NightShade at the Babylon Lounge
What you'll hear
VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk, Ministry, Bauhaus, Sisters, Rammstein, Front 242, Das Ich, Covenant, 80's cheese
What you won't hear:
Van Halen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Blink 182, Guns'n'Roses
Nellie the Elephant, Beachboys/Dr Who/Spice Girl mixes, Blue Oyster Cult*, Midnight Configuration covering "No Limits".
*Possibly not actually intended as humourous, knowing Mr Kipling :)
Good. Depending on the DJ, it's usually all well known and danceable after 11:00 or so. Occasionally mismatches between DJ and audience tastes keep the dancefloor empty longer (it always fills up in the end, though).
Website and Online
The club has a website here, giving details of venue, forthcoming dates etc.
You can also catch up with some of the regulars on Yahoo in the BrightonGoths forum. It's a good place to leave messages for the club management, too.
The Babylon Lounge on Hove seafront, a couple of hundred yards west of the King Alfred centre. From Brighton, head out along the seafront road, past the West Pier. Watch out for the building with the glowing blue sign on the seaward side of the road.
From the outside, it doesn't look like much but inside it's really quite pleasant. Nightshade has, to date, been upstairs but there is also a ground floor area (that isn't usually open, however). Upstairs, its a long, long, multi-level room with the bar in the middle, the danceloor and DJ booth at one end and a chillout area at the other. There's split level seating both above and below the dance floor, and unusually for a club there's enough seating that you can always find a table if you want one. Generally, the decor, seating, and lighting system makes it feel quite upmarket.
A typical night
You'll arrive and walk down the steps into the shallow pin which the whole building appears to have constructed in. Inside, it'll cost you £4 before 11:00 and and £5 after (concs £3). If you want to drop gear off, now's the time - the front desk is also the cloakroom checkin, which isn't immediately obvious.
Upstairs, you'll come into the room just below the bar. Take a few more steps up, get a drink and survey the room. If it's early, most people will be hanging out by the bar or on the raised area above the dance floor. There will be a great diversity of styles on display, some of which will be quite outrageous (if you're not used to seeing such things, try not to stare too much :) ). Being an alternative club, everyone's very friendly and tolerant, so don't be scared to introduce yourself.
Before 11 or so, the DJ's are usually playing the less common stuff so the dancefloor will be empty. By 11:30 though the usual goth/darkwave/EBM stuff will be in full tilt, interspersed with a fair bit of heavier stuff (depending on the DJ) and of course the odd dollop of 80's cheese. Depending who's twiddling the dials on the fancy lighting system and the fog machine, visibility on the dancefloor is highly variable and on occasion you won't be able to see your hand in front of your face (recently they seem to have got the hang of flooding the whole place with a thick haze, which adds to the atmosphere but makes people watching a challenge).
None, but if you don't know the style of this sort of place, black is a very safe choice. There will be many people there who have worked hard on their look and style. PVC, fishnet and spiky heels will be much in evidence along with black T-shirts and big boots. Since there's often a few people there who have made the mistake of thinking it's like any other club, the occasional white t-shirt, jeans and/or disco dress may also be observed.