A good scatter of us decided before Christmas that we were going to go on a lads holiday in the new year.
The holiday to Liverpool was backboned by two factors, football and drink.
Both Manchester United and Liverpool were playing at home on the same day at 3pm so half of us would go to Old Trafford and the other half would go see their beloved scousers play in Anfield.
We thought that it would be nice to have something to look forward to after the festive period when most people were emerged in a state of “January Blues”.
While everyone else was devoting their time to dry January, we emptied the Post Office and Credit Union savings accounts and hit across the water.
We set up a daily camp in a pub called The Richmond on Williamson Street. It soon became our home for the weekend. We’d wake up in the morning, call a taxi and be in the pub for first thing in the morning.
There’s nothing sweeter than being parked in a pub with a pint in your hand before midday as you watch everyone else going about the day working and shopping while you’re dossing.
We owe this pub a lot.
They let us put on Irish songs, dance, sing, shout, while annoying and making friends with the regulars.
The pints are lovely and the people behind the bar are just as nice so it’s no wonder why we made this place our home for four days and nights.
It’s a small bar and it was made even smaller by the fact that 15 Irish lads were hammering the floorboards with their shoes to the harmonica bit of ‘Dirty Old Town’.
This place closed most nights at around half 10/11pm and thanks be to Jaysus that it did because if it was open 24 hours, we’d probably be there for at least 16 of them.
Nightclub bouncers in Liverpool are a lot more intimidating than the ones you’ll find on the door of your local haunt back home.
The accent, the stare, their look in general.
They don’t ask you as much questions but have the ability to make you crumble if you’ve had too much to drink just by staring you out of it.
The first place we went into was McCooleys on Concert Square. It’s an Irish late bar – shock – and it showed the GAA during the day so it was automatically a winner with us.
The craic was mighty and the place was hopping with all your Noughties tunes that will make you get a sweat on – Mr Brightside, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Busted, we’re talking that sort of spec.
We didn’t have to worry too much about travelling after that. The next place was Soho which is literally, directly across from McCooleys.
Outside, you could avail of Shiskas while also being able to order from the bar which was open to those out smoking too, a great idea.
The music was a pure house and techno sort of vibe but at that stage of the night (2am-ish), the music was going in one ear and right out the other.
That finished up around 3am but we weren’t ready to call it off. We asked the locals if there was any late-late bar around the place.
There was but all the locals told us not to go there so of course, we ignored them and went anyway
Popworld is like Coppers on four cans of Red Bull.
It’s got all your cheesy tunes, it’s got the cheap drink deals, for the love of God there’s even a pole in the middle of the dancefloor.
The dance floor was constantly packed from the moment we arrived until we left (6am? There was people in suits with briefcases walking by when we exited anyway) except at one stage when the DJ announced that the bar were selling Jagerbombs for £1 for the next five minutes.
Fittingly, he played Cascada’s ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor’ after the announcement and everybody headed to the bar.
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t rock up to Popworld every night after the final whistle had been blown in whatever nightclub we were at first.
Fusion was also open until the early hours of the morning but the queue for the place was always about 50 people long.
We got in one night before the crowd gathered and it was a good place for a boogie.
The music was kind of like remixes of the Top 40 with a few classics thrown in the bowl for good measure too.
It also cost money to enter into Fusion whereas the rest of the places aforementioned were free as a bird which meant more punts could be spared for needless shots of tequila.
We had one look at Kingdom and just decided it wasn’t for us. It looked very fancy and they really pushed the whole ‘cocktails and dancing’ theme which we weren’t gone on.
Hey, there’s worse combos than Cocktails and dancing but we said we’d give it a skip.
I really enjoyed Heebie Jeebie’s. We went here on the first night we landed (Thursday) at around 11pm and it was the last thing I remember from the inaugural night out but it’s a good memory.
Without sounding like a grandad, it was a chilled atmosphere and you could actually have a decent conversation with your mate and hear what they were saying back to you.
It was exactly what we wanted. After all, I hadn’t seen some of these boys in months so it was nice to have the quick catch-up before it all went sideways.
The cocktail menu was lengthy and after a feed of Carling, we decided to wash it down with a few whiskey sours.
Big mistake, hence why that’s the last thing I remember from the Thursday night.
The Midnight Lounge and The Cellar are also five star recommended on TripAdvisor but we didn’t get the chance to check them out.
The names of the nightclubs in Liverpool make you feel pumped up before you even enter: Passion, Heaven, Electric.
It’s like the club owners just brainstorm a list of one-worded power words and choose the best one.
But, don’t judge the club by the name.
Levels may seem like a very plain name when pitted against the others but it’s probably one of the best places in the town for hopping around like a maniac.
It has three floors, a courtyard area and is full of booths to sit and drink and try and revive your body for another hour of dancing.