Last weekend, Boyfriend and I and several of our more dapper friends headed to the Vaudeville Rave, which I mentioned briefly in this post. The Vaudeville Rave is a steampunk-historical-burlesque sort of event, like a pop-up nightclub for people who prefer lindyhop to Gangnam Style and murderous space pirates to Rihanna.
The theme for this event was Bright Young Things, based on the film (which itself is based on Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies). Now, most of my friends interpreted this as 1920s (although the book takes places over several decades), which posed a small problem for me. I am very proud of my hourglass figure, and the flapper style just doesn’t suit me. Without any hint of a waist, 1920s party dresses just look like sacks on me.
Not great on this tiny model – not great on me.
So obviously that option was out. I would just have felt uncomfortable. Luckily, however, the Vaudeville Rave is much more pan-historical than that, and so I settled for this:
The best of a selection of terrible faces!
A long velvet skirt with a blue and black brocade corset. Much more me, much more comfortable (apart from the sitting down bit!) and I definitely fit in with the be-corseted masses at the Rave.
I also took the opportunity to put my hair up in small victory rolls (not too big, because there would be dancing!) just as a two-fingers-up to the Twenties theme: 1940s, please! (Hopefully Boyfriend and I will be heading to the Blitz Party in London soon…)
A slightly more blurry but up close view of my rolls.
The Rave itself was at a local club in Oxford, a venue which didn’t work so well as the previous location, a big event space for gigs and dances – but that has since been turned into a ‘Christian Life Centre’… Not so helpful. This Rave took place over three floors, with the basement and ground floor being dancefloors with DJs playing all sorts of swing and generally decent music, and the top floor being home to a selection of weird activities:
Some of my friends swing dancing
The mysterious ‘boudoir’
The boys (and some of the girls) were ‘measured for suits’ (ie, stripped) in the Out of Time Tailors…
All photos taken by the beautiful Alice Young, except the ones of the tailors, Ashes O’Reilly and my outfit.
We were given poker chips on entering, to spend on the sideshows – I found a useful storage space!
The most exciting part of the night, though, was the set the Mechanisms did at midnight, showcasing their new material. The Mechanisms are a band of immortal space pirates who travel the universe in their ship, the Aurora, and occasionally do really awesome gigs. Go check out their website for more information about their space-folk brilliance – they’re currently working on producing their second album, which is going to be even better than the first, from the looks of it.
The event organisers had planned their set rather poorly, only giving them an acoustic set and not enough space to swing an octokitten, so it was very difficult to hear the new songs, but on their older material, the audience definitely helped out by singing-yelling all the lyrics. These guys are damned catchy, partly because they use a lot of sea shanties and old drinking songs in their music, and so it’s easy to pick up the tunes. One of my favourites, ‘Drunk Space Pirate’ is obviously to the tune of ‘The Drunken Sailor’, but the newly invented punishments are hilarious, and the chorus is something beautiful, with the wistfulness of ‘distant stars awaiting’ replacing the prosaic ‘early in the morning’.
The darkness of the venue meant I only got a couple of good pictures of the band playing, but they are good… They are an attractive bunch of people, and I’m not just saying that because they’re holding a gun to my head.
Marius von Raum, the ship’s medic.
Ashes O’Reilly, the quartermaster.
So, definitely check the band out, and if you’re in the area the next time a Vaudeville Rave night happens, come along. Keep an eye on their website here. It’s a lot more fun that your standard club night, by a very long way!
Disclaimer: I am not in the pay of the Vaudeville Rave or the Mechanisms. I just had a really great night!
Also, thanks very much to Alice for the photos!