All this talk of house music has reminded me of a very special club that once thrived in Durban, and will always have a place in my heart. Yes, the one and only, it's Crash nightclub.
Situated in the Durban station, Crash was a pop-art themed progressive house club on the one side, and a semi-alternative pop-rock venue on the other. It was divided in two by a thin corridor in the middle, and the layout of each side was a mirror image of the other, with a dance floor, bar and chill-out area. Downstairs there was a snazzy VIP bar and another dance floor, which was more like a 'regulars' bar, as the bouncer used to let in many people that simply spent a lot of time at the club.
And what a jol it was! Crash owned Friday and Wednesday nights for years, and with top events happening all the time, it was not uncommon for Ministry Of Sound to pop in for a visit and throw out a few shirts as they mixed tracks on the vinyls alongside the famous resident, DJ Mimi Kesaris.
“It's going to be a fine night tonight... it's going to be a fine day tomorrow...”
Who remembers that track? I still get all nostalgic when I hear it.
The place was seriously cheap to get into, as you can see on the flyer - it was R5 before 9pm for crying out loud! People would mill around in the one half of the club, the alternative rock side, and only at midnight would the other house side open. The tunes were infamous for their progressive nature, always dipping down before building up to a spectacular climax, and sending the crowd into mass hysteria.
If you needed a break from the madness, there was always the take-away restaurant in the Durban station, where the tables and chairs were filled with people chilling out, sometimes puking everywhere from too much alcohol and drugs, but generally having a good time!
Crash was one of the first clubs to have Playstations! There was the one game where you could shoot bubbles at the roof, and the other was a racing simulator if my memory serves me correct. What an amazing draw card that was, people would often crowd around the stations just to gawk at whoever was playing and comments would fly about the 'realistic' graphics!
The club itself was an absolute legacy. Everyone had the Crash stickers on their bumpers, and the Crash compilation CD was one of the most well known discs available at the time. If ever there was a peak of house music, Crash was the tip of the mountain, setting the standard for all other venues in the country.