I spent some time on Union Street today, sitting opposite the derelict Dance Academy.
There's something melancholic about abandoned buildings, the way they stand on their spot with no purpose, just an empty vessel rotting away - a concrete corpse. But as crappy as they become they can still hold memories untainted.
When I was a teenager Dance Academy was without a doubt the best place to be at on a weekend. And it was where I had one of the greatest days of my life.
I remember me and my mates had an amazing night clubbing: the DJs were on fire; we were with a mate that was on leave from Iraq; we were all buzzin' and when the lights went up we got a taxi to the Torpoint Ferry, crossed over the Tamar, got another taxi to Whitsand Bay where we laid on the beach, talking, chillin’, laughing and loving life. We watched the sunrise, saw dolphins a mile off shore heading eastwards and the tide creep slowly forwards. Magic.
Then, like idiots, we fell asleep until the afternoon. We woke in a sweat. Our faces redder than a Baboon’s arse. And we were surrounded by windbreaks and a massive family of massive Brumies!
I've had better mornings.
We walked 12 miles back home that day - if we’d got a taxi the day would’ve been over too soon.
Last time I went to the Academy turned out to be its last night.
I paid about £10 to get in then an hour later the lights went up. Police dressed in full riot gear lined the balcony, some had sniffer dogs, and there were bins laid out for people to put anything they might have on them that the police might not approve of finding on them, in. I searched my pockets to find a contribution and found some blackcurrent strepsils that had gotten loose and sticky. When we got passed the police and made it out into the street we found ourselves in front of local TV crews and journos. And I never got a refund. I've had better nights.
Ever since the police raided the Academy it's been closed. Now it’s just there, an empty vessel, a concrete corpse, boarded up, sprouting trees and rousing memories of the past.