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Clubland UK: On the Door in the Rave Era

Clubland UK: On the Door in the Rave Era [Kindle Edition]

Steven McLaughlin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

A hard-hitting exposé of the club scene during the celebrated rave era in 1990s Britain

Product Description

Clubland UK is a story of violent men and the worlds they inhabit. At the height of the hedonistic ’90s rave era, Steven McLaughlin policed some of Blackpool’s busiest seafront clubs on chaotic nights, as the virulent dance and drug craze exploded onto the scene.

From the front line, he witnessed the dark underbelly of clubland culture and the predatory menace lurking beneath the smiley-face T-shirts, pilled-up clubbers and frantically waving arms. He saw people revel in it; he saw people excel in it; he saw people profit in it; and he saw people suffer in it. Because sometimes being ‘a face’ in clubland demands the highest price of all.

From small-town gyms to big-time steroid dealers, from martial-arts myths to back-alley fights, door wars and gang grudges in Britain's gaudiest seaside town, Clubland UK is a story that takes the reader into a twilight world where testosterone, brotherhood, ego and a warrior mentality all collide in a bruising mess.

This book is a must-read trip into the dark side of the dance decade, a roller-coaster ride of pills and blood-spilling thrills, where agony and ecstasy co-exist in a blurred neon blaze.

Product details

More About the Author

Steven McLaughlin is the author of two books, a former member of the elite Royal Green Jackets and an accomplished sportsman. In the early 1990s he was a doorman on some of Blackpool's busiest nightclubs; he holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate, has a background in extreme fitness training and is a qualified Master Scuba Diver. He has also been awarded an associate diploma in acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and is a member of Equity and the Society of Authors. As a prominent and highly vocal 'voice from the ranks', Steven has featured as a military commentator on numerous international news channels, including Radio 5 Live, Sky News and the BBC World Service. He has been profiled in FHM magazine, the national press and onstage at the Edinburgh Festival. His first book 'Squaddie: A Soldier's Story', published in 2006, received widespread critical acclaim for its gritty portrayal of army life and military culture at the sharp end and went on to become an underground bestseller.

He has travelled extensively and in 2007 backpacked across America in a gruelling coast-to-coast trip to fulfil a lifelong ambition and explore the dark underbelly of modern American culture, travelling solely by foot and the iconic Greyhound buses. Steven has qualified as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language (ESOL) and has passed the Cambridge University CELTA course. He has close personal ties to Poland and in 2011 backpacked across the country in an emotional pilgrimage to the historic Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, birthplace of the 'Solidarity' movement that led to the collapse of Communism and the fall of the Soviet empire. As a Libertarian and student of history Steven considers this to be sacred ground and the most important site that he has ever visited.

During 2011 Steven served as a volunteer for the Prince's Trust charity, helping to lead and mentor unemployed young adults through its challenging and life-changing three-month long 'Team' programme, on adventure training and community projects. In 2012 Steven underwent intensive Conflict Resolution training and received a 'Leadership for Peace' award in recognition of his skills in the fields of peace-building and diplomacy. To reinforce the critical importance of his training, in a private tribute he journeyed to Auschwitz as a mark of respect to the victims, and as a personal motivator to try and do some good in this world and see that such atrocities never happen again. To this end he has participated in numerous peace-talks and reconciliation and counselling sessions with individuals who've been involved in violent armed struggles either as victims or combatants, ranging from the IRA, to the UVF and the PLO.

In 2014, to mark his 43rd birthday and fulfil a longstanding goal, Steven learnt how to parachute and performed two solo parachute jumps from an altitude of 3,500 feet, over Cumbria, England.

Steven's long-awaited second book, the true-crime memoir 'Clubland UK: On the Door in the Rave Era' was published in 2013. He is currently at work on a novel and various writing projects. To learn more about Steven's life and career please visit his website at:

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There have been plenty of books written by former bouncers, and while I'm no expert on the genre it doesn't take too much of a leap of the imagination to suppose that many are packed full of blood and violence. Ex-bouncer books about confused young men quietly seeking out a father figure, I imagine, are somewhat thinner on the ground.
By all accounts, McLaughlin was a bit of a lost soul when this book begins in the late 1980s, and his quest to find his place in the world in sunny Blackpool is littered with obstacles. But crummy digs and crappy jobs never seem to get in the way of the author's love of people, and he's soon bonding with the transient characters that drift into the city and help form its seedy underbelly.
What's refreshing, in an age when youngsters are expected to aim sky-high, is that McLaughlin's ambitions initially stretch no further than landing a job - any job - at one of Blackpool's many nightclubs, and you can't help but share his joy when he gets in (even if he is only collecting empties). For the young McLaughlin, this is as good as life gets, and he's soon part of a crack, two-man glass-collecting team and - thanks to his fascination with karate and pumping weights in his spare time - is helping out the door staff when things get lairy.
Not unlike McLaughlin's previous book, Squaddie, this is a human story on a very small scale: he's not trying to change the world, nor is he over-egging his pudding. Once promoted to a job on the door, the scrapes don't, in fact, come thick and fast - but that makes them more heart-racing when they inevitably do come.
You could spend 20 years on the door, end up with 2,000 stories, and still write a terrible book about life as a bouncer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 2nd book 21 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read Steven's excellent book Squaddie.I bought Clubland UK on impluse.It did not let me down,I was captivated from the start,from his broken family life to bedsit land.It's a book, that one more page ,turns into chapters.It grabs your emotions ,as you follow Steven's roller - coaster life.If you want to find out , what life on the doors of Blackpool was like , then I recommend this book .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a huge fan of Squaddie: A Soldier's Story, I was eagerly awaiting Steven's new book, Clubland UK. When it arrived, I was not disappointed. Once more, Steven warmed me as he applied his adventurous yet rational personality to another intense and occasionally insane world. His new book lifts the mystique surrounding the realm of bouncers. It's a fascinating insight into the psychology of the men who work the doors such as Callum, and what they have to deal with in terms of violent drunk and drug-crazed punters, but more importantly, it gives us a greater insight into Steven's pre-Squaddie years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Mark
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome. What a brilliant book. I picked this book up and did not want to put it down. The book is well written and covers a period of music and culture in the 1980s/90s Blackpool nightclub 'scene', and it is separated into several chapters, that sort of form short tales, that take you on a journey through the eyes of the author. It is so well written that you feel you are instantly taken back to the 1980s and witnessing the unfolding events yourself. I had no idea what went on behind the scenes of this era, but the humble and frank book details the darker side of the ‘bright lights’ and Golden Mile. The book is unique and genuine and gives a no frills account from the author, whose humanity and warmth are obvious. It gives a heart-warming account of the highs and lows experienced, in graphic detail. The books deals with sadness and joy and contains many humourous anecdotes. The book seems well researched and I learnt a great deal from it. I would recommend it – 5 star
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 6 Feb 2014
By Becky
Found the book intresting what ive read so far thats when my kids let me sit down and actually read it! Origionally bought it as im intrested in the 90s rave scene (still!) And just wanted a book to read and i find the book its self intresting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and Eye-opening 27 Jan 2014
It takes courage to write about yourself ‘warts and all’. To show the public the dark negative and unsavoury parts of your character that you’d rather forget. Steven McLaughlin shows us that courage in his searing autobiographical book CLUBLAND UK. But more than that, this book also highlights an author who has the talent and skill to draw the reader into the murky world of drugs, frenetic music, seedy clubs and the dark underbelly of gangster-land, that permeates the world he writes about from first-hand knowledge. You will find yourself grabbed by this book and drawn into a place you perhaps never knew existed.

This is a book that young impressionable teenagers need to read and take heed, as a few days ago I read of a sixteen year-old who went to a Rave overdosed on ecstasy and died as a result. Nothing it seems ever changes, but perhaps some young thrill seeker somewhere who reads this book might think twice before diving into the glitter and mind bending music of the Rave scene, coming face-to-face with the beast and falling under it’s fatal spell.

Steven McLaughlin is an important ‘no frills’ writer. Read this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic read
Published 1 day ago by tazmin
1.0 out of 5 stars MCP
A poor account of 'The rave era' in Blackpool. More about Steve himself and his life's ups and downs. If your looking for s book to take you back, this is not it. Poor.
Published 3 days ago by Matthew Pert
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading description and title
Reading the description it would not be unfair to assume that you were purchasing a book about the rise of rave culture and the associated problems that promoters of the time had... Read more
Published 4 days ago by james trinder
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Okay at best I'm afraid.
Published 8 days ago by NEIL P KELLY
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
I'm not much of a reader but very good book. Good insite into the life of a doorman. Worth buying.
Published 21 days ago by Neal
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by Gaslar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by christopher arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant truthful sounding book
Published 4 months ago by miss jaime reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate!
Clubland is an extremely compelling read and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in this landscape.

A great companion piece to Steve's previous book 'Squaddie'. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dirtbox90
4.0 out of 5 stars On the door in the rave era
This is good common sense and intelligent reading. A realistic and honest account. Good on you Steve on taking the true paths in life. Wish you well.
Published 8 months ago by Paul Williams
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