A welcome new addition to Brighton's eclectic club scene is Carnivalesque, which launched on Friday at Barfly. A refreshing new take on the now somewhat trite burlesque revival (discovering that Paris Hilton is a fan certainly takes the shine off for me), Carnivalesque aims to conjour a carnival atmosphere in the context of a night club - encouraging exotic attire and laying on live world music as well as DJs. The launch night featured local reggae band The Resonators (who I unfortunately missed, as I was around the corner at the launch of Ed Meme & the Forms' debut EP at the Hope) and ubiquitous Brighton parade favourites, Carnival Collective, who never fail to get the crowd into a frenzy with their infectiously energetic brand of live drum'n'bass. Lots of people (myself excluded, unusually) had made a big effort with their costumes - with everything from bearded ladies to cyborg stilt-walkers hitting the dancefloor, which equalled some great photo opportunities for me. It felt more like a house party than a club night, perhaps because the crowd all seemed so familiar - I'm sure I recognised quite a few faces from the recent Dead Famous party at Matty's place, though it's difficult to be sure when you've only ever met someone in costume and not as their 'real' selves. I'll certainly be making the effort to dress up next time, not least because it guarantees cheap entry. Apparently if you get there early enough, you can even learn some samba or flamenco steps with professional dance teacher Rosaria. Seems that Carnivaleque organisers Harmony in the Community have literally thought of everything to get punters well and truly into the festival spirit.
All photos ©Rowan Stanfield - www.flickr.com/photos/rowstar