Following the unexpected closure of Jimmy Allen’s (or Jimmy’s) nightclub on Thursday, there is widespread anger and upset throughout Durham, with many students threatening to drop out of university, or worse, go to Klute.
Opinions on the nightclub haven’t always been so in tune, though they have always been loud. Many found it lacked the refinement of a fine Durham institution, while others admired its universal acceptance and “come as you are” policy (© Nirvana 1992) – a shared joy for all who made it up to the door bouncers’ exacting standards (i.e. everyone) was the sense that you didn’t have to waste most of your evening preening yourself. Half a can of your preferred industrial-strength deodorant was enough.
On some visits, there was more cramming in by the bouncers than in the library on the night before an exam.
With three bars, there was always more “water” flowing under the bridge, though many argue it was not worth the entry price.
Not unlike a band of brothers who had been to war, there were profound experiences instilling a sense of comradery, with emotionally scarred survivors falling into two camps: those who were waiting to go to the toilets and those who had been to the toilets. While the triptych of bars earns three stars, the toilets can only be rated zero – we wouldn’t give them a one or a two. We could write about the broken toilet seats, but there’s not much to go on.
Jimmy’s united the Bailey, H*ll and Hild Bede collegiate, while even Science, Humanities and Maths students could stick together on the dancefloor.
One nostalgic reveller said, “I met my future husband at Jimmy’s; meeting on the mosh pit of the dance floor was as intimate as penguins huddling together on the South Pole. Except there was a disappointing lack of penguins in Jimmy’s, the temperature on the dancefloors rivalled that of the centre of the Sun and penguins don’t know all the lyrics to every mix of Jerusalem. My husband and I were stuck together that night and have been stuck together ever since.”
Resident DJ Dave B, who announced the closure in a Facebook post at 16:02 on Thursday, 16 January, has confirmed he too is moving to Klute – renowned as the “worst nightclub in Europe” – where he will faithfully continue to play the tunes we all know and hate.
Nonetheless, Jimmy’s is the Hotel California of nightclubs – it will be very difficult to leave.
Some have touted that the cavernous halls may be used once again as a prison. Rumour has it that the Bill Bryson Library is amongst the favourites to take over the building’s lease; they have long been seeking a suitable place to detain their debtors.
Whatever becomes of those hallowed halls, the ghost of nights out past will stink out the building forever.