Best of Sydney

BEST NIGHTCLUB: SPECTRUM

In the centre of this infamous live music venue is the tiny, cramped stage. It is low enough to reach out to the band members as they play a gig and it generates a level of intimacy that surpasses many other inner-city venues. The dimly-lit bathrooms, tattooed bar-staff, and smoking balcony are so packed-in that making friends is as inevitable as inhaling nicotine in a smoking section. On gig nights, three bands can cost as little as $10. Once the bands wrap up, the stage is converted into part of a giant dance-floor and patrons move to the beats of regular DJs who play indie favourites and even the occasional ironic John Farnham track. Assuming you can find the entry, Spectrum has everything a good nightclub needs. (Sarah Neill)

34 Oxford St,Darlinghurst. 9331 2956 or 02 9360 1375, exchangehotel.biz/default.asp?id=10