Monday, June 17, 2013

The Blitz Party, 8th June

My second taste of Bourne & Hollingsworth last weekend was their Blitz party on the Saturday. I have wanted to go to one of these for probably years. At least 'a' year anyway. They're normally monthly at the end of the month but they had a D-Day special on, in the Suffolk Street Arches, where I have been previously for a Krankbrother rave.

As with all these B & H events, dressing in period costume (or as close as possible) is mandatory, and as ever, all attendants were impressive in their efforts. I bought a dress especially for it and attempted some fairly successful victory rolls which actually lasted the night.

The venue was perfect - the night ranged across about six arches and was exactly the sort of thing you picture people in the Blitz having to brave - concrete tunnels with uneven flooring and even the odd puddle. They had a couple of full size war jeeps in the tunnels which you were encouraged to climb in for pictures. 

We wandered past a couple of hair and makeup spots for those who hadn't managed to get the look they wanted at home. And then we made our way to the bar. Which was packed. It probably took 20  minutes for us all to get served. We took our drinks and explored what else was on. That was, of course, when we discovered the five other bars deeper into the arches that were absolutely empty!

So, there were two different arches with two different bands, one of which was tucked a bit further into the tunnels. There was also a 'bunker' which was much darker than the rest of the venue, and had crappy cots lining the walls. There was also an alarm you could ring on the way in and out. Definitely a fun little spot if you needed a break from the revelry in the main halls and wanted that extra air raid feel. This had a bar from which you could order only beers or the Victory brew. That was one hell of a potent cocktail! And it was one of the cheapest! I thought at first I wouldn't like it as it had a tea flavour in it but that wasn't, thankfully, discernible. It mostly just tasted of gin! And it was in a massive tin mug, no dainty sips needed for this one to make it last, although gulps were rather hard to swallow due to its strength. 

Fancy a brew? 
Our intention was to watch a bit of both bands, but we ended up sticking around in the same space to watch just the one band. I think plenty of people made the same mistake we had and congregated around the first bar, where there was also a stage instead of exploring further. So much as i would have liked to take a look at the second band, it was just so crowded there that there wasn't much point.

Our band were excellent anyway so I'm not complaining. And there were some fabulous dancers really going for it in front of the stage. I did put some of my novice swing steps to use so wasn't completely intimidated off the dance floor. And watching these guys who knew what they were doing was a lot of fun. I wasn't sure if they were part of the entertainment or just guests who knew their stuff. Having said that, they did take up rather a lot of room with all their spins and twirls, and people would stop dancing to watch them which was kind of annoying when you just wanted to dance yourself. 

The music from the live band and in between sets was big band, swing and jazz - after they'd finished it moved on a decade or so and started playing rock n roll, which is always fun.

In some ways there wasn't as much to this night as there was to Prohibition or Belle Epoque night. A couple of bands but no other entertainment really unless you count getting your hair done. But the atmosphere was brilliant, the venue was fantastic and the bands were great. I really enjoyed it though I wonder if I would have loved it as much if it took place in Village Underground as it so often does.

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Please feel free to add your views, or maybe suggest somewhere I should put on my list!