Friday, October 27, 2006

The Origins and the Early Days

The 'Home of the Whip' post has got me reminiscing about those early days back in the late 80's/early 90's. I recall fondly, the start of the 'whip' and in particular the transition from a simple gathering of friends in a suburb of Nottingham, prior to a journey on public transport into town, into a vodka fuelled hour or two, culminating in air punching, over animated dancing and quite simply ridiculous behaviour in a rock club.

As I recall in the early days, the simple gathering was a mere meeting up of friends prior to catching the bus into town. At first a few cans of larger/beer and even cider were consumed prior to the 15 minute or so journey. It soon became evident that the 'odd' can was simply having little effect on the individuals involved. Slowly but surely the stakes were raised. Stronger drinks were sought to induce a greater effect. At first, various spirits were dabbled with. I remember with a tear in my eye, necking Pernod and Cherry Brandy on the odd occasion. Whilst these strange choices of spirit achieved their purpose, they did not mix all that well with the drinking which would invariably ensue once town, and the public house of choice, were reached. So the scene was set. A spirit was required which would achieve the maximum effect in the minimum time and with the minimum fuss. One which was as tasteless as possible, and could be disguised and mixed easily. Based on these objectives there could only be one choice - Vodka, the transition was made.

On the first occasion, a short walk to the off licence resulted in a small half bottle of the cheapest vodka known to man. The brand of choice here was usually either Imperial Chekov, Red Flag or the Prince Consort. These fine brands were usually mixed with an orange cordial (Kia-Ora usually being 1st choice). At first, half a bottle between two or three people as a 'warm up' drink was more than enough, even appearing excessive, considering there was around 3 hours drinking time in a public house prior to a rock club visit. But we were all on a slippery slope.

Slowly but surely the amount of vodka that the participants craved was increasing. Not only was the volume needed to achieve the same state of euphoria rising, but so was the levels of euphoria. I remember the shock that was openly proclaimed when a full 700 cl bottle was purchased at the start of the evening. This was followed a number of weeks later as things escalated to a feeling of shame when it was your turn to go back to off licence, and the same disapproving old lady behind the counter, to purchase further vodka supplies less than one hour after the previous purchase. As the drinking involved in the warm up or 'pre match' as it was favourably called, was increasing, so was the duration. Now the session was progressing in importance into a mini event in its own right. It was expanded to include listening to CD's and more favourably watching videos recorded on MTV's 'Headbangers Ball' and several visits to the off licence. At this point the vodka drinking had extended into a session lasting over one hour. As the drinking at these events progressed still further the state of inebriation and induced euphoria increased notably. At its peak, the participants would head for town clad in a variety of outrageous clothes. Shirts (often made of silk) would be chosen based on there suitability as potential 'stage wear' for a late 80's/early 90's hair metal band. The saying was "you can never go too far", although in hind sight and without ¾ of a bottle of vodka coursing through my veins, we frequently did! By now rather than a 'warm up', the vodka driven members would arrive at the first chosen public house for the evening, moving in an over animated fashion and in a total state of euphoria. It was normal under this delusional condition, to strut in like one was an owner of the property itself, scarcely realising that ones voice was slightly slurred and that ones shirt was undone to the near navel. In fact I recall it was standard practice to administer a degree of ribbing for wearing a shirt only undone by a mere few buttons from the neck.

In this form the 'vodka whip' as it was now known to all, including individuals outside of the immediate circle of participants, occurred on a virtual weekly basis over the period of the next few years. At times it even progressed to twice a week, with a rock club visit on both the Friday and the Saturday night. At this point the hard core of individuals involved were putting away a bottle of the clear stuff a week, before they even left the house! As the years progressed the 'whip' travelled to the locations previously mentioned in the post 'The Home of the Whip'. Many individuals who were not regulars, joined for the odd few occasions. Most enjoyed a fine evening of entertainment, returning for further 'whips' when ever possible. Even to this day, some 15 years on, some still talk fondly of the occasions, whilst others who took a 'beating', becoming victims of the 'whip', try to pretend to his day, that they were never really involved.

Over the years the most unlikely people, now high ranking and respected members of the community could once be seen strutting bear chested in a frenzied state of vodka fuelled madness, punching the air to the hair metal rock tunes of the day. No one who has ever participated in a full 'vodka whip' is unscathed by its effects, both good and bad, as many photographs are in existence to prove.

The Home of the Whip

The Vodka Whip has had many hosts over the years, but home is where the heart is and for the Whip that has to be Nottingham.

It all started in the late-80s in Netherfield. Veterans of the Whip's early days will tell more about those fledging Whips and the various locations for the early evening festivities. The Whip also had a home in Leicester around 1988-91 as well as visiting Sheffield and Birmingham.

My first encounter with the Vodka Whip was at it's mid-nineties home in Lenton, hazy memories of Prince Consort and Kia-Ora, whip tunes being played from a cassette tape (remember them), and a two hundred mile round trip on my Honda H100.

The Lord was the host with the most in those days, life and work then taking him, and the Whip, to Manchester. The Vodka Whip found temporary bases in Rusholme and then Chorlton. Meanwhile the Nottingham Whip found a new home in Beeston, keeping it's roots firmly intact.

It was also during this time that the Whip ventured out to far flung places, Philthy's house warming Whip in Colchester and a Stag Whip took in the delights of Yeovil thanks to the hospitality of Sleazy.
Further trips out "on tour" have seen mini-Whips return to Sheffield (hosted at a highly recommended hotel but that's another post), back to Colchester for Philthy's 30th and the highly enjoyable Stag Whip At Butlin's Skegness.

In the meantime alongside the regular Whips in Nottingham, courtesy of Mr G, The Lord relocated to the vicinity of another former Whip venue visited, Birmingham. Whips now base themselves in the Studley area before heading into Birmingham itself, (see other posts for details of the most recent Whip), this has created a rather enjoyable new feature that has seen us taking in the Studley FC game on the Saturday afternoon prior to the Whip.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

A few days away (non-Whip)

Have just been away for a few days in sunny (?) Hunstanton, narrowly missed by a crashing Tornado while there!

Took the opportunity for a little play on the fruits in the pier arcade.
Firstly tried out Wildside, awful machine, main aim is to get numbers on the trail to get the feature. Very few opportunities given to make use of the feature and therefore little return. Avoidance is recommended.

Much better gameplay was found on Saturday Night Beaver, lots of opportunities to get into the feature and if you light all 3 beavers again then there is an extra High-Low trail which you can climb without being dumped out of the main feature. Be warned that when you do lose on the high-low then it seems that Game Over on the main feature is not far away. A nice touch is the ability to gamble the continue option when you land on a question mark so you can try avoiding the dreaded Roll Even or Yes/No options.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Birmingham Whip October 7th 2006: Phil "The Power" Taylor

The fruit machine of choice at the October whip was called Phil "The Power" Taylor. The location was a local ale house where the team were also able to watch Nottingham Forest lose 4-0 to Scunthorpe in the 12.00 kick-off. A poor start to the day.

Back to Phil "The Power" Taylor - the team eventually broke even though it took about £25 before dropping around £15 and a series of smaller wins to take it to Jackpot levels. The result was a form of cash redistrution from 3 players to the forth. The general consensus was that it was an enjoyable fruit to play with some nice features and a decent spin rate. Plenty to keep the AWP fan happy for hours of good shoving.

Although dangerous, the team appreciated the "note slot" which ensured continuous pumping without the delay of having to go to the bar for change. A credit transfer option was available and used extensively.

The machine description is as follows:

Phil The Power Taylor Fruit Machine
Phil ‘The Power' Taylor, Barcrest Games' latest AWP, has now received a full set of approvals from the pub retail sector. This new game, themed around world champion darts player Phil ‘The Power' Taylor, features powerful images of Phil ‘The Power' and great sound effects from Sid Waddell, the ‘Voice of Darts'!

Using a Bully For You style game with a dartboard theme, Phil ‘The Power' Taylor is a single payline, 4-reel feature game with popular wraparound trail.

Phil 'The Power' Taylor is presented in the Horizon Cabinet and features serial communications and flash programme capability.

Improved player ergonomics
Incorporates new digital printing for a much clearer game presentation
Built in advertising tent card slots
Improved audio - stereo sound
Stylish coin entry bezel
Robust moulded colour frames for increased durability
Integrated handles for improved handling capability
Serial communications compatibility
Flash programme capability
High security specification

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Birmingham Whip October 7th 2006: Edwards No.8 - Back Room

The Whip was always destined for the back room of Edwards, based on some fine research prior to the event we knew that classic rock was the order of the night in this venue.

So it was no surprise to hear Aerosmith, The Other Side, as we swiftly passed through the main room and up the steps. Pausing only to purchase a round of vodka and cokes, we headed for the dance floor, and, barring only a brief interlude for one or two songs there we stayed for the next 3 hours.

The music selection was one of the finest that we have encountered on a Whip for many years, classic after classic, combined with a Vodka Whip timed to perfection, kept us dancing track after track until the close of play.

Below is a list of some of the bands that featured through the night, a few are already listed with links on this page. This list will give you a good idea of the music that inspires a Vodka Whip. A few are not traditional Whip material but still featured on the night and kept at least one Whip member dancing.

Tyketto, Firehouse, Danger Danger, Vaughn, Motley Crue, Thunder, Little Angels, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Guns N'Roses, Poison, Alice Cooper, Skid Row

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Forever Young

The song that launched a 1000 lean backs.

This song is the finale to any CD, video or DVD based whip and has to be played as the participants make their way to the evenings transport to the rock venue of choice.

History (from Sleazeroxx)

Tyketto was one of the best and most underrated radio friendly rock bands of the rock genre. They were never able to reach the massive success they so deserved, with their brand of hook heavy AOR sung with majestic vocals.

Formed in New York, New York by former Waysted vocalist Danny Vaughn, Brooke St.James (guitar), Jimi Kennedy (bass) and Michael Clayton (drums). The debut was an instant classic, sounding like a heavier version of Journey and Foreigner. The real talent was Vaughn's wonderful vocals, as displayed on the debut single "Forever Young" and the powerful ballad "Standing Alone". Jamie Scott replaced Kennedy for the second album, released on the upstart CMC International label, but it quickly sank without a trace.

Vaughn departed in 1995 to spend more time with his ill wife. Steve Augeri would be his replacement and appear on Tyketto's two final albums. It was apparent that the band would never reach more then cult status, and the members decided to break up. Augeri went on to replace Steve Perry in Journey.

Not much was heard from the former members until 1999 when it was rumored that a reunion was in the works. However, when Vaughn, Scott and Clayton decided to reunite and record once again, they settled on the name Vaughn for the project, but have done the odd reunion show with all the original members.

For completeness we include the lyrics here so the viewer can sing along if required. This may also help with the timing of multi-pyramid lean backs which have been rather shabby of late.

Tyketto - Forever Young (updated after comment below)

No sleeping
She waits tables late
Trying to stay tough
Never ending
However long she waits
It's just not enough
He's sleeping late
No work around
Broken dreams come tumbling down
He's been down every road in this ol' dead end town
And now we're two more runners in the night
Forever young
Time on our side
We've got tomorrow
We've got tonight
Two hungry hearts
Out on the run
We'll always be forever young

She's crying, two worlds collide
Can't take anymore
He's denying the kick inside
Died and slammed the door, (he says)
We made a deal, you and I
Cross our hearts and hope to die
No matter what may come
We'll never say goodbye
But now we're two more runners in the night
Forever young
Time on her side
We've got tomorrow
We've got tonight
Two hungry hearts
Out on the run
We'll always be forever young

Forever, just you and I
Forever, forever just you and I

Monday, October 09, 2006

Vodka: A definition

An excellent summary of Vodka's main attributes from

The final paragraph is of interest and it appears that after 20 years of extensive testing that there just might be something in it. The relationship between hangovers and the quality of the vodka and the number of times it has been distilled will be discussed in later posts.

Vodka's neutral flavor makes it ideal for mixed drinks - and it is the most popular and most often used alcohol in almost any bartender's arsenal. Because of Vodka's inert flavor, vodkas and vodka drinks inherit the character of what they are mixed with and are extremely varied in character and flavor.

Because of it's chameleonic nature, Vodka comes in an amazing variety of flavors, and having the flavors imparted to the alcohol itself may make for a more complex and enjoyable drink. It is common to use these flavored vodkas to complement the mixers that are used, but it is often quite pleasant to mix a flavored vodka with plain soda water and a simple sweetener.

Although there is no scientific basis for this observation, it has been widely observed that Vodka seems less likely to impart a hangover.

The Origins of the Whip

The term Vodka Whip may be new to most people so here is brief history of the concept.

The term Vodka Whip was originally coined from the idea of Whipping yourself and others into a state of frenzy by combining the consumption of vodka based drinks with listening to Rock music and preferably watching rock videos. This is done at a suitable house in the early evening preceding a weekend night out, with the goal of enhancing the enjoyment of the participants. It is then followed by pub visits, culminating ultimately in a visit to a Rock based night club where a state of euphoria is achieved, typically resulting in a drunken state of wild dancing, raucous singing and punching the air.

It is easy to spot people in a nightclub who have been to a whip by their general state of disorientation and lack of inhibitions. Do not be intimidated by them though as it is all good natured harmless fun!

Originating in a suburb of Nottingham, there are now whips the length and breadth of the country from Yeovil to Manchester and Birmingham to Colchester.

The music driving a typical whip tends to be mainly American "Hair Rock" dating from the eighties and early nineties such as Bon Jovi or Guns n Roses and the lesser known but equally good bands of the era such as Firehouse, Tyketto and Danger Danger.

So in conclusion the Vodka Whip is a celebration of a specific but never the less important period in music history, fuelled by the power of Russia finest export.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Birmingham Whip October 7th 2006: Moskovskaya vodka

Saturday's vodka of choice was a cheeky Russian import by the name of Moskovskaya vodka. As tradition dictates, the one litre bottle was drunk at one sitting.

Moskovskaya Vodka means "Moscow Vodka".
This style (vodka style from Russia) has been produced for over eight hundred years and is imported from the Ukraine. This vodka has a clean citrus aroma and thin in texture. It is warming without harshness and very smooth.

Vodka from Ukraine.
700 ml/24 oz
Alcohol 40%
Nice aroma
Good warm taste

Also smooth there was a reasonably high burn factor. A large selection of mixers were available but mainly consisted of a number of different varieties of juice as well as numerous energy drinks. A fine vodka.

Birmingham Whip October 7th 2006: JELÍNEK plum vodka

In the most recent "Vodka Whip" there were two vodkas to choose from.

On Friday 6th October the vodka of choice was sourced from the Czech Republic and is produced by RUDOLF JELÍNEK.
The vodka is described as:

Plum vodka has a pleasant aromatic bouquet which is an inimitable characteristic plum scent. It has a deliciously pure, clean taste. It is made from extremely fine corn spirit of local provenience. The natural aroma of plums is augmented by the flavour of the stones and makes it rather similar to Slivovitz.
Proof: 40%

This vodka was drunk neat straight from the freezer. The aroma of plums certainly made for an excellent drinking experience.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Welcome to this primarily vodka-based blog where we will be reviewing different brands of Vodka sourced from around the world. We will also include a discussion of thee best vodka based drinks and which mixers should be applied and when.

In related posts we will also provide an extensive playlisting of rock music that, in our experience, is the perfect accompaniment to drinking vodka. Reviews of classic rock tracks and albums will also be posted.

During a "whip" the participants also tend to indulge in extensive fruit machine playing in a pub or arcade environment. Whenever possible reviews of the machines played and a win/loss account will be provided.

Finally, as our Vodka consumption is closely related to the fixture list of the English football leagues discussion of football fixtures will also be included at relatively regular intervals.