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clubbing.

Clublife
Hy's nightclub and Boswells have closed. The owner said he could not compete with the superclubs.

Are corporate-run attractions taking over town or are they the way forward for Norwich's nightlife?
Send us your views on this and tell us what clubbing is like in Norfolk.
Add your comment,
or send your own review

Check out our clubbing section


I was the DJ at Hy's till the very end and even now six months later I still get people comin' up to me to say how much they miss it.

It was a small friendly club that battled against the Big boys for longer than anyone expected. Before Liquid opened its doors all the gorgeous clubbers in Norwich came to Hy's then like sheep they went to Liquid then followed the herd to Time and if the ABC opens then off they will trot once more.It's not about the music in Norwich it's about where everyone else goes.

For those that miss the R&B and Hip Hop vibe then check out The Light Bar and Metro Club on Prince of Wales every Friday and Saturday (the only specialist black music nights in Norwich).

ROB MAC, NORWICH

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After a straw poll among my friends and some of my younger relatives, the general opinion is that while you can have a good time in Norwich, it hardly compares with clubs like Cream or Gatecrasher, nor Leeds or Newcastle. But those of us who have travelled a bit in the quest for a good time are agreed on one thing - Norfolk people, lads and lasses, are good-looking. And even if you don't want to pull, but just came for the music, that has to be a bonus!

MIKE GLANDER, SWAFFHAM

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Hello, I will be attending the University of East Anglia in the fall at the law school. I am from Texas and I would like to find some friends in Norwich. Also, I would like to know any comments that anyone might have about fun things to do in the Norwich area. I would truly appreciate any information regarding Norwich, and maybe even the law school at UEA. Thank you very much!!

JAMES EMBREY, TEXAS

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I have studied and lived in and around London for six years but I was brought up in Norfolk. Norwich, where I am from, has become my holiday home. I have always enjoyed returning to the low-key clubs and bars and family-run pubs.

I have noticed recently that Norwich is trying to become more like London with larger clubs and chain bars. Please don't encourage this. It will spoil what is still a lovely, individual, unique city with its own brand of nightlife which includes plenty of live music, relaxed clubs, good food & pubs. The Riverside development looks like Basildon - it's vile and soulless. If you want great clubs - go to London where there's room for them. Tombland is now a nightlife tomb thanks to these negative capitalist changes. I will miss Hy's & Boswells.

CATHERINE, LONDON/NORWICH

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We need a nightclub that's more like Gatecrasher. Norwich nightclubs are so old and out of date with music. They need to catch up as I now go clubbing to Newmarket and travel more across the country.

KATE, NORWICH

I have been trying to access the allensbar.co.uk website but it isn't working. A group of us were at Allens Bar in Gt Yarmouth on Saturday 8 June.There was a birthday bash going on and we had our piccies taken and were told that they would be put onto the website. So far I have been unable to connect to the server. Is there anyway we can find out if there's a fault? Is anyone out there reading this a regular at the bar?
We would love to see the pictures as they will remind us of the fantastic evening we had there (followed by a late night groove at Oxygen!!) Big thanks to Maisie for inviting a crowd of strangers along to Oxygen with her and her friends. Can anyone help?

J ROBINSON, HERTFORDSHIRE

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We need clubs at the age of 20 and older - 'cause it's not right!

JENNY, COVINA

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We need more garage and drum 'n' bass. There are drum 'n' bass events regularly I know, but could it not be elsewhere from The Waterfront? As for those of us who want to go out and listen to garage! Well, have you got any suggestions?

ANGELA, NORWICH

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I gave up on the Norwich clubbing scene years ago, it's a waste of time. The wine bars and pubs have a far better atmosphere.

VICTORIA, NORWICH

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OK - on the outer social circle of Norwich things do look a bit, shall we say, awful. I used to be very narrow as to the places I would visit due to bad experiences in Norwich, but I started branching out a month ago. My best piece of advice is probably to go to Po Na Na on a Friday night! Deep funky house is on the menu. The place doesn't fill up until half-ten but when it does the atmosphere is unbelievable and the talent (for boys and girls) is more than adequate! The second Friday of every month is Soul Shaker - definitely not to be missed. Which brings me on to Devil's! Yes, OK, we do have a few lap dancers! But they disappear after about 11 and make way for some amazing tunes. Soul Shaker is at DA every Saturday night. Marvel and Gas Station @ The Loft are OK too - get there early as there is a one-out one-in policy on the door as it fills up. Happy partying!

JAMES, NORWICH

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Please have someone do a review of Mojo's Super Fly and other cool nights. I live in the US so I'm not sure if it's still even open, but it is one club that is/was trying hard to supply Norwich with something to really have a funky/interesting/different time with!
There should be more clubs like it, (only a little bigger - there's nothing like a friendly atmosphere, but sharing 2cm squared with someone you've never met before is a little too friendly!) Just something to think about.

BECKY, SAN DIEGO, USA

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Norwich is very limited for choice in clubs. Plenty of typical places playing rubbish cheese and commercial stuff. Personally I'm into deep progressive house and trance along with a little harder trance (not hard house!). No chance am I gonna get any of that! Then again that's the same in my home town of Nottingham (although there are at least some half decent places here). The best clubs tend to be away from the city centre (to keep muppets out) and tend to be smaller. A place like Gatecrasher would be just grand... Would transform the place like it did in Sheffield- making decent bars spring up! Good for town's economy too.

NICK WILLIS, UEA, NORWICH

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I am from Norfolk, just outside Norwich, but am living in Miami for a year. I have to say the clubs in Norwich are a bit lame, but the bars are cool and there is a good selection of pubs which are severely lacking here. I would die for a pint of Stella. As for Fat Pauly's and The Waterfront, the reason there aren't more clubs like them is because they cater for the minority and if they don't get the business they won't open more clubs like those. You all have to admit the nightlife in Norwich has improved a lot since five years ago. Gutted about Boswells though, great place.

KELLY, MIAMI

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Oxygen - what do I think of it? Well, I go there most weeks and it's OK, I guess. Of course I love peeing in public, as you say the doors have no locks! But apart from that it's usually a welcoming, friendly place. Too many straights though!

SARAH

Click here to see our review of Oxygen

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Hi, I do think clubbing in Norwich is terrible. If you're in to house or music from 20 years ago then Norwich is the place. If you fancy a bit of R'n'B, garage or anything slightly different you have to go to the small dark clubs that hold about 150 poeple or less!! I think its about time a decent club opened for alternative music other than house. Take Ipswich's example for instance!

NETTY NEWMAN, NORWICH

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Boswells closing! What a shame! There aren't that many traditional and earthy bars left, and for those of us a bit over 30, its a shame, we don't all want to go out and drink 30 alco-pops and have a fight at the kebab shop. Please, someone rescue Boswell's!!

Hi, i just wanna say that reading that Boswells in Tombland will be closing at the end of February has made me very sad. Boswells has always been one of those bar/clubs where you can go to have a great night out, whether it be just chatting with friends (you can hear each other!!!)spending a night drinking (they havea good selection) or you could have a dance to the live band then the disco, Boswells is a great all rounder. You wil be missed and nothing will take your place.

CLARE CORCORAN

Boswell's departure is a big step backwards for Norwich - it is the one diffferent place to all those nightclubs, which are really all the same! We NEED a place like Boswells in Norwich (and preferably more!) - not everyone wants to go 'clubbing' at the weekend! I hope someone takes it over who has the same ideas as the current owner, otherwise I wouldn't know where to go!

ESTHER, NORWICH

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Although the majority of the comments about the sad state of Norwich's night life ring true for my experience last time I was there in 2000, I have to say seeing Hy's, Boswell's and Pizza One close would be the end of an era and sad for me at least. I remember when Hy's was THE place to be. The original "City Boys" used to make their regular cool appearance and the "City Girls" would do their best to be chosen Hy's girl.

Big is not necessarily better and if the club chains are allowed to dominate in Norwich its unique diversity as well as history will be lost. As another post pointed out, Norwich needs some more exclusive (independent and not mass produced) hip hop, r'n'b (which Hy's once was) jazz and essentially interesting places to socialise.

BECKY, CALIFORNIA

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Hi I have a gay friend who has recently split up with his partner and wants to get back out and meet people. I don't know much about what there is to do in Norwich, can anyone suggest any good gay clubs/pubs to go to?

CLARISSA, NORFOLK

See also: Gay Norfolk message board

There's not all that much choice in Norwich, though the gay scene is improving. For a top night out, I recommend an obligatory drink or two at home, followed by a cocktail at 'Lounge' on St. Benedicts St. (Nice and discreetly flexy-sexy, but not too obvious - good place to loosen up before hitting the...erm...less chilled scene). Then go on to the Castle pub at Spitafields roundabout, if you have time. They've recently built an extension, and play some good cheesey music, have a pool table, and are pretty much always packed with a really gay crowd, mostly men. The Lord Raglan is opposite, and has recently been redecorated, making it look pretty suave. However, the crowd is almost exclusively men here, and a little older. Worth a look if you're in the area. Finally, there's only one place to finish off, The Loft nightclub on Rose Lane. However, it's only gay (and open) on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sundays are really quiet, Saturdays are packed, and Thursdays are just right. The music's cheesey and dancey, and the crowd is again mostly men, but the atmosphere is quite good. (£2-£5 in) OK, speech over, have a good night!

JON, NORWICH 15/01/2002

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I'm from Manchester and I have been to clubs all over the UK...be it London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham....anywhere is better than Norfolk! Actually...the whole of East Anglia needs a face lift.

It should wake up to the sounds of garage and r'n'b flavours. I dont mean to offend anyone in Norfolk...I'm sure you all have a great time, and this comment is merely my opinion. But when I compare to the other places in the UK...it could be argued that Norfolk is still stuck in the dark ages.

GAVIN, CAMBRIDGE

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Well I have lived in Yarmouth all my life and consider myself quite well travelled. All I can say for Yarmouth is it needs to get up to speed with what pubbers/clubbers of all ages want. Nice modern well done-out bars like the prime examples on Riverside/Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. People do not want to go out to run-down clubs that still look the same as they did in the 80s and with trouble at every turn. I spent last Saturday 06-10-01 in the Riverside complex. It was very busy, everyone was out for a good time and was friendly. As soon as we came back to Yarmouth for a bite at arouns 2.30am the clubs were alleged to have been dead and everyone was mouthing off and trying to pick fights. I think if Yarmouth doesn't do something quickly I believe there will be no nite life (what little is left of it) and it will become a teenagers' night spot (which it pretty much is know). All Ican say to the ouncil and club owners is invest in the area and ask people what they want (not what you think they want) from Yarmouth as a whole.

MATT, YARMOUTH

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I now live and work in New Zealand, but I lived in South Norfolk all of my life until a few months ago. The night life here is pretty good the big differance here being licensing hours the clubs and bars are open all night there is very little trouble and a very laid back chilled atmosphere. Everyone talks to strangers and its really a cool place to party. I feel Norwich has a pretty wide spectrum of night life across the city but the agro thing is becoming an issue. Young guys looking for a fight makes going out in Norwich a chore, I am 28 and can look after myself but I don't really need some over-excited 18-year-old in my face, so hence I used to stick to the bars over the clubs. But c'mon guys - Norwich has a good club scene for a relatively rural city. Believe me you don't know how good it is until you are away from it!

SHAUN, NEW ZEALAND

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Is there anywhere in Norfolk for the unattached baby-boomers to hang out? Coming from London I find this aspect of life is sadly missing in Norfolk.

CASTRO, NORTH WALSHAM

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errr Tony, have u actually ever been to Fat Pauley's, cos i think if u had u will realise that the dimensions of the customers have nothing to do with the name! But Norwich is pretty rubbish for going out. With no Fat Pauley's there is not much for the alternative people to do. There is only the Waterfront and they don't seem to be streaming with great bands. And normal clubs just don't play the type of music I am into at all.

TARA, NORFOLK

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With reference to Tara's message, did you know that Fat Pauley's name derives from the dimensions of its main customers? Come on BBC, can't you do anything about Norwich's nightlife? Why don't you stage any tours such as the Radio 1 summer tours? I do know that Norwich has plenty of rural, plain and flat land and i do realise that John Deere tractors do take up a lot of space, but surely there is a place where the BBC can park their summer bus of fun and music. Go on, bring some sunshine into the lives of Norfolkians. At least it's better than catching crabs in Walberswick.

TONY, NOTTINGHAM

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I'm a regular at the Crypt - it's totally small but totally kicks!!

MANTIS, GREAT YARMOUTH

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I went to Brannigans (See who you can spot at the opening night) last night Saturday (30/06/2001) and me and my mates had a wicked time! The place was jumpin' the DJ played everything from old favorites to brand new top choons. It was full but not to full but there was a big queue waiting to get in one of my mate's waited for 3/4 of an hour! So we'll get in early next week.

STEVE, ACLE

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There is nowhere for the youth of Norwich to go, seeing as Fat Pauleys has closed down! Fats used to be the only place young people could go and enjoy good music!

TARA, NORFOLK

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"High jinks" is a new funky house night @ kafe da, 18 Bedford Street, Norwich, twice a month on Fridays, 8-1 the resident "mikey high jinks" brings to norwich some of the best local talent including; ricky cox, richie tee, sam scott, rob holmes, etc... this event is free all night. if u like yr vocals, pianos and twisted filtered disco, then this is the night for you!!

MIKE MAGLINTE, NORWICH

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I live in Great Yarmouth and most of the clubs are pathetic apart from one little know place called The Crypt which is open every Friday as part of The Brunswick complex, and this is ace. They basically play indie/rock and occasionally speed metal. For those of you who of like this sort of thing it is a must. I think this is the only place in Yarmouth like it, and although not as well known as the Waterfront in Norwich, it really kicks, well you know, anyone else been there?

LEE, GORLESTON

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There is plenty of variety in Norwich. Most people haven't gone and tried the other clubs - you can always find something to suit your tastes here. As for late opening hours - check out the Waterfront all-nighters or after show parties at Fat Pauly's, they go on til 6 if you can take the pace.

ANNA, NORWICH

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Clublife in Great Yarmouth is no good. It's nothing compared to the clublife of, say, Singapore, which is where I live, but I was born in Great Yarmouth. I've just turned 19 and lived out here now for a year. It's ok - clubs are great not like Great Yarmouth. So get a clue and get some new clubs!!!

JOHNNY, SINGAPORE

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Had heard lots about the new club Oxygen in Gt Yarmouth whilst out around Norwich but no-one seemed to have been. So Saturday night me and my mates went there a bit unsure of what to expect. It was fantastic although mainly gay we all were made to feel welcome and the atmosphere was like London/Ibiza. The night was called Shine and played some storming club anthems and tunes and we will definitely be going back. It's really laid back,classy and attitude-free - something Norwich clubs can only dream about. Maybe they should take tips. Take our advice and try it out you won't be disappointed!

ALAN AND CLARE, NORWICH

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I agree completely with Anthony. More variety in Norwich please! and longer opening hours. Having visited a large number of places around the country, abeit larger than Norwich, this is what is missing from Norwich nightlife.

RICHARD, NORWICH

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Having visited East Anglia and Norwich on quite a few occasions, I have to say Norwich's clubs lack variety. Taking into account Norwich's geographical location, why doesn't Norwich increase its diversity in club land? Instead of opening mainstream bars/clubs that play Vengaboys, Ricki Martin and finishing off with S Club 7, why don't they open jazz or hip hop clubs, tapas bars, comedy clubs, cafe-bars open til 6am! It's unfortunate for the young poor souls of Norwich to afflict themselves of the same 'cheesy' experience, time and time again. But hey, why don't they go to Ipswich? Actually, I retract those last eight words.

ANTHONY FAN, OXFORD/LEEDS

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Clubbing in Norwich is awful! It is geared at larger boys who wanna get drunk and listen to cheesy hard house all night long! This is OK if you're into that sort of thing but don't expect much else! What Norwich needs is a decent club night in a new venue!

BEN, NORWICH

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Time has got to be the best Club in Norwich. The sound system is great and the whole place moves up and down, but better safety measures are need, because the path is right next to the river, so something needs to be done there. Most of the others are rubbish, you can't even swing a cat around in a couple of them. Plus most of them have under-age people in. When the new club gets the go ahead in the old ABC Cinema, it will be big and have different music sections and will take all the business away from the other clubs, so cheaper nights will be on the way.

MARTIN PEARCE, NORWICH

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Having seen your mention for Oxygen Nightclub in Great Yarmouth I took the wife out for their special Valentines night event with Rochelle. We had a GREAT time and will be going again soon. Thanks for telling us about the club.

NIGEL AND LESLEY MORGAN, LOWESTOFT

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Clubs r OK- just get boring after a couple of weeks. The only two good ones r Fat Pauly's and Waterfront.

TASHA, CANADA

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Clubs round here r no good!! There is 1 decent club and that is the Waterfront - oh and Fat Pauly's, but other than that its a loada ...... yeah well.

KIRSTY, NORWICH

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Just gone back to London - thank God!!! Norwich nightlife is all right for a couple of nights, then it just gets boring. There is no variation, it's all the same. Good selection of attractive ladies though. See you all in July.

FARLEY, HAYES, WEST LONDON

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Club life in the UK can be awesome. I'm Canadian...and as such hear mainly hard house, which I love. But to come to Norwich (to places like Fat Pauly's) and hear drum and bass spun, is a nice change. Fat Pauly's may be small, but delivers itself well. The DJs that I've heard spin there have been nothing short of excellent, and the same goes for the MCs. As for the vibe: it's awesome. In short, Fat Pauly's (if you go there on the extended hour nights), promises an excellent time. I look forward to my return.

JAMIE, CANADA


 



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