Sunday, February 15, 2009

In Which I Finally Get Frocked Up and Go Dancing

You wait five months for a big night out, then two come along at once... I may occasionally possibly have mentioned once or twice lately my frustrations about not having been out dancing since my birthday back in September. It was a sorry state of affairs, which I am relieved to report has now been rectified with a double whammy of social festivities.

Brighton Twestival, 12th Feb

On Thursday Ant and I joined the Brighton Twitterati for Brightwest at the Black Lion, part of the global Twestival fundraiser, which I've already written about for the C&M blog. It was a fun evening of putting real faces to avatars and shooting the breeze with like minded, passionate and interesting people. Unlike the majority of attendees - whose morning-after hangover Tweets provided much amusement - I stayed sober for the duration, which was just as well because Friday night brought an altogether more epic and energetic adventure...

Last Tuesday Society Ball, 13th Feb

One of London's many 'alternative' nightlife purveyors, The Last Tuesday Society has been putting on weird and wacky events since 2006. The latest (and reportedly final) event was an anti-Valentine's affair entitled 'Loss' which took place, appropriately, on Friday 13th. I was there with the lovely Angell, whose acquaintance I made almost exactly two years ago at another alternative night - from the currently dormant Lost Vagueness. After fuelling up with vintage rum and hearty pasta on board Angell's cosy houseboat, we made our way to Notting Hill, where a queue was building up outside the Tabernacle. Most had made a decent effort with their attire (the theme being 'Decaying Beauty'), but as always there were one or two conspicuously under dressed punters, who were frankly just begging to be mocked.

Inside, peacock feathers were being handed out in a half-hearted attempt to furnish those without costumes, but unfortunately there was no dressing up area like at Lost Vagueness, leaving the towny element at the mercy of our ongoing contempt. Embarking on the obligatory exploration of the venue, with which neither of us was familiar, we discovered an atmospheric central room with a stage and dancefloor, and a surrounding mezzanine - perfect for people-watching. The rest of the space was a warren of less theatrical flourescently-lit side rooms and corridors, where various activities such as onion chopping (to make you cry) and a life drawing class had been laid on. It was in such areas that our more colourful encounters occurred, though the dancefloor did afford some quite sociable dancing episodes.

The highlight of my night - apart from Angell's charming company of course - was a storytelling session in a tiny side room, for which we demanded that the annoyingly intrusive lights be switched off. Six or seven of us huddled in a broom cupboard in the dark were just able to make out the flowing ginger hair and emphatic expressions of our rakish raconteur, who treated us to a spellbinding Arthurian tale, told faultlessly from memory. The gloriously sonorous storyteller was Giles Abbott, a true stalwart luvvie (in the best possible way) if ever there was one.

Both the live bands we saw were good fun, particularly The Guillotines, whose Saxophonist I'm sure I recognised from Brighton. I particularly relished flagellating the singer (upon his request, I might add) with a large stuffed tiger which had been pulled from one of the many bundles of cuddly toys hanging from the ceiling. An 'avant-garde' (i.e. wanky) drag mime act died on its feet and spelled the beginning of the end when punters began to boo and throw things at the stage. It didn't help that the bar had run out of spirits by 1am (note to self: conceal hip flask in stockings in future), and people were getting increasingly tetchy about it. But despite these slight hiccups, the atmosphere was a friendly one, and we had an excellent night of random conversations and wanton mischief.

Back at the boat, Angell and I polished off the best part of a bottle of rum and stayed up chatting til sunrise. I can't remember the last time I did that, and it was especially magical to do so from inside a houseboat on the Thames, which provided a most stunningly dramatic view. The following day was spent watching the world go by on the river whilst listening to an eclectic selection of tunes and reminiscing about our exploits the night before. I finally dragged myself back to Brighton in the early evening, feeling far less wretched that I ought to have done considering, and with my dancefloor cravings firmly sated.

More photos from the Last Tuesday Society Ball at:


  1. yes and a very lovely night it was too - and thanks for delicately covering over the more dubious episodes that occurred that night...

    anyway - lets do it again soon!

  2. Dubious? Moi? I don't know what you mean, I'm sure...


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