L’autrex, also known as Clublife in latter years, opened in 1992 and closed its doors in 2006. It played a major role in the social lives of a large section of the Greystones population. It, and its dodgy chicken curry and laser show (Irelands’ first), were sorely missed from the nightlife of the town in the years that followed. Hearts were broken, legends were made and shapes were thrown. On reflecting on my own time going there, I realise that there are a number of life skills that I have mastered as a result …
1. Toileting with focus
The toilets in L’autrex were fraught with danger when in a state of intoxication. Which was likely if you were there on Thursday night. One of the doors into the ladies had a permanently broken lock. If you drew the short straw and had been drinking pints, necessity meant that you had to use it. This required skill and coordinate to hold the door shut with your foot and keep your handbag off the floor in your teeth. Determination and focus must not be lost. Before the days when core strengthener were delighted rigour in gyms, this was the best workout you could get. Similarly in the men’s, the were rumours of people falling into the urinal mistaking the back wall of it for the actual wall and putting their weight on it. Focus and mental strength were needed to emerge dry.
2. You will always dance to maniac
Everytime. It matters not where, or in front of whom, but you might want to start praying that it happens at a wedding afters close to the end and not in the queue at the supermarket. It was a regular floor filler with Mark McCabe even playing once. Oh yes. I was there. And I bopped.
3. Always bring flats
Always. The alternative was crawling on your knees or walking barefoot on the carpet/blanket of stickiness. Don’t look down was the mantra here. Whatever it was that you dropped you sacrificed. It had to fend for itself now…
4. Everyone knew where to go to find you on your birthday
Serial trekkers had the membership card. Memory is a bit hazy here but on your birthday you got free entry for you and a few friends and a few drinkies. Hey shorty, it’s your birthday… yes it is, and you can find me at the bottle bar.
5. Lift your feet
You automatically lift your feet in a taxi when it goes around the corner. This was particularly pertinent for ladies wearing sandals and is a reflex that has always stayed with me many years and taxi journeys later. I care not for the funny looks, some things just stay with you for life.
G’wan and have a bop. You know you want to.