Thirty Thousand Streets

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hootchie Cootchie

Friday night, at a friend's instigation, I headed up north to Camden. I don't normally get up to Camden much as, A: It always struck me as more of a hangout for rock types (and I'm more of a techno suede-head at heart) and B: I don't really want to buy a t-shirt some chancer's ripped off Threadless to hawk on their stall. Still, Camden's a cool enough place, if you dare to pierce the veil of incense smoke hanging over it.

The night's destination was 'Hootchie Cootchie' night at The Jazz Cafe. Kinda lame name, I think, but actually quite good fun. The Jazz Cafe is actually a venue of some pedigree, I'm aware (like the Band on the Wall in Manchester) and my mate Jules, eyes glowing, later related going to see Pete Rock and CL Smooth there in about 2002 (before they fell out, and started slagging each other off, again) I'd never been though, so was keen to check it out.

The remit of the night was 50s Rockabilly, with a DJ spinning 7 inches and a live band with a luscious singer who looked like she'd just stepped off the set of South Pacific. All of which was fine, but I was mostly absorbed in staring at the sartorial pageant surrounding me.

Whenever I go to nights like this, eg: Northern soul events, I'm always struck by the amount of effort people put into their get-up. And I sometimes wonder, aside from the obvious nostalgia inherent in people affecting modes of fashion from a specific era, whether it represents a certain yearning for a time when people belonged to identifiable tribes, rather than that generic hipster melange of tight jeans, plaid shirts and PE pumps we see strutting round our city centres today.

Here, there were plaid shirts in evidence, but they were mostly tucked into wide legged chinos, or crisp wide-legged selvage jeans with turnups, over oh-so-shiny boots. Leather flight jackets were in attendance, as were immaculately Brylcreamed barnets, a la Mark Lamar (or even Mark Kermode). Chain wallets were in effect, as were Hawaiian shirts, and, I would hazard a guess, polyester.

And the girls... again lots of sculpted hairdos, and the much deprecated high waisted skirt, along with more leopard skin on display than your average safari. Ranking a close second in the swatch stakes were polka dots (followed by stripes), but the big cats stole the show, definitely. Some of the girls were also wearing those glasses you generally only see in Gary Larson cartoons. Awesome.

Of particular note were a triumvirate of angular-looking girls who stood by the bar staring waspishly about and boozing, who sort of resembled 50s Super-villainesses in mega-tight leggings, and beehive hairstyles that probably actually contained bees. One of them even seemed to have sculpted her hair into cat ears. Any single one of looked like they could, and would, have scratched Amy Winehouse to bits for a pair of nylons.

So, all in all, fun anyway, though the three buses home were less so.

Saturday night, after watching an incredibly misconceived Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like it, (whose sole redeeming feature seemed to be squeezing Brian Blessed into Samurai armour) me and a flattie ended up in The Funky Munky in Camberwell (which incidentally has the worst name of anything, ever). We just wanted a beer, basically, and the Hermits was shutting. The guy who's been DJing there for the last four years or so (DJ Dazzle) always plays pretty much the same set every time I see him – ie: tried and tested funk/disco/pop numbers – and he didn't disappoint in this regard. The crowd certainly seemed to be loving it, though I really wonder how he manages to play the same records so often without A: going clinically insane, or B: coming to loathe them utterly. Perhaps he's succumbed to both eventualities.

I watched the last X-Men film tonight, which was OK, I suppose, if a bit of an overblown FX fest. Another week looms, anyway. Bought a load of Tria markers the other day, which I'm going to enjoy some spending time with.


Zeno Cosini said...

I hate that X-men film. As I may have said to you before, I find Hugh Jackman's Wolverine one of the most annoying cinematic superheroes ever (second only to Ben Affleck's feckless Daredevil), particularly his insistence on pointlessly attacking Magneto everytime the latter comes into his line of sight, despite the fact that Magneto's telekinetic powers give him completely control of everything made of metal, including Wolverine.

sigh9 said...

tria markers!

I knew you'd succumb to the dark side eventually...

The Eyechild said...

@ Zeno

Yeah I was chuckling at those bits, remembering your rant... It is pretty daft really. I think I was just sort of enjoying the big explosions, whilst lying on my couch and half-playing Bejewelled 2 on my phone. Don't think I'll be revisiting it any time soon...

@ Sigh9

Yeah I invested. I'm trying to get a bit more 'noise' back into my drawing – scanned computer colouring can look too clean.

Enjoying them a lot (might just be the fumes, though).