King of Swing

Swing Club in Bangkok is as underground as a night club can be without actually being under the ground. It never advertises or promotes itself and has no desire or need to. You can find it listed as a night club in one or two places on the internet, but if you tried to track it down you’d find it had moved on some time ago.

It’s now on an upper storey floor in a largely-abandoned Bangkok hotel whose name escapes me. Even if I could remember right now, I still wouldn’t direct anyone to go there. It’s not really a set up for casual visitors and newcomers, once spotted, are subject to a bizarre and disturbing initiation ritual to determine which of the two opposing sides of club membership they will be permanently be assigned to: Gay Boy or Straight.

Go elsewhere, especially if you are gay- these fugly freaks will have you praying for your mortal soul. Or sucking cocks in the car park. Up to you.

Its opening times of 5am until 10 or 11 are entirely at odds with decent society, as are most of its customers: high-class call girls who have finished for the night and are letting their hair down, maybe finding one last customer in a safe and comfortable environment; gays of all ages and stages of decomposition; mafia families; the deeply-damaged denizens of despond; the drug-deranged; the demonic.

All ice heads.

To say the place keeps going due to its loyal existing customers would be an understatement. In fact, it is the exact same customers who come back night after night. Outsiders are instantly noticed and steps are swiftly taken, much like in Kubrick’s film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’.

Swing security will see straight through you if you are a member of that normal, everyday society. You will not be warmly welcomed but turned away at the door. Be grateful, if so, and don’t bother trying again. Security never forget a face for one thing and they are simply doing this for your own good.

Visiting as the guest of an existing member and making friends with one or two people while you are there so you can be vouched for multiple times when the inevitable questioning comes is how I was accepted within two visits.

I was first taken to Swing at its old venue- a couple of rooms above an unremarkable back-street bakery- by D’Lost Knight, brother to the one-eyed kick boxer Gin, and similarly engaged in his own ongoing battles.

While Gin’s battles had largely revolved around kicking people in the face and, after the eye incident, trying to kick opiates and Valium, D’Lost Knight was neurotically chasing various esoteric philosophies down dark paths where most would never tread.

He was also doing a lot of ice too at the time I met him, but managed to stop very shortly after. I think he appeared at Swing once or twice more, lost in a stumbling murk of prescription drug abuse that he was then making his ‘new normal’.

It is fortunate, then, that I met both General Guff and Ping on my first visit. They vouched and continue to vouch, although at the time I am writing this, they have no further need to vouch. I am now the recognised King of Swing.

Who would have guessed?

I will post more soon. I am currently writing up recent events which were highly selassie by any measure.

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