The timing could not be better for an exhibition celebrating nightclubs - Brian Ferguson

There have not been many days over the last year or so when I’ve had a good reason to set an early alarm. It’s been so long I can’t even recall the occasion.

It also feels like an eternity when I last had to pack my work kit into a bag. It’s even longer when I last had a good reason to dig out one of my favourite floral patterned shirts.

In the end, I didn’t even need an alarm clock. I was so giddy at the prospect of a taking a train trip north I was wide awake by 6am and giddy about the prospect of that unmistakable feeling of escapism when crossing the Forth Bridge.

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But entering Fife was not the last adrenaline rush of the day, unlikely as that may sound.

When V&A Dundee announced in the summer of 2019 that it would be staging a celebration of nightclubbing it was of course inconceivable that by the time the exhibition finally opened every club in Scotland would be closed down.

But that is, of course, the poignant and painful backdrop to the launch of Night Fever, the first major exploration of club culture around world, which opens at the waterfront attraction this weekend.

As Mike Grieve, owner of the Sub Club in Glasgow pointed out to me, it is also deeply ironic that a celebration of nightclubbing is being launched in Scotland while venues are still waiting for news of when they may be able to reopen this year – in sharp contrast to south of the border, where clubs are preparing to welcome back punters at end of June.

In fact, the run-up to the exhibition launch has been dominated by headlines warning of up to 24,000 job losses across the “night-time" economy in Scotland unless venues are given a reopening date and financial help to head off the prospect of bankruptcy.

V&A Dundee's Night Fever exhibition opens to the public on Saturday. Picture: Michael McGurkV&A Dundee's Night Fever exhibition opens to the public on Saturday. Picture: Michael McGurk
V&A Dundee's Night Fever exhibition opens to the public on Saturday. Picture: Michael McGurk

However a couple of invigorating and intriguing hours at the exhibition – which boasts its own dance-floor and socially distanced silent disco – convinced me that there actually couldn’t be a better time for club culture in all its glory to be celebrated and championed.

The sight of John Travolta strutting his stuff in Saturday Fight Fever has even got me wondering where my own dancing shoes are.

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