right, no English, no Italian. Speak only in German from now" hissed Legolas. Considering my German skillz currently extend to introducing myself, my family and describing what I plan to eat for dinner, I was a little apprehensive. Fortunately the rest of our group speak near-fluent German and the bouncers obviously approved of the boy:girl ratio, so we were ushered inside
The club itself is everything you'd expect from an under-the-subway techno hall - shabby, tiny, full of sweaty clubbers ignoring the 'no smoking' signs while draped in pastel tie dye - and it's bloody wonderful. There's barely room to move in the packed out main room, so dancing on any available surface whilst avoiding the people staggering upstairs is not only OK, it's a necessity. Techno fiends, you will rejoice in the tinnitus-inducing glory of GG's resident DJ's. Hell, you don't even need to be a connoisseur - I've spent the majority of the past four years dancing to endless replays of 'This Charming Man' and I thought it was ace.
A smashing night was had by all, although I'm not sure how many other people have wandered into the turbo-raves at Golden Gate and wound up having an in depth, hour-long debate about Murdoch's influence and effect on British and Australian media. Maybe I'm getting too old for this particular kind of shindig...anyone know of any traditional gentlemen's clubs in the area?
BTW: I know I've been using a lot of sourced pictures recently, but that's only because a) Golden Gate don't allow photography and b) I've been a lazy shit with my camera. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
Betti Baudelaire xxx