An Ode to Solus: Lash-ing out for the last time

As you have probably heard, The Lash is to be escorted from our SU on Wednesday, only to head to Salisbury Road for a Mama’s Kebab and tuck itself away into bed for good. Whether you met the news with fevered disbelief or cries of joy, it cannot be denied that The Lash has provided Cardiff students the most fantastic, tacky, inexpensive and uncomfortably enjoyable nights out imaginable.

The Lash epitomises a student night out. It is devilishly cheap (at least before eleven) and possesses all the appeal of last night’s takeaway; you want it, you enjoy it, but you know you probably shouldn’t.  Amidst the sea of blue shirts, ties, and chinos, the fancy dress on display is utterly brilliant.

From the dreary school girls to the sublime Mount Rushmore, variety, ingenuity and originality are highly regarded amongst the punters. Crippling rent stopping you from buying fancy dress? You, kind Sir, are now the appointed Box Man. Cut two holes in that Corona box, we’re going to The Lash.

Everyone has their own Lash story. It generally begins with waking up fully clothed and missing a full day of lectures after a ‘sophisticated’ night out in Revs the night before. You examine your pockets and assess the financial damage; small change present? All good. You see last nights pre- drinks; some offerings of Tesco Value vodka, a mouthful of orange juice, a few cans of ‘Premium’ lager and look, someone’s even left the dregs of their Smirnoff behind. That’ll do nicely.

You pull yourself to your feet where you kick off last night’s shoes in favour of something a bit more comfortable, a bit more Lash. That wrecked pair of Vans offer themselves gallantly to protect your trotters. A quick glance in the mirror reveals not too much damage; it’s dark in The Lash, no-one will notice the stain of pepperoni juice left on your chin. Run your fingers through your matted hair and we’re ready to roll out. Before eleven, may I add. Who wants to waste a fiver getting in?

Whilst there, you can indulge in the finest vodka the Union has to offer, which in small quantities will generally not cause long term blindness. Double them up, go on. This is The Lash, not Propaganda. Feeling queasy? Head for the Coors; watching the bar staff struggle and wave frantically as another keg runs out really takes the edge off your own headache.

Bored of drinking? Why not treat yourself to some casual infidelity? The Lash is more promiscuous than a weekend at John Terry’s house, so get in on the action. Unless you are of course part of the football lot, in which case you must consider yourself amongst the same ranks as Beelzebub and Cardiff Met Students. Hide your tie, make no mention of football, and you may just blend in.

The Lash has made itself a melting pot for controversy; the backlash and torrent of hatred hurled at the football society being one of the more recent. Seemingly, normal rules of conduct do not apply to The Lash. Would you go out in nothing more than a G-string and a pair of trainers? In The Lash, this is fully acceptable, if, rather admittedly, a tad immoral. Even the daintiest of Lash-goers aren’t afraid to give a quick elbow jab to the groin if need be, so there is  plenty of fighting spirit.

The middle part of the evening is generally considered a blur, but it’s not uncommon to find your- self chanting after the DJ has clocked off. As all you Lash-goers know, chanting is often the best way to secure yourself another half hour in the Union, enjoying the heat and humidity that a thou- sand or so bodies generates in a small, confined area.

After exiting onto the streets of Cathays, there are plenty of fine establishments with which to ex- change shrapnel for sustenance. After regrouping your faculties, you could attempt to find your way home, but why bother when your old housemates live just around the corner? They probably won’t mind, they’d love to see you at four in the morning, kebab in hand.

With their kind hearts, they eventually let you in. They lovingly place you on the floor, or an avail- able sofa, where you gain some much needed shut-eye. After waking up in a pile of your own sick, it’s time to make a quick exit back to yours, past the queue of rush hour traffic. It’s amazing how early in the morning people can judge you, isn’t it?

In short, The Lash is a terrible, sweat and guilt-ridden disaster where sobriety and dignity are left behind to dwell with unfinished coursework and seminar preparation. Do you know what? We wouldn’t want it any other way. The Lash will be missed and mourned by many, and we can only hope that after their multi-million pound revamp (which events like The Lash paid for), the Union can supply us with a worthy alternative.

So, in proper Lash tribute, let’s crowd the doorways, linger at the bar asking for one last pint, and head home, safe in the knowledge that we will completely regret our actions and that it will soon be all over the internet for years to come.


Sam Williams