This Saturday I donned my Reebok Classics and ventured to the depths of South London for a Macklemore gig at Brixton Academy. I love the Brixton Academy, it’s such a cool venue, not too big, or too small, great acoustics, awesome dancing space and the loos are vaguely clean! I’ve been here more times then I can remember, mostly during the years I don’t remember! But this Saturday was different. I was partying sober, which can be a bit daunting when you first enter sobriety, but now I love it!
I took my time getting ready, curling my hair, trying some new make up, dancing round my flat with Ted (the cat) and Nick (the boyfriend), even joined us in a little jig. I decided on this outfit to attempt the urban ‘cool’ look (I’ve figured out how to hyperlink stuff! Click links below if you want to see where anything’s from). Truth be told – if I hadn’t even left the house after the fun of getting ready, I still would have had a great Saturday night.
We drove to the venue, another bonus of sobriety, no more walking to the station in the rain and then getting on a sweaty tube with a can or 5 of vodka in hand. No more spending £ on Uber’s and chewing the drivers ear off with drunken tales of woe in way too much detail. I can and do drive everywhere that’s not within walking distance (got to think of the carbon footprint).
Once there we queued for a drink, opting for water (in early sobriety I needed something like Red Bull or a non alcoholic beer but now I just think it’s additional calories I would rather use up eating cake – so I stick to water). This was the only time I got a drink and the only time I had to queue (bring on the smug smile). I spent the next few hours dancing to music I loved with no inhibitions, no distractions of when I was going to get my next drink, no juggling of plastic cups (becuase one drink at a time was not the way I rolled). I was able to take in every sound, light, and experience of the amazing show Macklemore put on. It was awesome. If you don’t know who Macklemore is have a little looksie at his Instagram. He’s funny, writes and plays great music and speaks openly about his recovery. If he can make music and play huge gigs like this sober – I can bloody well dance and appreciate it sober, he’s an inspiraton.
I danced so much in there I actually forgot to take many photos.
We did leave just before the end – I’m getting on a bit and wanted to avoid the crowds and use the loo without queuing. I still had the great girlie bonding experience of chatting rubbish to a stranger in the toilets whilst doing my make-up though – no night is complete without that. I just remembered the rubbish I spoke and said goodbye rather than dragging the poor girl to the bar to do shots with me and subjecting her to more of the inane talk the poor Uber driver got.
I always tend to go for a late-night bite when I go ‘out-out’ now. If I ever find a night out difficult, or the thought of drink a bit too consuming, food always makes it better, and if I have a great night, ending it with food makes it even more great. So basically food wins everytime. Nandos – opposite the venue was, of course the only option.
In case anyone fancies a night out without the booze, or if anyone is in recovery and still a bit nervy about going out, here are my top tips for a sober night out;
- Enjoy the getting ready part – it’s way more fun being able to do your make up without the shakes or on your 3rd glass of vino – and you’re far less likely to end up with wonky eyeliner
- Get to your venue earlyish – so you have a chance to see people (drinkers) and catch up whilst they’re still able to hold a conversation
- Don’t be afraid to dance – dancing sober can be super nerve wrecking at first, but go for it! It’s liberating and feels great, and remember – no ones watching, everyone’s way too concerned about themselves to worry about the awesome moves you’ll be pulling
- Always have a plan after the event – food really works for me, but calling a sober pal after your time out is great too. It takes the adrenaline down a bit and ‘levels’ the head
- Have a good time – if you aren’t feeling it – leave. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone or do anything you don’t want to – look after yourself.
- Look forward to feeling fresh in the morning and treating yourself to a yummy brekkie (because you wont be feeling sick and hungover)!