Now I’m not one for fancy dress. At all. Ever.
Yet there I was in full pirate regalia, at a sixtieth birthday party. It was a family affair, so it was more of a chatty do that a rave up. When the party expired we decided to go into downtown Taunton.
We got their eventually, after two unsuccessful attempts to get through the park to the High Street due to closed, locked, bolted and chained gates. With pointed spiked tops to prevent clambering over, we managed to find a way out without having to go all the way around.
We headed to the Bierkeller, where we could hear the venue before really seeing it. The bouncers just waved us in. No asking for ID, not a single batting of an eyelid at full pirate outfits, no weapon check at the door, anything. In fact, watching the bouncers in action was a joy to behold. They did their job efficiently. A couple of ejections went without punches being thrown or heavy handiness. They interacted with the heaving crowds with a smile, and even taking time out to dance, and displaying a general friendly demeanour.
Now, this is something the SS storm troopers that are employed in some of Crawley’s drinking establishments (Octopus and The Punch Bowl, I’m looking at you), could do with taking lessons on. When someone is obviously in their forties, there is absolutely, positively, no fucking need to be asking them for ID. No need to be punching people. You are allowed to smile occasionally.
Anyway, back to the Bierkeller. A good mix of danceable, and sing along music from all eras. The place was set out in the style of a German Bierkeller, with long tables down the room, with benches either side. Not that the benches are used much for sitting down. They actively encourage you to dance on the benches. Much in the style of Walkabout in Manchester back in the early noughties.
It was a really good atmosphere. The kind of place that had people of all ages in there dancing and drinking together. The kind of place where no one cares or notices that you are dressed up as a pirate. The kind of place that Crawley could do with, but will never get. Mainly due to the fact that the police and the council wouldn’t allow a license for somewhere like that. Plus Crawley bouncers wouldn’t know how to be friendly if their lives depended on it.
Therefore for good nights out, with or without full pirate regalia, we have to rely on doing it in any other locale apart from Crawley. And it was a good night out, thoroughly entertaining and fun. Roll on June and more days out of Crawley.