As I write this, many of my friends (or their younger siblings) are probably waking up feeling a bit worse for wear. Tiger Tiger Croydon is no more after closing its doors for the final time earlier this morning.
First it was Black Sheep, then Shoosh and then Yates’s.
Yes, Westfield is coming and Croydon Boxpark will be open even sooner. But what is there left for people in their late teens to do in Croydon? (I’m yet to sample Bad Apple or SLVR and they’re probably no replacement for Tiger in its heyday).
The media covered the closure extensively, mainly saying people were overreacting on social media. To be honest though, many of those journalists had probably never been to Tiger and probably have their only views of Croydon sourced from images of people with looted TVs in 2011.
Tiger in Croydon, (so good they named it twice) filled a gap for that college/ sixth form age where you hadn’t really trekked to Clapham, Shoreditch or central London before and you were yet to realise how shite and touristy Leicester Square clubs are. Thursday was also the student night, with some of the cheapest drinks around allowing you to make it home and then in for morning lessons with a sore head.
Fair enough the bouncers could be arses sometimes, and the ID scanning was a pain, but most club security teams are the same now. Hearing people turned away for having the wrong socks was a particular highlight. To give them credit though, they did tend to contain trouble a lot of the time considering the reputation Croydon is often painted with.
I’ll never forget the time I ended up in Bar Seven, (if you’ve never heard of it, it’s underground behind Subway on the Croydon nightlife strip), possibly the sweatiest club of all time, surrounded by what looked like some of Croydon’s most wanted fugitives and ex-cons, scared to make direct eye contact with anyone.
I’ve also had a few brief brushes with the Granaries (a club my Mum used to go to) queue before deciding against it or being turned away.
Reflex, Lloyds and Dice aren’t really a worthy competitor for the loss of Tiger and have only ever really been a backup for if you didn’t want to go home after an attempt at going to Tiger.
Tiger on a Thursday was an institution for local people from Croydon, Bromley, Sutton and other London boroughs. I remember meeting someone who had even travelled from the Isle of Sheppey (?) for a night there. Croydon DJ Plastician was one person this week that summed up his feelings on the closure and what it means for Croydon.
Seven rooms (yes not all of them really counted as a “room”) of fun and some you’d always avoid but, I had my fair share of time in each. To be honest it was the closest that many of us got to our first “superclub”.
My golden years in there were 2008-2010, and each generation had their own. The Lady London Blog also has a great collection of moments I’m sure that many of us can relate to.
I remember how envious I was of September born friends when their birthday came and they were able to go to the hallowed ground for the first time of the new term. I also really felt it for the August born kids who had to wait so much longer than the rest of us and would either be borrowing ID or living through the experiences of hungover friends on a Friday morning.
My fondest memories include:
- A drunk mate being thrown out for trying to get to the smoking area and ending up in Grants near the cinema through an emergency exit
- Seeing people being thrown out of the opposite gender toilets amidst moments of passion
- Queueing to get in through all weather including snow and torrential rain
- Someone running all the way home and back just to change into shoes for entry
- People stacking it down the dangerously slippery stairs
- Bouncers telling a guy he wasn’t allowed in on his first time there as someone that looked like him was banned for fighting the week before
- Having a VIP area for our whole year after the last day of school ever
I’ll also never forget the scenes the night everyone found out Michael Jackson had died.
I won’t speculate on why it has closed (a great piece on Bespoke Magazine previously had some ideas), I won’t even shed a tear. What I will say is that with Tiger Tiger gone, Croydon will be a very different place on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and the next batch of teenagers won’t ever get to experience it.