When your friends invite you to party, Zouk would probably rank among the top choices. Established in March 1991, Zouk was the pioneer in the club scene here. Today, Zouk is recognised as the top club in Asia and ranked fourth on the global stage, according to the DJ May Top 100 list. Zouk opened its new Clarke Quay premises in December, 2016 and The Republican Post’s Lau Kin Kun compares the new joint with the old club at Jiak Kim Street.
1. All-encompassing dance space
Having conversations with friends at the Jiak Kim Street club was near impossible with music blasting from speakers in the club. All I could do was nod in agreement as I had no idea what my friends were talking about.
There was a podium on the main dance floor. Although it was only for ladies to dance, I was not complaining about the view. I could also get a bird’s-eye view of the whole dance floor from the second floor.
The main dance floor played trance, techno and house music during the weekends. If you were not into the music genres that I had mentioned, there was a second dance floor, Phuture. It played hip-hop, R&B and urban music. From time to time, K-Pop music would be played and that’s the cue for the masses to take a toilet break.
Sadly, the second level does not exist at the new Zouk. But the new premises’ main dance floor and Phuture can be combined into a gigantic dance floor and fit up to 3,000 people due to the removable sound proof walls.
The main room, also known as “The Mothership”, looks like a spaceship with futuristic designs, which has laser-cut patterns with 120 light patterns and beams. The light patterns were crafted by Barcelona-based lighting design firm LEDSCONTROL. Looks great, but now, you can see the stranger you are dancing with.
2. Cover Charge
The cover charge at the old Zouk was $30 for men and $25 for ladies. On Wednesday nights, it was free entry for the ladies due to ladies’ night, whereas on Thursday nights, it was free entry for everyone. The party usually ends before dawn, at around 5 am to 6 am.
At the new Zouk, the cover charge has increased to $40 for men and $30 ladies. The free entry for ladies on Wednesday nights and free entry for all on Thursday nights remain.
The move to Clarke Quay is not as bad as some might think. There is a train station nearby and a good selection of restaurants in the area to chill before the actual party begins. Although Zouk opens at 9 p.m., no one enters the club before 12 a.m. That is the unspoken rule.
However, there are some drawbacks. In the past, Zouk would usually allow you to party till dawn because it closes between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., depending on the night. Now, just as I am getting into the groove, the music stops and lights are switched on, which is a real bummer. The club now closes between 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.
At the end of the day, despite all the new fancy lighting and facelift that the new Zouk has undergone, I still prefer the old Zouk. Yes, I do admit there are couple of flaws with the old Zouk. The new Zouk may be better in certain ways, more convenient, bigger space, better sound system and lasers but I just don’t get the same ‘home’ feeling with the new Zouk.
Let me put it this way, Zouk experience is like meeting your first love, no matter how many other girls you date after, you will always reminisce the feeling and experience of your first love. In this case, the old Zouk.