“Duh duh, duh duh duh, DUH DUH… Let’s go girls.”
You hate it; you love it…it’s Pop Tarts. The best Saturday night in Sheffield? I’d say more like the best night out, anywhere in the world, ever. But what makes it such a Boogie Wonderland? Pop Tarts is the place where Sheffield students’ Young Hearts Run Free and for a brief period of time you can forget the boy/girl/essay/project/work/Brexit/mortality – whatever it is that’s getting you down.
First of all, let’s address the divide, the two types of people who frequent Pop Tarts. Number one is the person who can’t admit to themselves, or anyone, that they fucking love it (you know who you are). Throughout the week you maintain your image that you’re too good for it, you’d rather go to some ‘edgy’ night at Hope Works, or just sit in and smoke some questionable weed with your mates, because that’s going to make for a much more respectable Insta the next morning. Whenever anyone mentions Poppy T’s you feel the need to explain how “it’s just not fun” and “I can only ever enjoy it when I’m REALLY smashed”. When you get there; however, it’s a different story. You storm in like the Dancing Queen that deep down you know you are.
Then there’s the people who live for Non-stop retro pop, the Pop Tarts aficionados, the people who don’t just Jerk it out on a Saturday night, but all 7 Days of the week – in the IC, in the shower… in the bedroom? Ain’t Nobody that loves the small room more than you. You know the names of – and have banter with – the DJ’s (not all heroes wear capes), have a set drinks order (2 red VKs) and have a dedicated Poppy T’s outfit that comes out each and every Saturday night (whatever the supposed theme of that week is). “PokeTarts? Yeah good one mate, this shirt is Fred Perry”.
Life throws up so many conundrums.What is the meaning of life? What name do you give to a small rounded roll of baked dough? But perhaps most importantly of all, what’s the best song at Pop Tarts? Your answer may well depend on which of the two rooms you spend most of your time in. If you’re a fan of the big room then you might think Unwritten, Star Girl or Toxic are the best choons. If you spend your time telling everyone that the small room is better, then it’ll be Africa by Toto, Come on Eileen or any of the ABBA repertoire that gets you groovin. Either way, the one thing that binds everyone at Pop Tarts together is the self conscious, semi-ironic but unadulterated love of Non-stop retro pop.
Another reason that you’d walk A Thousand Miles to Pop Tarts, is the well priced, well safe and well good Students Union. You can stay at Poppy T’s All Night Long and whilst it’s not quite Club Tropicana (sadly, drinks aren’t free), there is enough fun and sunshine for everyone, and you can easily do the whole night out for under £20. The SU is the best venue in Sheffield- not only is it cheap and close to home, you feel safe there too as, like rats, you’re never more than 6ft away from a coursemate. The SU also boasts a huge dual purpose corridor, big enough to accommodate both the devoted members of the cry-your-eyes-out-in-the-pop-tarts-corridor-weekly club, but also well lit enough to accommodate the cadre of professional Pop Tarts Instagrammers.
Obviously, nothing can ever be entirely perfect. I am obliged to mention the solitary negative aspect of Pop Tarts – The, quite frankly, pathetic smoking area. You’re presented with a choice as a smoker at Poppy T’s, between smoking a badly rolled bifta outside where it’s raining actual rain, or just engaging in A Little Less Conversation and staying inside where It’s Raining Men instead.
You can blame Pop Tarts for ruining your carefully curated sleeping pattern. You’ll Keep On Movin until you get not-so-politely chucked out at 3:45 for a Broomhill Friery (other greasy, overpriced takeaways are available) and set an alarm for a painfully early 10am to buy tickets for your next Non-Stop retro pop fix. Safe in the knowledge it’ll be exactly the same..