We got there at about 8:30 as instructed and upon entry were given our book with our bingo lines in it. This consisted of two sheets of paper – one sheet per game. That's right. Only two games of bingo in the entire night are played. An hour or so later, the seething mass of revellers were called to attention and the first game of bingo began. I seem to remember it followed the usual pattern – prize for a line, two lines, full house etc. All very conventional. Except that most people are pretty drunk by now, and probably not paying that much attention. How to focus them? Well, firstly there were some very desirable prizes on offer. I particularly coveted the shiny disco ball (having no regard to the fact I would have had nowehere to store it at home) but alas, as you know, I wasn’t successful. The second way to keep the rabble paying attention, is to come up with the filthiest bingo calls imaginable. You know the thing – what you say so you know which number has been called - ‘Two Fat Ladies’ for 88 etc. Of course, the traditional bingo calls are supposed to have some relevance to the number that has just come up. These ones . . . not so much. I can’t now recall specifically any of the terms. I tried to write down on my hand a reference to the more lurid ones but as you can see, that didn’t work.
|You can probably just about make out the word ‘cunt’ at the bottom there|
After the climax of the first game there’s more drinking and more dancing, and then the final game of the evening. By this point everyone is pretty pissed and the markers that have been handed out for crossing off your numbers, have been put to more creative uses. Why do people like drawing on each other so much? It’s a mystery.
|Christ, who are these bozos?|
Rebel Bingo was held in Village Underground, which is also on my list. I have actually been here before, and so could have technically crossed it off, but I wanted to come back and experience it when it was being used as a club venue. The last time I went it was for a much more sedate special Book Slam event. Village Underground is quite a cavernous space when there aren’t lots of tables and chairs set out, which is good as there was a lot of people. There was a stage area at one end of it from where the numbers were called, a bar set back somewhere in the middle, and then the entrance at the other end, which was a little bit raised. This was where we were and provided an impressive view of the throng below. God knows how you could make yourself heard (though people did) once you had Bingo, or how they managed to get to the stage to claim their prize. It’s a pretty ‘cool’ space that is used to hosting parties from the Blitz to Mixmag nights so they obviously know what they’re doing for busy nights and have a good sound system. Drinks weren’t any more expensive than you’d expect at £3.50 for a can or £4.00 for a spirit and mixer – we stuck to cider in a can.
I met someone in the pub beforehand who had been to Rebel Bingo before who said the success of the night seemed to go hand-in-hand with the venue. As this was my first, I can’t compare it to other nights, but I had a really, really good night and Village Underground seemed to complement Rebel Bingo.
Rebel Bingo used to be called Underground Rebel Bingo, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s gone overground now. They only do a few a year and it is so popular, the online tickets sell out in minutes. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next one.