Sunday, 11 March 2007

Lonon Paper 13

londonpaper13, originally uploaded by chantelle.

When I first moved to London, thanks to films, television and romantic visions, I had some rather unrealistic view of what to expect on the club scene. The local clubs I was accustomed to, you went to simply because it was better than sitting in the park with a bottle of Thunderbird. Bad platform shoe spotting or market outfit spotting aside, there was very little on offer to stimulate the imagination.

But London hasn’t lived up to expectations either. My most memorable evenings over the last six years tend to be due to the company, exceptionally good DJs, or more commonly because of obscured recollections courtesy of lethal alcoholic concoctions. Come to think of it, one of my most wild nights out in 2006 was down to my mate White Russian. Accompanied by white wine and black sambucca, flashbacks include joining a gay rapper in sequin hot pants on stage and trying to reenact a scene from Dirty Dancing. I’m not talking about the samba either. Yes, In front of a hoard of colleagues I got on all four and drunkenly crawled across the stage. Sex bomb no. Laughing stock yes.

So where is the effort? Obviously, when running a nightclub or being a promoter cost is a big factor, but anyone’s who watched Blue Peter will know, with a bit of resourcefulness and time, a lot is possible.

There are nights out there, on the quest for innovative experiences, that don’t require liver damage to endure. Regrettably, they’re often invite only or strictly on a need to know the organiser tip. Without a doubt the best party I’ve ever been to was the work of Face Party, an online company who were celebrating their birthday with a heaven or hell theme. On arriving at the east end venue the two entrances, sluts and virgins, were guarded by burly looking women in S&M gear, armed with fake weapons and whips. That was nothing compared to what greeted you inside. The main room boasted bloodied (plastic) bodies hanging from the ceiling, waiters provided shots in urine sample containers, raw meat lined the underneath of the glass bar, performance artists swung from Chandeliers, while topless teens and drag queens danced alongside one another. Then there were the ice sculptures, a lovers lounge, a mystical forest and cave area - even the toilets were modeled around a peep show.

While this was probably a once in a lifetime adventure, with a bit of know-how, you can find spots in London to get a fix of something other than the norm. Tonight, at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Kennington Lane, the VauxhallVille Cabaret Spit ‘n’ Sawdust Spectacular promises cabaret, risqué screenings, burlesque, drag queens and no frills fizz. And if you’re fed up of lazy Sunday nights, pay the Bloomsbury Bowling Lane on Russell Square a visit. This weekend We Came From The Moon present live bands alongside cabaret, film screenings and art performance. If you come dressed as a robot or don a silver mask, trilby hat, leggings, baby dool pyjamas or zoot suits, among other things, entry is only £4. All you have to hope is that your attire matches those awfully mundane bowling shoes.

A version of this article appeared in The London Paper

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