I remember the first time I went to Zouk, as though it was yesterday.
It was the first time I was going clubbing. I had just turned 18 and the ‘A’ Levels were over. The world was my ‒ and my friends’ ‒ oyster.
I usually remember what I wore to important events. That night, it was an off-shouldered striped Kookai top with grey pedal pushers. I may or may not have worn my Barbie pink Birkenstocks – this was more than a decade before the current Normcore and ugly sandals trend. I like to claim that I was way ahead of the curve but at 18, those were my only pair of “going out” sandals that weren’t sneakers.
After paying for the entry fee, I received two drink coupons. My friends ordered Vodka Ribena – two words I’ve never heard said together before. After drinking the first cup at top speed, I felt woozy, which my girlfriend explained to me was an effect of the alcohol.
So partying at Zouk wasn’t like this when I was 18 but it was still the highlight of my week! Credit: Zouk
LIFE LESSONS LEARNT
I’ve learnt plenty of life lessons with the many nights after that I’ve spent at Zouk. I learnt that messaging your crush after 1am, whether or not you are drinking, is never a good idea; I learnt that when I wear white, I will glow in the dark when walking up a certain flight of stairs.
As much as I love the Friday R&B nights at Phuture, my first love will always be Mambo Jambo on Wednesday at Zouk. There’s nothing (including a Flaming Lamborghini) that can get me higher than dancing to Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and Joan Jett’s “I hate myself for loving you”. Needless to say, I was suitably distraught when Mambo Jambo Wednesday came to an end in 2012.
When smoking was banned in clubs, I rejoiced – this meant I could skip a shower after partying. The nights also got longer. Gone were the times when the last song would play at 3am, these days the music plays ‘til 5am or later. When the club brought the party to the beach, Zoukout was included in my December calendar, just like Christmas. Even when I got older, and the crowd got younger and younger, my girlfriends and I would kick off a night out at Wine Bar for the one-for-one drinks and a hot dog before heading on to our second stop.
There are some things one takes for granted in life. In my case, that’s my mother (occasionally), public transportation and cable TV. Of course, I assumed that Zouk was always going to be around. I’ve celebrated birthdays that started with 1, 2 and 3; stalked celebs; danced off heartbreaks; and even had part of my hen’s night at 17 Jiak Kim Street.
Zouk is practically a Singaporean institution. Celebrities, including Jay Chou, hit up Zouk whenever they are in town. The club was even featured in Korean boyband 2PM’s “Hands Up” music video along with other Singapore landmarks like Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer.
#savezouk has been going viral on social media. Credit: Zouk
But apparently, nothing is forever. It has been announced that the club’s lease will end at the end of 2014. After 23 years of epic partying, this might truly mean the swan song for Zouk. After I’d got over the initial skepticism (this isn’t the first time I’ve heard news of Zouk closing down), the seriousness of the matter sunk in when I clicked on www.save-zouk.com. Besides no confirmation of a lease extension, Zouk also has not secured a new location. So this is the real deal – the club could disappear from the party scene for good!
If you, like me, are thinking, ‘Where will kids go when they first turn 18?’ head over to www.save-zouk.com. Fans and regulars can sign a petition for lease extension online and the online campaign also features a super heartwarming tribute to the club featuring Jade Seah, Daren Tan, Patricia Mok, club kids, bloggers and more.
Well, if this is the end, Zouk’s planning to go out with a bang. Besides the final instalment of Zoukout, its management is busy planning a series of farewell parties to thank everyone who loves Zouk.
I would love to remember Zouk with one last Mambo Jambo night ‒ er, on a Friday or Saturday night, please.