Fans of Durham nightclub Klute branded ‘worst in Europe’ react to closure news

The reported closure of Durham nightclub Klute – once voted the worst in Europe – has been met with sadness, with its fans sharing happy memories and, in the case of one response, apparently ‘indescribable grief’.

The popular student haunt, in Elvet Bridge, has been part of city centre night life for decades, having opened in 1972 and become renowned for its party vibe, top tunes and sticky dancefloor. In 1996 it was voted the second worst nightclub in Europe by lads’ mag FHM then – when a fire destroyed the ‘worst’ club, Belgrade, soon afterwards – it moved into top spot by default.

There has been no formal announcement of Klute’s closure by Tokyo Industries – the club’s owner since 2013, which has been contacted for comment – but there has not been any social media update since March. Dillon Blevins, Klute’s general manager at the time of its closure, confirmed to the Durham university outlet Palatinate that the club had shut, adding: “As a former student of Durham University from 2017, I experienced Klute in its element first-hand.

“At no point was Klute the worst nightclub in Europe: Klute wasn’t even the worst nightclub in Durham.”

He said that from his experience of the Durham scene, he thought closure was not just due to changing student preferences, adding: “It’s clear that the way we spend our leisure time and our money has completely shifted.” He suggested it indicated a broader change in student culture, with less interest in nightclub settings.

Among the reaction on X, formerly Twitter, to the Klute announcement from Palatinate, which says it does not know if the closure is temporary or long-term, was one comment from a Gary Tetlow who wrote “Happy memories from late 80s!” while another, Catalina, responded: “Indescribable grief at the loss of this cultural landmark.”

The club – where Dominic Cummings is reported to have once worked for a spell, when the club was previously owned by an uncle of Boris Johnson’s former advisor – used to be known for its iconic drink ‘quaddies’: quadruple shots, comprising two double measures of vodka served with a mixer, but in 2015 new conditions imposed to keep its drinks licence meant these drinks had to be ‘watering down’ by almost halving the alcohol content.

In 2017 another popular city club Loveshack, which had closed its doors, announced its move into Klute for Saturday night sessions.

Klute nightclub
Klute nightclub

Following the Klute closure news, former students and revellers shared their reaction with The Mirror. Digital journalist and author Sophia Smith Galer recalled: “Klute could be the eighth circle of Hell or paradise, depending on how your night was going, whether you had had a quaddie and whether you had a lecture the next morning at 9am.

“I always did have a lecture at 9am, not that that ever stopped me. Being told Klute was the the de facto worst nightclub in Europe because it came second in a list somewhere and the first club had burned down was a more important initiation process than matriculation.

“Everyone has an anecdote long whittled down into legend from those sticky floors. Klute was awful, but it was our awful. I am very sad to see it go.”

Onward think tank director Sebastian Payne lamented the loss of the club he called a “quintessential part of every Durham student’s experience, for better and worse”. He added: “It’s everything people said: small, sweaty, stinky, chocked full of cheesy music and annoying people.

“It was also terrific fun and unlike any other nightclub – not least by ending every single evening with the exact same combo of Summer of ’69 and That’s Amore. No one will remember those lethally strong vodka drinks. Deeply sad that future generations won’t get to enjoy such a crucial coming of age experience.”

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/fans-durham-nightclub-klute-branded-29073875

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