I was just downstairs listening to the radio (Radio 2, of course) when Josie Lawrence (of Whose Line? fame) started to talk about a silent disco that she’d attended.

My interest was immediately piqued. You see, back during my wild, formative days at university, I developed a minor case of tinnitus. There was some kind of ‘local rock’ festival that ran for a week, and I attended every performance. It was a great week, and I took some great photos. The week culminated with Electric Six (of Gay Bar fame), a wild night out, and ultimately my only physical malady: tinnitus.

Looking back, I probably should’ve worn earplugs…

So, you can see why a silent disco would appeal to me! I’ve only been clubbing a handful of times since I left university, and I try to limit live music to once every few months; I know now that I have to look after my ears. I really don’t want to become a tired rocker like Ozzy Osbourne who can’t sleep at night due to the ringing in his ears.

At a silent disco, everyone wears a pair of personal headphones. You have a switch on the headphones that let you choose which of the DJs or audio streams that you want to listen to! You could listen to some euphoric trance, followed by some heavy metal, and then unwind with some Adagio for Strings.

Alternatively, you could also just turn the headphones off and have a conversation with someone. With your back to the bar, you could look on at a sea of dancers: some jiving, some flailing spastically and some just standing there morosely, perhaps just a few heartbeats away from a coma.

I think that’s the bit that most appeals to me. Optional silence. The incessant noise is actually what I hate most about going out (now that the smoking has gone), and why I refuse to ‘pick up’ girls in bars, or clubs — if you can’t even hear yourself think, how are they meant to hear you speak? For someone that relies almost entirely on weaving a web of sultry syllables, a noise-infested venue is rather undesirable.

Even if you’re not the kind of person to partake in gentle discourse at a disco (I am probably in the minority, I admit), here’s a video clip of what it might look like if you turned your headphones off and watched a silent disco singing — and most importantly, dancing! — to Nirvana’s Lithium:


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On photos for sale, and my gaunt appearance


I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.