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April 22, 2004

I’m 100% sick of stupid swinger-run events

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2004 3:33 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

Last night we were on our (reluctant) way to Ballyhoo to hand over some presents for people in Perth (Hullabaloo is on, so everyone’s flying over for that. Except us. :( ), and ended up ditching the swing gig for a fun band.

I rode to The Squeeze’s work in record time (20 mins - I flew) then mosied east to Brunswick Street, where we had dinner at The Standard hotel on Fitzroy Street. It reminded me of how wonderful Melbourne pubs are. We don’t have a decent local in West Brunswick (we’re not struck on the Cornish Arms - it’s got a weirdo vibe, or the Perseverence, or even the Brunswick), so we don’t pub locally very much. I adore the Town Hall in North Melbourne (my old local), and I like the Napier in Collingwood (mostly for their food), but I don’t pub it regularly much any more. So it was a pleasant reminder of Good Melbourne Stuff last night. I was totally disappointed by my steak - super tough, which was crappy for the price ($22!), but The Squeeze had a good fish and chips.

Then we rode a bit further north to park our bikes at the Retro café on Brunswick Street (where Ballyhoo is held), and then wandered down the street to buy a little present for Cheryl in Perth. We totally scored in the bookshop, and then wandered back up to Retro.
As we were wandering north, we heard jazz from somewhere. I figured it might be the Planet Café so I dragged The Squeeze over and we investigated. Upstairs we discovered The Sweet Lowdowns, a local swinging jazz 4piece who play there every Wednesday FOR FREE! The Squeeze immediately declared a pit stop for beer and cake, and I was sent over the road to deliver the Perth goods.

We spent the next few hours listening to fun jazz, eating cake and having a jolly old time. We did send an SMS to the swingers to let them know (it’s only fair), and my letting slip that we were dancers got the manager all excited (note to self: circumspection when chatting to barkeeps). He was dead keen to have swingers come in regularly to dance, even when I mentioned (as seemed only fair) that swingers are a poor crowd for making money at the bar - they don’t drink.

At any rate, the otherwise tiny crowd (maybe 10 or so of the bands’ mates) when crazy for the dancing. We were shy getting up at first (mostly because The Squeeze felt ill, but largely because it’s not really that excellent to have a crowd of people watching you dance when you’re just up for a nice bit of a toddle round the floor, full of cake and beer), but it got cooler, especially when a couple of other dancers turned up and we weren’t the only ones.

Over all, it was a fun night. I liked the band a lot - I love dixie, and there was a fair slab of it, as well as more swingingly lindy stuff. I’d like to go back regularly. I’m 100% sick of stupid swinger-run events. Too great a focus on dancing, and not enough on proper social interaction. Plus I prefer band doos that aren’t staked out as a particular swing group’s territory.

Only problem is that I’ve just teed up a tango class for Wednesday nights damn! Oh well, I’ll see what I can do

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2004 3:33 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances