Saturday, 24 November 2012

SWANSEA BLUES

A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

 

For about five years I worked in a bar on one of Swansea's busiest party streets; Wind Street. Filled with bars of all description where you can get your fill of wine woman and song. The sights I have seen down there would probably fill a book itself.

   I was working as a Karaoke DJ, and the customers were a real eclectic bunch, from students to hard-core power drinkers, imbibers of disco biscuits etc.; And every colour in-between.  When I first started the pub only had door staff on a Friday and Saturday night. I was working during the week, where usually there was only one bar staff on, two if it was a busy night. It became the norm that I ended up doing the bouncing as well as the Karaoke. Many times I would be singing a song, and some numpty would decide to be a dick so I would end up throwing him out while still singing, that would usually get a round of applause or a few laughs. The idiot would be so surprised they would go without much of a fight.

   It always amazes me how adults turn into idiots after a few drinks spoiling it for others who just want a good night out. Wind Street is a road packed with all the main Swansea bars, you get people coming from all over Swansea to pack into this one small road. The authorities have to close off the road on the busiest nights because it is awash with party-goers, this came to be after several collisions with drunks. The closed in atmosphere is in my opinion a real tinderbox for trouble. Whoever thought this up must have been a right Muppet. You get various families coming in from the surrounding villages some of which have on-going troubles between them and it all comes on top when they meet down this little road.  If the pubs were spread a lot further this would lessen the opportunity for trouble as the chances of them meeting would be smaller. I guess the planners thought if it was all contained in one small area it would be easier to control.

   Swansea nightlife really is colourful, and can be exciting at times, but what I can't get my head around is how you can enjoy packed to the rafters pubs where you literally have to fight to get served, if you are lucky you will manage to get one drink per pub. That for me is not enjoyable, yet they do it week in week out, may as well call the whole adventure Sardine nights. The town centre is normally busy from Wednesday night which is student night and goes right through to Sunday night. Friday night you usually get all the 'roid' heads out trying to out testosterone each other.  I was out last night with my family and happened to bump into or rather was bumped into by one of the night freaks, this wasn't by accident it is one of the many rituals they use to start a fight. I ignored it the first time but when it happened the second time half an hour later I had to help him sit down because my thumb was lodged in his solar plexus. I abhor violence but sometimes you have to pre-empt to stop it escalating to something worse. You could feel the aggro coming off him like something alive, this dissipated while he was sitting on the floor with his mates laughing at him. I walked away to continue my night with no more trouble from this nugget.

   One of the funniest incidents involving violence, although violence is never funny, two smack heads had been involved in a fight with some students outside the main nightclub on the Kingsway, they walked away full of themselves, re-enacting to each other how they gave the students a dig. They walked past a group of men dressed in drag. Comments were exchanged and these two hapless smack heads decided to start a fight with the drag queens who turned out to be members of the local cage fighting club out on a charity night. They ended up knocked out and then shortly after in the back of a police wagon. Never judge a book as they say, or start a fight with a drag queen. I wasn't there but did see the CCTV footage.

   It is unfortunate Swansea like many towns/city has its fair share of beer bums that spoil it for the rest. I hadn't been out for quite a while so I was surprised how dead Wind Street was for a Friday night when we finally arrived, we had attended a charity event earlier in the night so did not actually hit the street till about eleven PM.  Maybe it's a sign of the times, beer prices, the smoking ban and too many idiots. People seem to be staying local or drinking at home now. I think it will be a while before we risk the atmosphere-less pubs and clubs of Wind Street, I like to think it all went downhill after I stopped working on the Street it certainly seems so.
  

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