WE DIDN’T GET PAID TO SAY THIS

Originally published in the International Edition of Exetera, February 2012.

It’s a common practice for certain publications, in return for money, to dedicate entire sections to reviewing  a product or event very positively. It is something that has arguably spread itself into the very fabric of the reviewing industry, and (quite rightly) causes suspicion amongst readers. Of course, this isn’t 100% always the case; we’re not trying to blow your mind with some sort of Marxist conspiracy theory here.

More often than not though, if it isn’t money that curries critical favour, then it is the generosity of friendship, or the return of a previous favour. So how are you supposed to trust anything? Well, we can tell you this – not only is Exetera receiving zero
£ for writing this review, we don’t even really know the people who run Thick as Thieves at The Cellar Door each fortnight! (Although if you’re reading this guys, we would love to be your mates; please get in touch.) Yet, despite this lack of money or favouritism, we’ve just got to get this off our chests: Thick as Thieves is a fucking awesome night – one of the best in Exeter alongside Beats and Bass – and you should definitely go.

In the last edition, we reviewed the October opening of The Cellar Door and, while generally being very positive about the venue, we felt it still had a way to go before it properly cemented itself into our weekly schedules. But with Thick as Thieves, it’s safe to say that the club is on its way.

Music-wise, you can expect a lot of House, Garage and Drum & Bass. However, whether you go there knowing your Boddika from your Julian Bashmore really doesn’t matter – it all sounds good and is delivered with an enjoyably frenetic pizzazz by the DJs. One particular highlight for our music editor was the inclusion of Zed Bias’s ‘Been Here Before’ on the night’s set list – a true old school garage classic, we are told. Now, if you are so inclined, you can scoff all you want at how trendy this already all sounds, but once you consider how many nights resembling this exist in Exeter at the moment, it’s hard not to see the appeal.

But it’s not even that it just fills a niche that has needed to be filled in Exeter. The crowd is clearly there to get their money’s worth, populating the dance floor from an early stage and staying there, getting increasingly busy until the very end. Timepiece may have recently been voted as the easiest place to pull in Exeter (and was once even in the top three for the entire country), but with the average attendee here being, well, generally a lot hotter than your burger grease-smeared TP regular (and probably quite a lot less intellectually occupied with their gym regime), you get the feeling that any increase in difficulty is probably for a reason.

One of our original problems with The Cellar Door was with the lack of drinks deals, but once again, when combined with Thick as Thieves, the venue delivers. Jäger Bombs are only £1.50 and bottles of Kronenberg £2.00, which is great if you’re a student looking to, you know, get drunk.

When it comes to the obligatory ‘well these are the pros, but here are some of the cons’ bit of the review, it sounds lazy but it’s honestly quite hard to think of anything to say. With big queues recently forming outside and a fair amount of people being unable to get in, as well as long waits for service at the bar, capacity is clearly an issue. Yet, with the opening of the newly refurbished upstairs area of the club in a few months and an imminent increase of bar staff, none of these should soon be a problem. So what bones, if any, are there left to pick? Well, it would have to go back to the club itself, and something quite specific that should be urgently addressed (if it hasn’t already). There is a complete lack of soap in the men’s toilets. And with not a single drop of sanitising gel or foam in sight, if there was ever a place that made you want to drunkenly piss all over your hands even less than you normally would, it’s The Cellar Door’s male toilets.

These (sort of) minor concerns aside, it’s still an ideal venue for the night, and despite its flaws, one that perfectly lends itself to the bi-monthly event. So if you haven’t been already, we can only recommend that you do. However, if you have, then you don’t need us telling you anything else: we’ll see you there.