How to win a catfight

Experienced club-goers looking for something a little more N-Y-C than S-a-c might be ready for a Catfight—the monthly electroclash trash-fashion nightclub at the Golden Bear. Only two months into its existence, Catfight is already drawing wall-to-wall dancers (many of whom are recognizable from the Vicious scene) with gutter grooves and live performances from bands like Los Angeles-based new-wave quintet Ashbury. If you think you’re ready to rumble, read these indispensable tips for holding your own in a Catfight before you start sharpening your claws.

First, wear the proper clothing to intimidate your opponents: the tightest dress, the sharpest suit, the tackiest wig, the thickest eyeliner or the highest heels. Don’t worry about keeping your balance on the dance floor. The club is so packed with people, you couldn’t fall if you tried.

Second, when entering a Catfight, watch your step. The capacity crowd offers no clear path from the doorway to the dance floor, so it’s too easy to trip over an amp on the floor and land in the arms of a friendly drag queen. (Not that I did this as soon as I walked into last Saturday’s party, bruising my ego and my shins simultaneously. I’m just saying …)

Third, remember that Catfights are unpredictable. For example, when the DJ played Jamie Summers’ “Sex Fiend” on Saturday night, the nasty number elicited only the requisite moan-along chorus from the crowd. But when the Pet Shop Boys’ relatively benign “West End Girls” came on, more than one person stripped down to their underwear and gyrated to the heated delight of the crowd.

Fourth, as Jerry Seinfeld explained to the American TV-viewing public, the appeal of what is traditionally known as a “catfight”—two women brawling—is that the participants suddenly might start kissing. Catfight takes the “might” out of this equation with a kissing booth on the back patio. Saturday’s booth was manned (and womanned) by two prominent members of the Midtown music scene, Robbie Percell and Amber Kloss, both of whom drew a steady line of customers ready to trade a dollar for a lengthy smooch. The few overeager customers who offered to pay extra for behind-the-booth privileges were respectfully denied. (Speaking of respect, I won’t kiss and tell more than I already have. The photos at say it all.)

Last, if you want to succeed in a Catfight, stop caring about your appearance. By night’s end, your feet will have been stepped on, drinks will have spilled on your clothes, your hairstyle will have fallen casualty to the vigor of your Flashdance moves (a must when the DJ plays Michael Sembello’s “Maniac”), your makeup will have run from the extreme body heat, and—if you got anywhere near the back patio—your lipstick will be all over your face. When you finally hit the Midtown sidewalk at 2 a.m., you’ll definitely look like you got in a brawl. Just smile and say, “You should see the other girl.”