Wednesday, 7 March 2012

It's a Wonderful Vintage Love Boat Ball

This isn't something I'd normally go to.....being more of a swing night and perhaps a little earlier in era than my normal music and style tastes. However, Verity had asked me to come and check it out, the Christmas one was apparently a lot of fun (I'd seen pictures of Verity, Shona and Bettina having a blast), partly with an eye to writing a review both on here and something to be published. Plus the combination of it looking like a lot of fun, it being on a boat, feeling like it would be a great opportunity to drink gin (in a kind of Speak Easy kind of way), and most importunately finding the most beautiful ball gown in Strangeness and Charm (which I'm not allowing my self to go into currently as I want too much stuff and it's getting to be a habit!) made me feel as though the world were telling me to go.

Having no idea what to expect, well having some idea I packed my little case and was off to London. Staying at what feels a little like my second home right now, I arrived at Verity Vanity Box's HQ on time (Last time I got lost and the wonderful Dave had to come and find me as it started to snow......not this time!)

We had a little time to relax and get our make-up done, before the three of us (Myself, Verity and Cheyenne) set off to help pitch in to set up the event. The Vanity Box had been asked to provide a hair styling, which had been cancelled (I think due to logistical reasons), but we were still going to offer help, anyone who's been involved in organising an event can vouch for how stressful it can be, and having organised enough of my own (including my year or so of running a bar) and setting up single handedly (bar one excellent Assistant Manager - J). We arrived through thick traffic, a long walk and were immediately set to work. A few clashes of personalities (to be expected not everyone should be best friends with everyone and we weren't going to let that stand in the way of a good night) but everything was done in time for doors opening. A mad dash get ready in what was possibly the smallest bathroom I've even seen! Squeezed in with Verity Cheyenne and Bettina all trying to top up our make-up, Verity doing my hair (and working wonders even in such a small space ), trying to get changed! It was very, very funny!

Doors opened, there was a Wish Tree (make a selfless wish and tie it to the tree.....I'm not sure free bar counts as selfless and World Peace felt a bit Miss World so I wasn't sure where to start on this one) was a sweet idea....and I think it added something for people to firstly do at the beginning of the evening, you know the slightly awkward bit where the place isn't very full and people haven't relaxed in to the evening. Later on Swing Dance Speed Dating was happening, a nice twist on our modern dating solution. The part of me that thinks you should say yes to everything was tempted by it, but I'm really glad I didn't though becuase as the evening went on it became clear I can swing dance for toffee....I can just about hold my own jiving, despite the fact that I hate being lead and try to resist being made to do what a guy wants. I think the speed dance would have just lead to lots of embarrassment and crushed toes. Any way....from what I heard from the people who did take part, and from the follow up e-mail sent out to all attendees after the event there were clearly a few hits, and it sounds like it was a successful night for some and is hopefully going to be an reoccurring feature.

The lovely Folly Gosh entertained us with a burlesque performance, (and she's also a Stone Cutter in her day life which I think is pretty awesome!) She teased and tantalised to firstly what is recognised by most as the Blue Peter theme, and then something else which my memory is hazy on. Followed by a jazz band (which sadly there's no name for on the event details so I can't tell you their name) but they were good, and a lot of fun to dance too. The music through out the night covered various aspects of era's normally considered in the 'vintage' scene, from 50's to 20's, there were a few points where the song was repeated, and from a dancing point of view, it would have been great if there were a few strollers all together, a few jazz swing tunes all together, a few jivers', boppers', whatever's grouped so you could get a bit of your dance on without it changing pace and tack so quickly. But there was most importantly lots of dancing. Which I was rubbish at! For me it was far too slow with far too many double step foot movements. I stood on toes, danced out of time, and wasn't asked for a second dance by anyone who didn't already know me! There were two birthday girls in attendance, one of whom was Shona, and the tradition of making a circle around the girls and guys cutting in to dance with them for a song was carried out which looked like a lot of fun!

Shona from Adventures In Vintage blog, Bettina Scarlett (super hot model), Matt.....ummm.....carpenter extraordinaire! And Shona's lovely dancer house-mate Bridget all came too, Shona and Bettina being part of the group who had been to previous events and raved about them. Being on a boat, there were re-enactments of the famous Rose and Jack 'I'm flying scene' Titanic (which I missed some how, I'm really not sure! I might have been dancing, or drinking gin).

 All in all a great night was had, good music and lots of it....I've never been on a shored boat as the tide comes in making it rock in such a away to make you feel 4 times more drunk than you are! All that said it certainly hasn't turned me into a swing dance fan though, I think I'll stick to my rockin' nights.

Pictures are from an album by Michaelm and can be found here.