After a wild night at Paddy’s two weeks ago, I went to Old Skool Nightclub last Friday night. I had heard from more than one person that though Paddy’s gets most of the attention in guidebooks and websites, Old Skool is the true nightclub of Freetown.
If I were to sum up Paddy’s with the word, “wild,” I would describe Old Skool with another: “Impressive.” From the setting to the interior, everything about Old Skool thoroughly impressed me.
While Paddy’s is more like an outdoor bar, Old Skool is a prototype “club,” with a dance floor on both stories of the building. Located in the high plateau of Hill Station, the setting of Old Skool is another big difference from Paddy’s, which is near the ocean.
There was one similarity, though: The party didn’t start until 1 or 2 in the morning. I arrived at Old Skool with my friends – John, Tori, James, Ophaniel and Bakarr – a little before midnight and, at that time, both dance floors were completely vacant. In fact, people would avoid the dance floor as if they were about to step in quicksand.
But once more people started piling into the club, a couple of brave souls stepped onto the wide open stage and got the party started. I, too, eventually stepped onto the dance floor and had some fun, but for some reason I couldn’t get entirely comfortable and let loose as I did at Paddy’s. Maybe it was the music; maybe it was the fact that everyone dancing had a date; maybe it was the lack of space to freely move around; maybe it was none of those reasons; maybe it was all of them.
Nevertheless, my slight level of discomfort didn’t stop me from having fun in other ways by enjoying other aspects of Old Skool: The nice air-conditioned halls, well-maintained bars, and sleek pool tables, among other things. The club definitely had the feel of an American nightclub, which added to its grandeur and to my intrigue.
Now, after my headshaking experience at Paddy’s, I’m sure some readers are wondering if I had any similar situations with a kolonko. Well, sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t have such an encounter at Old Skool. Rather, I found it much more difficult to tell if there were any kolonkos in the club at all. When I asked Ophaniel about it, he gave me a lob-sided figure (much like Ishmael did at Paddy’s), so I didn’t take it all that seriously.
The title of the column, by the way, is a play on words of a phrase I like to use in the states. “Kick it” is another way of saying, “Hang out,” and when my friends and I do something that we haven’t done in a long time, we like to say we are “kickin’ it old school.”
All in all, my experience at Old Skool was exciting and downright cool – so much that I just might go back there as soon as this weekend.
By Yu Nakayama