so here it is, merry christmas

'Tis the season to get back on the dance floor. Eleanor Bailey on how to look like you've been at it all year, plus a 4-page guide to seasonal clubbing

come Christmas day, if you haven't got a headache like someone's ringing sleigh bells in your brain then you are obviously over 40 or there is something wrong with you. Why? Because you should have spent the night before in a club. This is, after all, the decade of clubbing, when choice, quality and atmosphere have all gone up, up, up. And Christmas is the time, the clubbing season, when the morning doesn't matter (since there's barely any daylight anyway) and when you coast from club to club in paroxysms of hedonism and cans of Red Stripe. Even if you haven't been since last year, even if you think you are far too old and your dance style would embarrass even Christmas Top of the Pops, worry not. For Christmas is the season of goodwill when the naff and the cool can rub shoulders in a love-to-all happy trip-hoppy kind of way.

In 1996 Glasnost came to clubland. In the last year there has been a move away (at last) from the one party state of House to a more diverse mix. There are suddenly many kinds of clubs for different tastes. Music has downsized in tune with the more relaxed feel generally. Tim Marsh, club correspondent for the London Evening Standard says "a year ago people were into really dressed-up House stuff. Now it's not so posey." This has meant that clubs such as The Cross and The Hanover Grand, which in 1995 and before held the huge glam glitterati nights with the kids dressed in fluffy bras and pants are rapidly running out of steam.

Downsizing has also affected drugs. Clubbers are moving away from the Class A and back to Class B and C. Music's move from high screaming to the low thumping that is drum`n'bass has meant that Ecstasy is no longer an essential to get you through the night. "Smoking is back now the music is calmer," says Marsh.

Bigger, better, brighter venues have given way to the small intimacy that has made the Blue Note in Hoxton Square so impossibly hip. Some seasoned clubbers say that it's the only club they need. In contrast, the small- is-beautiful philosophy has inflicted time-lag status on the mammoth venues such as Turnmills or the poor old Hacienda. Clubs are about intimacy now, and comfort: chill out rooms where you can hear yourself think; toilets where you can relieve yourself in comfort.

Eclectic is cool: Northern Soul nights at The Wag and the Jazz Bistro; glitz and glam at the Canal Club in Wolverhampton, providing Happy House for those tired of pneumatic drill music. And the Tunnel in Glasgow is one of the coolest places in Britain. True ecleticism has to be spending New Year's Eve in Skegness at Fantasy Island with 70 DJs and a rollercoaster.

Dresswise, although the code is a lot more relaxed, don't think you can just show up, for inevitably "more relaxed" still means the perfect "more relaxed" outfit. "If you dress up in a suit, you will look ridiculous," says Tim Marsh. "You won't go wrong with a Tommy Hilfiger T-Shirt and sports casuals."

There is a new tolerance for pseudo-ironic music in the easy vein - many clubs now begin with an easy start even if they are not going to stay that way all night. But the difference between cheesy good and cheesy bad is merely a sliver. The problem with the success of easy is that it is on the cusp of being too appealing to the (dreaded) mass market, which was the murky end this year of the Seventies revival scene. Stephen Armstrong, the editor of Kiss 100 FM's The Lick Magazine, says: "It's impossible to find a good Seventies club now, because as soon as they open they get overrun by office workers getting drunk or rugby players removing their trousers. The Mike Flowers "Wonderwall" thing came really close to having that problem but just about avoided it so far." So Easy is still just about there. A good one is Madam Jo Jo's Club Indigo on a Tuesday.

Of course, all this may go over your head if you are in that despicable category of the once-a-year clubber (derided by regulars in the same way that keen churchgoers sneers at the Christmas visitor). But you can avoid looking like Michael Douglas in that nauseating V-neck blue sweater in Basic Instinct. Dan Prince, clubs editor from Mixmag has some practical tips for the lapsed clubber. "Don't be afraid to dance - you look a right plonker propping up the bar all night. Do wear Gucci," continues Prince, "but don't drink a pint of lager or those crap alcopop drinks. Don't say things like `mental', `wicked', `sorted' or `havin, it'." (You can, however, just about still get away with saying ``lush".)

It seems the biggest mistake is trying too hard. While casual can go badly wrong, at least you can always say you made zero effort. There's nothing worse than looking like you spent hours practising a dance move and it just looks like highly polished terrible. "Don't put your hands in the air," explains Tim Marsh, "do your own thing."

Another problem for the irregular clubber who isn't 18 any more is the staying out till seven in the morning thing. This is hard work when you wanted to be in the gym at 10am before a wholesome trip round an art gallery. But you can leave early. Admittedly, all the cool people will be moving from the club to Camden Market and Harvey Floorbangers for more fun at six in the morning, but what will you really be missing? Follow the two o'clock rule - that nothing of any real significance happens after that time in the morning and if it does you will be too drunk or too tired to notice. Be proud and go to bed.

the ravers' round-up starts here...

CENTRAL LONDON

Club For Life's Christmas Karaoke Special: "Aunty Shelley" promises a "family atmosphere" at her Karaoke night with tongue-in-cheek frolics, free mince pies & brandies. Get your Rhinestones out.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healy and others play Happy House to the old- school House Nation crowd.

When? Where? How much? 21 December / 10.30pm-6am; The Gardening Club, 4 The Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2; pounds 13 (pounds 11 members).

Ticket hotline: 0171 497 3153.

Nutbags New Year's Eve Party: One of London's friendliest clubs with a loyal following. Free bag of nuts and free drink on the door. They're not big, but they are clever - and definitely nuts.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Brandon Block, Darren Stokes, Steve Lee and Simon Webdale play Happy House to the intimate, gum-chewing, Gardening Club family.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-6am; The Gardening Club, 4 The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2. pounds 25.

Ticket hotline: 0171 497 3153.

Popstarz' New Year's Eve Party: The first gay Britpop club (where everyone looked like a Rent Boy ages before Trainspotting) moves to Raw for New Year. But fear not, the polystyrene Adidas signs will still dangle from the ceiling. "It's like a school disco. It's drugs and body-politics free," say the promoters. Brilliant music, brilliant crowd. If you don't go you're a fool.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Simon and Giles; Indie classics, Britpop and 1980s discotrash to a gay and mixed crowd of 18-40 somethings, mainly unpretentious and pleasantly drunk.

Celebrity quota: Menswear, Julian Clary, Stephen Fry, Keith Prodigy, Margi Clarke & the boys from Black Grape have all been along in the past.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-6am; Raw, 112a Great Russell Street, WC1; pounds 18 (pounds 15 students & OAPs).

Ticket hotline: 0171 738 2336.

Pushka's New Years Eve Tiara Party: A headgear party ... no, no, not drugs , but hats, wigs, tiaras. If you don't wear one you don't get in. 1,500 glittering bods will pack into a film studio somewhere in London - the London Fashion Week marquee will b there, too. Drop Dead Glamour or Nod Off Glitz - you decide.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: K Klass, Fat Tony, Miss Barbie and Perl and Dean play uplifting House anthems of the year to a Glamorous crowd.

Celebrity quota: Pop stars and fashion designers.

When? Where? How much? 9.30-6am; the location is secret (but it'll say on the ticket); pounds 38.

Web site: http://www.cybersonic.com/pushka.

Ticket hotline: 0171 734 7110.

Georgie meets Malibu Stacey: The venue's a massive film studio with props- but the focus is on the music and dancing. The promoters are justifiably proud: "The DJ line-up is exclusive to us in London," they boast. So, if you've suffered the humiliation of being turned away from Malibu's on a Saturday night, this is your chance to pout defiantly and flash your tiara.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healy, Mark Moore, Seb Fontaine, John Kelly, Luke Neville, Craig Richards play House. As for the crowd, these are two of the most legendary club names in London's Glamour club scene. Under- dress at your peril.

When? Where? How much? 31 December / 10pm-8pm. The location is still a secret - but it is one of London's premier film studios; pounds 40.

Ticket hotline: 0171 266 2664.

Illustrious River Bank Ball: A luxurious venue with glass walls overlooking the Thames and the City, sweeping stairways and leather-coated chill-out areas. Photographers take your portrait as you enter (an incentive to dress for the occasion), then the evening erupts into stylish party pleasures with confetti cannons, bubble machines, fountains, free party poppers, a live Girls FM broadcast and a cult cinema. And because the Illustrious crew don't want you to leave empty handed, there'll be pounds 5,000 worth of Wella Hair care, Indigo drinks and other goodies handed to you on your way home - oh yes, and that photograph from the start of the night. Quality music, venue and fun from people who know how to party and want you to, too.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Graham Gould, Tony De Vit, John Marsh, Kenny Hawkes, Ty Holden, Pete Heller, Ben Wilcox, Crispen Glover and Ross Allen - the cream of the London scene - play uplifting House, Garage and Eclectic Future Funk to a diverse, fashionable and vibrant crowd. "The most representative night of the current London scenes in music," say the promoters.

When? Where? How much? 31 December / 9pm-8am. Mermaid Theatre, London, EC4; pounds 30.

Ticket hotline: 0171 287 5909; 24-hour credit card hotline: 0171 420 1000.

Funkin Pussy: Old Skool warehouse jam. Time to drag out those Bootsy Collins star-eyed glasses, afro-wig and sequinned flares and hustle, baby.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jasper the Vinyl Junkie, The Hooch, The Dump and Kenny Boots play pure funk to committed followers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December / 9pm-6am; a central London warehouse (address on ticket); pounds 12.50 (in advance).

Ticket hotline: 0973 623 070 / 0171 928 5353.

NORTH LONDON

Trees for London presents - We Tree Kings (and Queens): The venue will be transformed to fit the theme, with the club garden being turned into an outdoor, heated palace of fun. All the money raised goes to planting trees in inner city London. The king of Christmas parties.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Craig Jenson, Luke Neville, Gordon Young and others spin Happy House and party favourites. Whatever the theme, the Trees party faithful never miss an opportunity to dress like royalty - with a twist.

When? Where? How much? 20 December / 10:30pm-6am; The Cross, Goods Way, N1; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 0171 251 3307 / 0370 662712.

Club Kali presents Kristmas Kali: The usual recipe of all things tinged with eastern spice with the "Chutney Queens" to heat things up.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Ritu and Rizwan spin Asian flavours with a western twist (anything that crosses into Asian music - with Bollywood film scores and Bangra). This lot were there before Kula Shaker picked up a guitar, let alone sitar. One of the most mixed and friendly club crowds around - attitude-free.

When? Where? how much? 20 December/10pm-2am; The Dome, 1 Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19; pounds 5 (pounds 4 concss).

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door.

The Magic Casino: Three floors: first floor - The Frat Shack (famed for its mad psychedelic parties); second floor - cheesey spinners The Karminsky Experience; third floor - Bedazzled, the Sixties soul club. Plus Miss Dover the psychopathic magician, Go-Go girls, magic films, The Levitating Light Show, The Paul Daniel's Dancers, a snowball fight and hundreds of prizes. The promoters promise "a night of madcap magic, Christmas trickery and awful illusions".

DJs, Sound & Crowd: The Karminsky Experience, Ad Croasdall, Bradley and Ben Watson spin Go-Go, Sixties Beat, Easy Listening, Soul and Acid Jazz for glamorous delinquents.

When? Where? How much? 21 December / 10pm-till late; Trenz, 240 Amhurst Road, N16; pounds 10 on the door, pounds 8 advance.

Ticket hotline: 0171 739 8098.

Renaissance Christmas Special: The Stoke-based club famed for baroque decor and excellent taste in music goes down South. Renaissance's style mixed with the Cross's atmosphere should make for a good night.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Paul Oakenfold, Ian Ossia, Nigel Dawson spin Underground British House.

When? Where? How much? 21 December / 9pm-6am; The Cross, Kings Cross Goods Yard, London N1; pounds 18.

Ticket hotline: 01782 717872/3.

Freedom presents Viva! Vegas: Freedom "bring Las Vegas to Kings Cross". There will be Elvis impersonators, white Limos, the Don King champagne bar and the chapel of love - where those with the itch-to-hitch can tie the knot.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Marc James, Darren Pearce, Brandon Bloc, Alex P, Blu Peter, and many more in four rooms of House, Garage, Indie and Euro. The crowd is mixed in music taste, dress, sexuality and anything else that can be mixed.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-8am; Bagley's Studios, Goods Yard, Kings Cross, N1; pounds 25.

Ticket hotline: 0171 713 6660.

Mount Universe at Alexandra Palace: More of a festival than a club - this is the largest New Year party in London.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Sven Van, Gayle Sans, Jeff Mills, Sasha, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Chemical Brothers, James Lavelle and Gilles Peterson spin Techno, House, Trip-Hop, Phuture Funk to an enormous crowd - they're expecting 12,000. But be warned - it's already sold out. Try your luck with the touts if desperate.

Celebrity quota: Loads on the record decks, if nowhere else.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-8am; Alexandra Palace, N22; pounds 27.50 official price (more off the touts).

Medicine Bar New year Party: Islington's trendiest bar promises a conjurer, killer punch, big flowers and cosy, intimate insanity.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: The Medicine Bar's regular DJs, (which include the likes of Richard Fearless and Simon Fathead) spin bar music for the discerning cluber - particularly members of the music industry and the North London fashion crew.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-2am; Medicine Bar, Upper Street, London N1; pounds 5.

Ticket hotline: 0171 704 8056.

Wall of Sound - Back to Mono Christmas Special: It's the last UK date for the Propellerheads and some serious special guests; expect lots of silliness.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jon Carter, Derek Dahlarge, The Wise Guys, Dirty Beatniks, Basement Jaxx and Nuphonic. Sound-wise, anything could happen, but it's something like: Break Beats, mad eclecticism and Funky-Disco House played to a hot, sweaty crowd who are unlikely to stand in the corner nodding their heads.

When? Where? How much? 18 December/9pm-4am; Blue Note, Hoxton Square, EC1; pounds 5.

Ticket hotline 0171 622 0417.

Athletico: The club of the moment. A very special, unannounced live appearance by a star act that the Athletico crew refuse to divulge. They promise it will be a mega Christmas present, though.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Derek Dahlarge, Alex Sparrow, Kirtsy McAra, Simon Fathead. Dance progressions out of Hip-Hop through Trip-Hop to Amyl House. The place is always packed, always dancing and very cool.

Celebrity quota: Galliano, Paul Weller, Rolland from Grange Hill.

When? Where? How much? 21 December/10pm -5am; The Blue Note, Hoxton Square, EC1; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 0121 616 2688.

Vincent Van Go Go's Christmas Party: The Easy Listening crew deck out their Islington haunt Swinging `60s Santa-style.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Brian and Spencer spin Sixties Beat, Psychedelic, Funky Hammond and Film Soundtrax to a mixture of `60s-philes, psychedelia- groupies and Joe Public. The promoters promise an easygoing atmosphere: "Turn up in anything."

When? Where? How much? 21 December / 9pm-4am; Blue Angel Pub, Torrens St, off City Rd, EC1. Free before 10pm, pounds 6 after.

Ticket hotline: 0171 701 3417.

Atomic Moog 2000 - A Sarf London Stealth night: Run by the Ninja Tunes record label, the main event is a rare appearance of DJ Cam from Paris. There'll be all kinds of nonsense, plus visuals by the excellent Hexstatic and The Light Surgeons. Laid-back madness.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Cold Cut, DJ Food, Mixmaster Morris, Fila Brazilia, DJ Vadim, Neotropic, Ollie Teeba (of The Herbaliser), Skycutter and Up Bustle and Out spin Break Beat, Electro, Jazz Riffs, Hip Hop, and Drum `n' Bass eclecticism - the future of funk - to the inner circle of the London's unpretentious, hip scene.

When? Where? How much? 20 December/9pm-4am; The Imperial Gardens, 299 Camberwell New Road, SE5; pounds 10 (pounds 8 Concs).

Ticket hotline: 0171 293 2043.

Duckie's New Year's Eve Party: Duckie's usual Friday night of frolics and fun moves to a working church for New Year with a 1,200 capacity. They just take the pews out and leave in the crucifixes and gilt mosaics. Hosted by Amy Lame plus Chloe Poems, the socialist transvestite bard, live.

DJs, Sound and Crowd: Readers' Wives spin everything from The Sex Pistols and Tina Turner to Blur to a non-corporate gay crowd and their straight friends.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-2am; St Peter's Church, Off Kennington Lane, London SE11; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 0171 737 4043.

Ministry of Sound New Year's Eve Party: London's clubbing dinosaur lumbers up for '97 with a new, full-powered sound system and a line-up of the original House supremos.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Todd Terry, Erick Morillo, Frankie Foncett and DJ Heaven spin American House and Garage, Soulful House, Popular House to a glam crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 Dec / 9.30pm-10am; 103 Gaunt St, Elephant & Castle, SE1; pounds 35.

Credit card hotline: 0171 344 4444; Web site: http://www.ministry-of- sound.com

Return To The Source New Year's Eve Party: A cross between Glastonbury and an American Indian village, a 20ft totem pole in the middle of the dance floor and a market area selling clothes, jewellery and music. London's most mystic New Year's Eve party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Deck wizards Mark Allen, Sid Shanti and Han Solo spin Tribal House, Goa Trance and Ambient to Techno-hippies, accountants and crusties.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-6am; Brixton Academy, Stockwell Rd, SW9; pounds 23.

Ticket hotline: 0171 626 6767.

Come Dancing - The Viennese Whirl: Set in an amazing venue, Come Dancing are recreating 18th-century Amadeus debauchery for the Nineties. You'll be greeted by people in period wigs and charmed by a none-too-sensible string quartet, before losing it all in hours of screaming Hardbag House. There'll be a 30ft video screen showing the maddest parties from around the world and at midnight Big Ben will rock the foundations through the 20K sound rig. Live footage from a sneaky cameraman will relay you unsuspectingly over the video wall and confetti cannons, and balloons will explode. If this still leaves you gasping for more extravagance, the promoters are offering 16 pounds 100 tickets. For this you will be collected in a stretch limo and rolled around the West End before being taken on to the Empire and given an access-all-areas pass. Dust down your knickerbockers, whip out your corset and Come Dancing.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: The club doesn't use big name DJs. Two rooms: Party House; and Soul, Funk and Rock'n'Roll. A glam but unpretentious, late- twenties crowd who know how to party.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-5am; Shepherds Bush Empire, W12; pounds 25 or pounds 100.

Ticket hotline: 0171 498 6040.

World Dance New Year's Eve Party: Biggest indoor dance event in London with 20,000 capacity and three arenas. Circus acts and Mardi Gras events keep the soft clubbers happy.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Ronnie Sires, DJ Rap, Slipmatt Graham Gold, Alex P, Brandon Block, The Rat Pack, DJ Face, and others spin Drum & Bass, Techno, House, Trance and Old skool.

Celebrity quota: Pamela Anderson went last year and got locked out of the VIP room.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/7pm-7am; Wembley Exhibition and Conference Centre, Wembley; pounds 25 members, pounds 30 non-members.

Ticket hotline: 0171 613 4768

Web site: http:///www.w-dance.demon.co.uk

THE SOUTH EAST

BERKSHIRE

Checkpoint Charlie Christmas Party: Three floors, open plan, bunker bar, 800 people, built as a live venue. Club has own record label.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Mr C (The End, Shamen), Billy Nasty, Mike and Raphone spin Hard House - not for wimps - to clubbers of all ages.

When? Where? How much? 20 December; Alleycat Live, 5 Gun St, Reading; pounds 12 (pounds 11 members).

Ticket hotline: 0171 486 1877.

Web site: http://www.orangehand.com/checkpoint

Full Circle Christmas Special: Small, friendly club with one dance floor and lots of little bars, nooks and crannies. Unpretentious atmosphere. Come here to chill.

Celebrity quota: Footballers, Andrew Ridgeley (ex-Wham).

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Phil Perry, Rocky and Diesel, and Clive Henry. Music builds up from soul, old hip hop, New York House and Garage to Hard House and Techno. No dress code (except no tracksuits).

When? Where? How much? 22 December/4pm-midnight; The Studio, George Green, Uxbridge Road (A412); pounds 8 non-members, free to members.

Ticket hotline: 01753 685158 or 01753 535412.

Web site: http//www.haywire.co.uk/ fullcircle.html

Fully Monty New Year's Eve Party: The Centre was legendary in the late '80s as a top rave venue and was closed down five years ago. This is its grand re-opening night and they're spending a fortune.

Celebrity quota: Boy George, Nicky Holloway, anyone who was anyone on the Rave scene.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Todd Terry, Trevor Fung ( '80s rave scene maestro) and Logical Progression`s LTJ Bukem spin House and Garage, Drum `n' Bass to a largely student crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-7am; Slough Community Centre, Farnham Rd, (off M4); pounds 30.

Ticket hotline: 01753 774810.

SUFFOLK

New Years Eve at Blue Note II: Blue Note II (no relation to the Hoxton club) is a storming little club for 250 people. Promoters "Storm From The East" have dropped the regular drum and Bass and jungle night for a more accessible sound tonight.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Mike Bolton, Jay and DJ Bot spin Deep American House and the best of the English stuff to a local crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-2am; Blue Note II, Claremont Pier, Lowestoft; pounds 8.

Ticket hotline: 01502 589426.

SURREY

The Wok Club Xmas Party: The venue is an old 1930s cinema . Art-Deco interiors with lots of slight and light shows.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jon Pleased Wimmin, Tall Paul and others spin Deep American House and party tunes to a dressy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 23 December; Bojanglez, 4-6 Woodbridge Rd, Guildford; pounds 8 members, pounds 10 non-members before 11pm.

Ticket hotline: 01483 456987.

BRISTOL

Name: 1 Love - New Years Eve: The 1 Love people only run six or seven parties a year, so the anticipation alone ensures a buzz. But this is New Year, so there'll be two rooms of music in a beautiful mansion house, plus three bars, a lavish buffet and 700 people partying.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: James Savage, Ian Wilkie and others in the main room; Rainy But Funky and David Dawes in the all-things-funky second room. Quality, Deep House, Garage, and Trance backed up by solid Funk for a dedicated, drop-dead glamorous following.

When? Where? How much? 31 December, 10pm-4pm; Ashton Court, Bristol; pounds 26.

Ticket hotline: 0117 973 2968. Outlets all over the country.

Divine Boxing Day Party: One-off night in aid of Aids and HIV charities will attract a mainly gay crowd but mixed regulars will be there.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Bristol Favourites "Trannies With Attitude" camp in the main room, Trade's John "OO" Flemming presides over the back room. Party to Happy House club hits and techno with locals and lots of travelling clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 26 December/10pm-5am; Lakota, 6 Upper York St, Bristol; pounds 5 members or wearing red ribbon, pounds 7.

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door or book on 0117 942 6193.

Email: lakota@netgate.co.uk

Ruffneck Ting's New Year's Eve Special: Converted church has one main dance floor, two levels, a chill out room and capacity for 1,000. Benefit Night for local community centre.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Kenny Ken, Ray Keith, DJ SS and others spin Jungle, Drum `n' Bass to a mixed, dressed-down crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-6am; The New Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol; pounds 18 in advance.

Ticket hotline: 0117 907 7119.

BATH

The Hub's New Years Eve Party: A 350-capacity club with one dance floor, chill-out room and pub prices. Bath's best-kept secret.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Propeller Heads, Skint Records and locals spin Hip- Hop Breakbeat, Funk, Drum `n' Bass to a mainly local crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9.30pm-late; The Hub, 7 Bladud Buildings, The Paragon; pounds 7.

Ticket hotline: 01225 446288.

Karanga's Christmas Party: Local promoters Karanga pitch up at a 17th- century listed building, redecorate, install their sound system and party. 1,200 people expected.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Danny Rampling, Brandon Block and Allister Whitehead spin uplifting Party House to a dressy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 27 December/8pm-2am; The Pavillion, North Parade Road, Bath; pounds 10 for members, pounds 12 non-members, in advance only.

Credit card hotline: 01225 447770. BIRMINGHAM

Boxing Night at Baker's: A festive-free zone. If you're sick to death of Christmas, this is the place to be.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healy, Chris and James, Craig Campbell and others spin Pumping House to a mixed, happy-go-lucky, party bunch.

Celebrity Quota: Bobbie Brown, John Galliano.

When? Where? How much? 26 December/10pm-6am; Broad Street, Birmingham; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: 0121 633 3540.

Hotfoot, Procreation And The Festival of Modern Sound Present New Year '97: Disused factory that's now an arts centre becomes a nightclub. Expect lights, visuals, a lake in a courtyard, surprises and acts. Billed as a "celebration of left field music."

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Fabio, Simon Fathead and Dr Wicked spin cutting-edge new sounds - think Amyl, Trip-Hop, Eclectic and Left Field - to a hip, musically clued-up crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8am-late; The Custard Factory, Birmingham; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0121 643 6045.

New Year's Eve at Wobble: They're not spending a fortune on big name DJs, instead its going on you, the lucky clubber. So, you get free bubbly, Wobble gifts and a rather fine raffle prize. Kitsch decor and a warehouse atmosphere.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Phil Gifford, Si Long, the Lovely Helen and others spin Deep House, Minimal Techno and Cheeseless House to happy-go-lucky House clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-7am; The Venue, Branston St, Hockley; pounds 26.

Ticket hotline: 0121 233 0339.

MANSFIELD

Ripe's Christmas Party: Four storeys, two dance floors and the roof garden get decked out for Christmas. Go to this and you get a free pass to the New Year party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead and Boy George spin Happy House to a friendly crowd.

When? Where? How much? 20 December/8pm-2am; Limited Editions, 61 Westgate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire; pounds 6 in advance, pounds 7 on the door.

Ticket hotline: 01623 22230.

HEREFORD

Naughty But Nice! New Years Eve: Club will be dressed up for a carnival atmosphere. Listen out for the after-party venues which are kept secret till the night.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Luv Dup, Tom and Jerry Bouthier and others spin Happy House to local party people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-2am; The Crystal Room, 13 Bridge St, Hereford; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 01432 267378.

WOLVERHAMPTON

New Year's Eve At The Canal Club: Fireworks, 1,000 white balloons at midnight, bagpipes and a complimentary full English breakfast at dawn at Wolverhampton's most glamorous venue.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead, Chris Anslow, Darren Pleased Wimmin spin Happy House and American Garage to lots of pretty, glitzy girls and grateful men.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/ 9pm-6am; British Waterways Yard, Broad St; pounds 28 members only.

Ticket & membership hotline: 01902 311312.

UK Midlands New Year's Eve All nighter: Decadence and Clockwork Orange set up UK Midlands' last breath before its1997 reincarnation.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healy, Judge Jules, Al Mackensie and Lee Fisher spin Happy House and Garage, Hard House, Jazz, Funk and World for 2,500 fashionable, sweaty people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-6am; Fox's Lane, Wolverhampton; pounds 40, members and guests only.

Ticket & membership hotline: 01902 450011.

MILTON KEYNES

Gatecrasher's Ultra Vegas at The Winter Gardens: Another leisure complex party (a speciality in Milton Keynes). The main club is upstairs while the chill-out area features palm trees, an enormous glass roof and koi carp in various ponds.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Danny Rampling, Tony De Vit, Tall Paul and others play Happy House to a large, glam crowd.

When? Where? How much? 26 December/10-6; The Winter Gardens, Central Milton Keynes; pounds 18.

Ticket hotline: 01908 612262.

Helter Skelter's Imagination New Years Eve Party: Two "designer" warehouse parties and four music arenas linked by an outdoor entertainment complex caters for 6,000 bouncing bodies.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Over 30 including Dougal, Slipmatt, Randall and DJ Hype. Classic and Hardcore House, Drum and Bass and Upfront Techno for 18-25-year-old ravers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/7pm-7am; Denbeigh Leisure Complex, V7 Saxon St, Bletchley; pounds 30 and pounds 3 booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 0115 912 9123 24.

DERBY

Progress's New Year's Eve Party:

One large ritzy nightclub with a reputation for a brilliant atmosphere.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jon of The Pleased, Tony De Vit, Pete and Russell spin uplifting, Anthem and Underground House to Derby's party people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-3am; The Eclipse, Babbington Lane; pounds 30 and pounds 2 booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 01332 600700.

Up Yer Ronson: Moving from Leeds to open a regular club in Derby, Up yer Ronson are poised to generate a storm. Computer-generated graphics, backdrops, a mega sound system - the UYR crew say they intend to look after their new crowd.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healey, Craig Campbell and Marshall spin Classic House to a discerning crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 Dec/9pm -3am; Time , Derby; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0113 230 5526.

COVENTRY

Club Planet's New Year's Eve Party: Eclipse gets full re-fit (pounds 3m it is rumoured) for Coventry University's Student Union and friends.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Cheap and cheerful resident DJs spin House and Charts to students and locals.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-late; Club Planet, Cox St, Coventry; pounds 10 in advance, pounds 12 on the door.

Tickets hotline: 01203 256545.

STOKE ON TRENT

Golden: Two rooms, two vibes.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Alistair Whitehead, Gordon Kaye and Jose Padilla spin House.

When? Where? How much?: 31 December/ 9pm-6am; Void, Stoke; pounds 30.

Ticket hotline: 01782 621454

Swoon - Boxing Day Extravaganza: Total revamp for mad festivities.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Boy George, John Kelly et al spin Happy House and Funk.

When? Where? How much? 26 December, 9pm-4am; Void, Glass Street, Hanley, Stoke; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door.

Hotfoot, Procreation And The Festival of Modern Sound Present New Year '97: Disused factory that's now an arts centre becomes a nightclub. Expect lights, visuals, a lake in a courtyard, surprises and acts. Billed as a "celebration of left field music."

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Fabio, Simon Fathead and Dr Wicked spin cutting-edge new sounds - think Amyl, Trip-Hop, Eclectic and Left Field - to a hip, musically clued-up crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8am-late; The Custard Factory, Birmingham; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0121 643 6045.

New Year's Eve at Wobble: They're not spending a fortune on big name DJs, instead its going on you, the lucky clubber. So, you get free bubbly, Wobble gifts and a rather fine raffle prize. Kitsch decor and a warehouse atmosphere.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Phil Gifford, Si Long, the Lovely Helen and others spin Deep House, Minimal Techno and Cheeseless House to happy-go-lucky House clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-7am; The Venue, Branston St, Hockley; pounds 26.

Ticket hotline: 0121 233 0339.

MANSFIELD

Ripe's Christmas Party: Four storeys, two dance floors and the roof garden get decked out for Christmas. Go to this and you get a free pass to the New Year party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead and Boy George spin Happy House to a friendly crowd.

When? Where? How much? 20 December/8pm-2am; Limited Editions, 61 Westgate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire; pounds 6 in advance, pounds 7 on the door.

Ticket hotline: 01623 22230.

HEREFORD

Naughty But Nice! New Years Eve: Club will be dressed up for a carnival atmosphere. Listen out for the after-party venues which are kept secret till the night.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Luv Dup, Tom and Jerry Bouthier and others spin Happy House to local party people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-2am; The Crystal Room, 13 Bridge St, Hereford; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 01432 267378.

WOLVERHAMPTON

New Year's Eve At The Canal Club: Fireworks, 1,000 white balloons at midnight, bagpipes and a complimentary full English breakfast at dawn at Wolverhampton's most glamorous venue.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead, Chris Anslow, Darren Pleased Wimmin spin Happy House and American Garage to lots of pretty, glitzy girls and grateful men.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/ 9pm-6am; British Waterways Yard, Broad St; pounds 28 members only.

Ticket & membership hotline: 01902 311312.

UK Midlands New Year's Eve All nighter: Decadence and Clockwork Orange set up UK Midlands' last breath before its1997 reincarnation.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healy, Judge Jules, Al Mackensie and Lee Fisher spin Happy House and Garage, Hard House, Jazz, Funk and World for 2,500 fashionable, sweaty people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-6am; Fox's Lane, Wolverhampton; pounds 40, members and guests only.

Ticket & membership hotline: 01902 450011.

MILTON KEYNES

Gatecrasher's Ultra Vegas at The Winter Gardens: Another leisure complex party (a speciality in Milton Keynes). The main club is upstairs while the chill-out area features palm trees, an enormous glass roof and koi carp in various ponds.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Danny Rampling, Tony De Vit, Tall Paul and others play Happy House to a large, glam crowd.

When? Where? How much? 26 December/10-6; The Winter Gardens, Central Milton Keynes; pounds 18.

Ticket hotline: 01908 612262.

Helter Skelter's Imagination New Years Eve Party: Two "designer" warehouse parties and four music arenas linked by an outdoor entertainment complex caters for 6,000 bouncing bodies.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Over 30 including Dougal, Slipmatt, Randall and DJ Hype. Classic and Hardcore House, Drum and Bass and Upfront Techno for 18-25-year-old ravers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/7pm-7am; Denbeigh Leisure Complex, V7 Saxon St, Bletchley; pounds 30 and pounds 3 booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 0115 912 9123 24.

DERBY

Progress's New Year's Eve Party:

One large ritzy nightclub with a reputation for a brilliant atmosphere.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jon of The Pleased, Tony De Vit, Pete and Russell spin uplifting, Anthem and Underground House to Derby's party people.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-3am; The Eclipse, Babbington Lane; pounds 30 and pounds 2 booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 01332 600700.

Up Yer Ronson: Moving from Leeds to open a regular club in Derby, Up yer Ronson are poised to generate a storm. Computer-generated graphics, backdrops, a mega sound system - the UYR crew say they intend to look after their new crowd.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Jeremy Healey, Craig Campbell and Marshall spin Classic House to a discerning crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 Dec/9pm -3am; Time , Derby; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0113 230 5526.

COVENTRY

Club Planet's New Year's Eve Party: Eclipse gets full re-fit (pounds 3m it is rumoured) for Coventry University's Student Union and friends.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Cheap and cheerful resident DJs spin House and Charts to students and locals.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-late; Club Planet, Cox St, Coventry; pounds 10 in advance, pounds 12 on the door.

Tickets hotline: 01203 256545.

STOKE ON TRENT

Golden: Two rooms, two vibes.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Alistair Whitehead, Gordon Kaye and Jose Padilla spin House.

When? Where? How much?: 31 December/ 9pm-6am; Void, Stoke; pounds 30.

Ticket hotline: 01782 621454

Swoon - Boxing Day Extravaganza: Total revamp for mad festivities.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Boy George, John Kelly et al spin Happy House and Funk.

When? Where? How much? 26 December, 9pm-4am; Void, Glass Street, Hanley, Stoke; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door.

country house for the fourth year running. Everybody goes bananas.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Dave Seaman, Alex Reece and others play drum'n'bass and Underground British House; a dressed-up crowd.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-5am; Colwick Hall, Colwick Park, Nottingham; pounds 35 in advance.

Ticket hotline: 01782 711886.

SKEGNESS

The Ultimate New Year's Eve All Night Party: The resort is transformed into a 12,000 capacity mega-club with 70 DJs playing 9 arenas.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Boy George, Jon Pleased Wimmin and many more play something for everyone.

When? Where? How much? 6pm-7am; Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells, Skegness, Lincs; pounds 33 & booking fee. Ticket hotline: 01574 610404/ 01754 610316.

THE NORTH

LEEDS

Back to Basics: DJs Carter, Bukem and Padilla under the same roof - what more do you want?

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Derrick Carter, LTJ Bukem, Jose Padilla and others spin a melting pot of top House, Drum'n'Bass and Ambient Balearic to a glamorous crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-6am; The Pleasure Rooms, Leeds; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0113 244 9474.

Up Yer Ronson: The Corn Exchange is transformed into a club.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: M People's Shovel, Andy Gangadeen and Chris ``snake'' Davis play live over DJs Graem Park et al to dressy clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9:30m-4am; Corn Exchange, Leeds; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0113 230 5526.

I-Spy's King's & Queen's New Year's Eve Party: They're moving from Nato for a one-off fancy dress party. Smallish venue holds 600.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Residents Curtis Zak, Noel Labrosse, & others spin disco, soul, funk and House to a mixed dressy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-5am; Digby & Len's Bar, York Place, Leeds; pounds 25, pounds 20 members.

Ticket hotline: 0113 246 1033.

Hard Times New Year's Eve Party:

Classic Leeds night has industrial main dance floor and a second room playing jazz, funk and trip-hop.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Lord G (Def Mix, an exclusive set) & DJ Pierre from Chicago spin American House & Latin American/Salsa House to smart, mixed, clued-up clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-6am; Nato, Boar Lane, Leeds; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 01924 488220.

Dig Family New Year's Eve Party:

A celebration of the local underground club scene - will sell out.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Chico Malo, DJ EZ and others spin Latin, funk and jazz for friendly Bo-ho types.

When? Where? How much? 8.30pm-2am; The Underground, Cookridge St, Leeds; pounds 17, pounds 15 members.

Ticket hotline: 0113 230 2113.

MIDDLESBOROUGH

The Empire New Year's Eve Ball: The Chimera European Circus should make for a sparky night.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: K-Klass spins House plus a roomful of hip and funk for a local crowd.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-2.00am; The Empire, pounds 17.50.

Ticket hotline: 01642 253 553.

NEWCASTLE

Shindig New Year's Eve Party: Celebrated underground US House club flies in NYs finest DJs. Pyrotechnics and hot chestnuts.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Johnny Vicious, King of the NY underground, and a well-dressed crowd.

When? Where? How much? 8.30pm-2am; Bing Bong Rooms, The Riverside, Melbourne Rd; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0191 222 1925.

SHEFFIELD

Love To Be New Year's Eve Party: Love to Be ditched the usual list of big name DJs and booked one instead - but then he's about the biggest name you could book.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: House God Frankie Knuckles does a five-hour House set for an up-for-it crowd.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-5am, The Music Factory; pounds 37.50.

Ticket hotline: 0839 337766.

Gatecrasher at the Adelfi: Refurbished old theatre has DJ on stage in light and sound show.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tony De Vit, et al go all round the houses for the glammy over-21s.

When? Where? How much? 28 December/10pm-6am; Vicarage Road; pounds 12, pounds 10 members & NUS.

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door.

LIVERPOOL

Garlands New Year Universal Love And World Peace Party: At midnight 32 glitter bombs will explode while opera singers serenade the crowd.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Dave and Huey spin House; a dressy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December, 9pm-4am; Garlands, Erberle St, Liverpool; pounds 25.

Ticket hotline: 0151 236 3307.

Cream: Voted club of the year several times over; it will sell out early.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Pete Tong, Carl Cox and others spin House and Techno to a BIG crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December, 9pm-6am; Nation Complex, Liverpool; pounds 32.50 plus booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 0151 708 9979.

MANCHESTER

Freak Christmas Party: With a full Gospel choir in a Christmas sing-a- long amid an indoor snow storm.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tom Wainwright, Dave Kendrick et al spin House to dressy regulars.

When? Where? How much? 21 December, 10pm-3am; The Hacienda; pounds 10 (pounds 8 before 11pm).

Ticket hotline: 0161 236 5051.

Golden Boxing Day Party: Two rooms of post-Christmas cheer.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead, Al MacKenzie and others spin House for a happy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 26 December, 9.30pm-6am; Sankeys Soap, Manchester; pounds 14.

Ticket hotline: 01728 621454.

For details of Golden New Year's Party call: 01782 621 454.)

Paul Cons presents New Year's Eve at Praha: Paul was the promoter behind Flesh, the original glam night for lesbians and gays. Expect the same glamour here.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tim Lennox, Dave Kindrick, Kath McDermot play House.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-4am, Prague v Manchester, pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: 0161-236 9033.

Life New Year's Eve Party: Firework display, 3,000-capacity main hall, 23 DJs, dodgem cars and funfair.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: John Waddicker, Sy and others spin Hard & Piano House, Garage, drum & bass & techno to happy people.

When? Where? How much? 8pm-4am; Bowlers, Trafford Park; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0345 573521 or HMV record shops nationwide.

Bugged Out: Three rooms of bubba tunes and space for 1,200.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Carl Cox and Techno twister Justin Robertson team up with James Holroyd in the Techno dome, Derrick Carter and Dean Wilson play in the House Palace and Mr Scruff and Rob Bright put down Trip Hop.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-4am New Year's Eve; Sankeys Soap, Manchester; pounds 30 (pounds 25 members).

Ticket hotline: 0161 950 4230.

Electric Chair New Year's Eve Party: Not a big club happening, more a full-on party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Una Bombers vs Mark Rae. Hip-hop, through Drum 'n'Bass to Electro.

When? Where? How much?: 10pm-4am; The Roadhouse, Newton Street, Manchester; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: 0161 833 4156.

One Tree Island New Year's Eve Party: Set on a boat, the night doubles up as the launch party for the One Tree's first album and CD release - all the proceeds are going to the World Development Movement.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Guy Gondwana, Stephano, Mr Scruff et al spin messed-up break beats, world sounds, Latin, African, Asian, Funk, Dub and Drum `n' Bass to a crowd who won't stop dancing.

When? Where? How much?: 10pm- 5am; The Fitzcarraldo boat, Salford Docks; pounds 12.

Ticket hotline: 0161 273 3435.

Stereo New Year's Eve Party: The intimate venue, live percussion and jazzy, Blue Note vibes will make this a cherry of a party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Mike Chadwick, Marcus and Firdos spin jazzy, funky, drums for sophisticated lovers of downbeat.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-4am; South, South King Street, Manchester; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: (0161) 831 7756.

Head Funk: The club that bought Manchester out of House and into mid-1990s Phuture funk sound.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Chubby Grooves and others spin Hip Hop, Future Funk and Break Beat to skaters and hip hop kids.

When? Where? How much?: 31 December/10pm-5am; Time, 48 Princess St, Manchester; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0161 237 9829.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-6am; Nato, Boar Lane, Leeds; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 01924 488220.

Dig Family New Year's Eve Party:

A celebration of the local underground club scene - will sell out.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Chico Malo, DJ EZ and others spin Latin, funk and jazz for friendly Bo-ho types.

When? Where? How much? 8.30pm-2am; The Underground, Cookridge St, Leeds; pounds 17, pounds 15 members.

Ticket hotline: 0113 230 2113.

MIDDLESBOROUGH

The Empire New Year's Eve Ball: The Chimera European Circus should make for a sparky night.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: K-Klass spins House plus a roomful of hip and funk for a local crowd.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-2.00am; The Empire, pounds 17.50.

Ticket hotline: 01642 253 553.

NEWCASTLE

Shindig New Year's Eve Party: Celebrated underground US House club flies in NYs finest DJs. Pyrotechnics and hot chestnuts.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Johnny Vicious, King of the NY underground, and a well-dressed crowd.

When? Where? How much? 8.30pm-2am; Bing Bong Rooms, The Riverside, Melbourne Rd; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0191 222 1925.

SHEFFIELD

Love To Be New Year's Eve Party: Love to Be ditched the usual list of big name DJs and booked one instead - but then he's about the biggest name you could book.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: House God Frankie Knuckles does a five-hour House set for an up-for-it crowd.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-5am, The Music Factory; pounds 37.50.

Ticket hotline: 0839 337766.

Gatecrasher at the Adelfi: Refurbished old theatre has DJ on stage in light and sound show.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tony De Vit, et al go all round the houses for the glammy over-21s.

When? Where? How much? 28 December/10pm-6am; Vicarage Road; pounds 12, pounds 10 members & NUS.

Ticket hotline: Pay on the door.

LIVERPOOL

Garlands New Year Universal Love And World Peace Party: At midnight 32 glitter bombs will explode while opera singers serenade the crowd.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Dave and Huey spin House; a dressy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December, 9pm-4am; Garlands, Erberle St, Liverpool; pounds 25.

Ticket hotline: 0151 236 3307.

Cream: Voted club of the year several times over; it will sell out early.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Pete Tong, Carl Cox and others spin House and Techno to a BIG crowd.

When? Where? How much? 31 December, 9pm-6am; Nation Complex, Liverpool; pounds 32.50 plus booking fee.

Ticket hotline: 0151 708 9979.

MANCHESTER

Freak Christmas Party: With a full Gospel choir in a Christmas sing-a- long amid an indoor snow storm.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tom Wainwright, Dave Kendrick et al spin House to dressy regulars.

When? Where? How much? 21 December, 10pm-3am; The Hacienda; pounds 10 (pounds 8 before 11pm).

Ticket hotline: 0161 236 5051.

Golden Boxing Day Party: Two rooms of post-Christmas cheer.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Allister Whitehead, Al MacKenzie and others spin House for a happy crowd.

When? Where? How much? 26 December, 9.30pm-6am; Sankeys Soap, Manchester; pounds 14.

Ticket hotline: 01728 621454.

For details of Golden New Year's Party call: 01782 621 454.)

Paul Cons presents New Year's Eve at Praha: Paul was the promoter behind Flesh, the original glam night for lesbians and gays. Expect the same glamour here.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Tim Lennox, Dave Kindrick, Kath McDermot play House.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-4am, Prague v Manchester, pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: 0161-236 9033.

Life New Year's Eve Party: Firework display, 3,000-capacity main hall, 23 DJs, dodgem cars and funfair.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: John Waddicker, Sy and others spin Hard & Piano House, Garage, drum & bass & techno to happy people.

When? Where? How much? 8pm-4am; Bowlers, Trafford Park; pounds 35.

Ticket hotline: 0345 573521 or HMV record shops nationwide.

Bugged Out: Three rooms of bubba tunes and space for 1,200.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Carl Cox and Techno twister Justin Robertson team up with James Holroyd in the Techno dome, Derrick Carter and Dean Wilson play in the House Palace and Mr Scruff and Rob Bright put down Trip Hop.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/9pm-4am New Year's Eve; Sankeys Soap, Manchester; pounds 30 (pounds 25 members).

Ticket hotline: 0161 950 4230.

Electric Chair New Year's Eve Party: Not a big club happening, more a full-on party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Una Bombers vs Mark Rae. Hip-hop, through Drum 'n'Bass to Electro.

When? Where? How much?: 10pm-4am; The Roadhouse, Newton Street, Manchester; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: 0161 833 4156.

One Tree Island New Year's Eve Party: Set on a boat, the night doubles up as the launch party for the One Tree's first album and CD release - all the proceeds go to the World Development Movement.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Guy Gondwana, Stephano, Mr Scruff et al spin messed-up break beats, world sounds, Latin, African, Asian, Funk, Dub and Drum `n' Bass to a crowd who won't stop dancing.

When? Where? How much?: 10pm- 5am; The Fitzcarraldo boat, Salford Docks; pounds 12.

Ticket hotline: 0161 273 3435.

Stereo New Year's Eve Party: The intimate venue, live percussion and jazzy, Blue Note vibes will make this a cherry of a party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Mike Chadwick, Marcus and Firdos spin jazzy, funky, drums for sophisticated lovers of downbeat.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-4am; South, South King Street, Manchester; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: (0161) 831 7756.

Head Funk: The club that bought Manchester out of House and into mid-1990s Phuture funk sound.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Chubby Grooves and others spin Hip Hop, Future Funk and Break Beat.

When? Where? How much?: 31 December/10pm-5am; Time, 48 Princess St, Manchester; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 0161 237 9829.

SCOTLAND

GLASGOW

The Tunnel: Brings clubs into the multimedia age with an award-winning interior. Champagne for pounds 1 and debauchery are billed.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Steven McCreery et al spin classic House for the wiser clubber.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm-5am; The Tunnel, Glasgow; pounds 15 advance (pounds 20 on the door).

Ticket hotline: 0141 221 7500.

Sub Club: A piper and the best of Sub tunes from 1996.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Gemini (Chicago), Harri and Domenic play Sub Classics for an underground scene of art students, trendies and musicians.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/10pm -6am; Sub Club, Glasgow; pounds 15.

Ticket hotline: (0141) 248 4600.

EDINBURGH

Last year Edinburgh's Hogmanay attracted half a million revellers. This year's celebrations include an illuminated air palace, Irvine Welsh (of course), street theatre, bands such as Ocean Colour Scene, Babybird and Runrig, five arenas of entertainment, the most indoor parties ever and live broadcasts of the street party via BBC1, Radio1, Forth FM and Virgin. And, of course, clubs. Information: 0131 557 1700.

Disco Inferno: Edinburgh's legendary disco club decked out in true 70s TOTP-style. Special guests Boney M and The Abba Experience. Feel free to dress up.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: DJ Love, Nick Silver and MC Otis play Trash classics to Pan's People wannabes.

When? Where? How much? 21 December/9pm till late; Meadowbank Stadium, London Road; pounds 16.

Ticket hotline: 0131 557 6969

Rezerection - The Awakening Of 97: 5,000 heaving bodies sweat it out on the huge dance floor while the rest enjoy fairground rides. The Rezerection Pipe & Drum Band take centre stage at midnight.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Hixxy, Loftgroover, Scott Brown and Marc Smith play Bouncy, Happy and Hardcore House and Techno to all sorts.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-8am; Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston; pounds 30.

Ticket hotline: 01661 844449.

Pure's World Party: Glasgow outfit Pure's first big bash in Edinburgh at 2,500-capacity venue.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Kevin Saunderson, Speedy J & Twitch and Brainstorm play House, Techno, Breakbeat to doctors, lawyers, students, you name it.

When? Where? How much? 31 December/8pm-late; Meadowbank Stadium Centre, London Road, Edinburgh; pounds 22.50.

Ticket hotline: 0131 557 6969.

CARDIFF

Hype: You've heard about the South Wales hype, well come on down. An intimate venue (capacity 400) that's cool and presents showcase of local talent.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Lord Louie (from Tokyo's Shake Down), THh Hustler Allstars (Welsh Hip-Hop crew) and local indie band Suzy Pepper spin Indie, Hip-Hop and Jazz Funk to an eclectic and open-minded crowd.

When? Where? How much? 18 December/9pm-2am; Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby St, Cardiff; pounds 4.

Ticket hotline: 01222 233932.

The Hippo Club's Christmas Ball: A no-nonsense nightclub with two floors done out in black with ultra-violet wall projections.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Danny Rampling, Fat Tony and Trannies With Attitude play Pumping House & Happy Hardcore to people into dance, not glitz.

When? Where? How much? 28 December/9pm-6am; The Hippo Club, 3-7 Penarth Road; pounds 10.

Ticket hotline: 01222 341463.

Hundred and Ten%'s New Year's Eve Party: Run by Catapult, a local music company. Worth travelling to Wales for.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Best of the local people - The Melt Massive and The Lazy House Crew - play Funky House, Drum'n'Bass and Cerebral Techo for discerning clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-4am; Emporium, 8-10 High Street, Cardiff; pounds 6.

Ticket hotline: 01222 228990.

The Escape Club's New Year's Eve Party: Claims to be the only glam club in Wales. It's even got a dress restriction.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Daniele Davoli, Bartlett & Jones and Rich Hitchell spin Uplifting House and Garage for dressy clubbers.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-4am; Westgate St; pounds 20.

Ticket hotline: 01222 484000.

SOMEWHERE IN WALES

Super Furry Animal's New Year's Eve Tank Fest: The best band in the world get all primeval on a Welsh mountain, the law and God permitting. Surely the ultimate party.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: The Super Furries themselves play Techno, Madpop and weird'n'wonderful Welshiness to those in the know, sheep and lucky ramblers. Fliers nearer the time.

When? Where? How much? Whenever the Super Furries say; as for the venue, check out Catapult Records (01222 228990) or Woosh Records (01222 230020) nearer the time. If you find it, it's free.

Sasha and Digweed's Christmas Exposure at Kelly's: When Sasha played here in August he got a standing ovation before he played a tune, so he's back for more.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Sasha and John Digweed play Epic House and Lush Trance to a Northern Ireland's clubbing elite.

When? Where? How much? 21 December/8pm-1.30am; Kelly's, Bush Mills, Portrush, Co. Antrim; pounds 12.

Ticket hotline: 0374 466930.

The Lush Payback Party: NI's only custom-built House venue has 13 bars, three party rooms and great atmosphere.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: John Da Silva and local DJ Col Hamilton play the club anthems of 96.

When? Where? How much? 28 December/8.30p,-1.30pm; Kelly's, Bush Mills, Portrush, Co. Antrim; pounds 5.

Ticket hotline: 0374 466930.

AND THE REST...

AMSTERDAM

The Roxy's Black & White Masqued Christmas Ball: The coolest club in Amsterdam with one of Europe's best sound systems is notoriously difficult to get into. But if you look good and observe the dress theme you stand a chance.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Local celeb DJ Bas and guests spin old dance hits, jazz and reggae to Europe's mixed clubbing elite.

When? Where? How much? 24 December/11pm-5am; Singel 465, Amsterdam; 15 guilders; members only.

Ticket & membership hotline: 003120 6200354.

Chemistry's New Year's Eve Party: Amsterdam's most decent, accessible club has one huge, hi-tech dance floor with computer-generated images and video projection. Prepare to queue for hours.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Marcello, Van Bellen, Tommy and 100% Isis play Techno, House & Garage for the young, fashionable & eclectic.

When? Where? How much? 11pm-5am; Escape, Rembrandtplein 11-15, Amsterdam; 75 guilders.

Ticket Hotline: 003120 625 2011

DUBLIN

The Kitchen's New Year's Eve Party: Owned by Bono and The Edge, it's award-winning interiors are cosy and cavernous or cold and clinical, depending on who you talk to. Wall-to-wall celebs include Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper and all the supermodels.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Derek M and local celebs, The Dollmen, churn out House for the glitterati.

When? Where? How much? 10pm-3am; The Kitchen, East Essex St, Dublin; Ipounds 12.

Ticket hotline: 003531 6776635.

POD's New Year's Eve Party: Owned by former Prime Minister Albert Reynold's nephew, it's won awards for its design and sound system.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Paddy Sheridan, Eamon Flavin and Robert Buttler spin 90s disco, Handbag & Jazz Funk for designers, models & wannabes.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-late; Old Harcourt St Station, Harcourt St, Dublin; Ipounds 15.

Ticket hotline 003531 4780225.

NEW YORK

Polly Esther's New Year's Eve Party: USA 70s club chain specialises in Brady Bunch memorabilia & Saturday Night Fever dance floors. Rub shoulders with New York's zaniest but watch out for crimplene friction burns.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: hi-energy 70s DJs spin anything and everything from the decade of disco to young-ish retro-kitsch crowd.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-2am; 1487 1st Ave, Upper East Side & 186 West 4th St, Greenwich Village, NY; $75.

Ticket hotline: 001 212 228 1978.

Web site http://www.pollyesthers.com

Webster Hall's New Year's Eve Party: US's largest night club has four dance floors. Tonight there'll be trapeze acts, stilt-walkers and a light show. Celebrity visitors have included Sharon Stone, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev. And Madonna held her pyjama party here.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Big names spin alternative 80s, House, Reggae and Rock to mixed crowd of celebrity-spotters and Wall Street bankers.

When? Where? How much? 9pm-8am; 125 East 11th St, Greenwich Village, New York; $100.

Ticket hotline: 001 212 353 1600.

Web site http://www.webster-hall.com

PARIS

New Year's Eve at Le Rex Club: A small, sweaty cellar full of twentysomethings attracts sussed British clubbers.

DJs, Sound & Crowd: Gilbert, Deap & Loik (from Radio Nova) supply House, Jungle, Trip-Hop and Techno to Paris's funky underground set.

When? Where? How much? 11pm till dawn; 5 boulevard Poissonniere, 75002; f150 includes a free drink and sweets.

Ticket hotline: 00331 42368398.

Folies Pigalle's New Year's Eve Party: A converted raunchy 1940s cabaret is one of the coolest clubs in town.

DJs. Sound & Crowd: Paris's finest spin Garage and Progressive House for the trendy.

When? Where? How much? 11.30pm-dawn; 11 place Pigalle 75009; f100.

Ticket hotline: 00331 48782556.

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