Back in Rogue

COTTON WARD behaves herself at one of Sydney’s longest-running clubs.

Where Rogues Nightclub,16-18 Oxford Square, Darlinghurst [update: now the Gaff]

When Fridays, 8pm-late

How much $16.50

More information 9380 9244

The flyer for Friday nights at Rogues invites me to join “Sydney’s elite, including personalities from the media, entertainment, modelling industry, corporate business and celebrities”. Who could resist?

Accompanied by my little brother Ray, we arrive at the Darlinghurst club at 10.45, where my fear that this evening may not be as exclusive as I at first thought is confirmed: there is a queue of about 20 people ahead of us. My brother, who is 23, takes one look at the crowd and says, “I feel too old to be here.” Most of them look as though this is their first outing since their high-school formal. There are a lot of Britney lookalikes with glittery halter tops, cowboy hats and tall sandshoes. The guys look like they’ve come straight from a Saturday 6 o’clock Mass – smart and conservative.

Once inside, there’s a lively cafe in the courtyard where lots of men are chatting loudly. There are two levels – a cafe/restaurant that converts into a bar and dance floor, and the nightclub downstairs.

About a dozen people are jiggling on the dance floor under four disco balls to a song featuring lots of no, no nos and yay, yay, yays.

Despite the claims on the flyer and the fact that in recent weeks members of the Australian and West Indian cricket teams, Bardot and Evander Holyfield have been spotted here, tonight it appears to be a celebrity-free zone. Maybe we’ll have more luck star-spotting downstairs.

Drinks in hand, we head to the lower level, which is pleasantly crowded. The sandstone cavern features two bars, plenty of seating and candlelight. The music sounds like 400 different versions of Spiller’s Groovejet, and amazingly, when a favourite track starts playing, everyone gives a hearty round of applause.

The latest incarnation of this club, which has been operating in one form or another since the mid-’80s, seems a resounding success, but the name this time around, at least, is a misnomer. With a combination of such a young crowd and the rather risque (if somewhat dated) name, it’s easy to picture a lot of very worried parents at home waiting up, but I’ve seen worse things at a church disco.

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