Friday, 29 March 2013

Ballroom Dancing

I was a proper little groupie girl last night.

A friend of mine plays in a band called Green Diesel and his girlfriend had asked if we wanted to go and see them perform.  They are one of my favourite local bands and even performed on stage with us in one of our plays last year which was an experience!

I highly recommend you lend them your ears for a little while.  They play classic folk-rock with a decided modern edge to it which you cannot help but dance, gyrate and jump around to.  If you go and watch them perform live, wear shoes you can caper and careen in.  You will thank me for it later.
Other practicalities to consider?  Buy drinks you can shimmy with - bottle beer is ideal as it doesn't slosh too much when you are a foot in the air, soaking the poor soul next to you and get some space around you (you will want to link arms and do a sailors jig).  Be prepared to clap and whoop and cheer.

They were performing in The Ballroom, supported by two other local acts, Galley Begger and The Bubbleband.  Both of these bands were excellent, but the main attraction was Green Diesel. 
The Ballroom, next door to and upstairs from Bramleys is a bit of a staple for the live music lover in Canterbury.  I must confess, I had not been here in years, not since it was the Orange Street Music Club and a little bit shabby.

Entry is through quite a dingy foyer which looks like you may be accidentally stepping into someones apartment block.  You walk up the wooden, slippery curved staircase, holding tightly to the bannister in case you trip and stumble down the dark corridor.  You enter the Ballroom.

Then you realise.  It's not so shabby anymore.
Ceilings are ridiculously high and painted a deep rich blue with gold panelling.  Heavy drapes drop from floor to ceiling, negating the need for the old cork boards that used to be used to dampen the sound.

Mirrors hang everywhere, reflecting the soft candle light back and increasing the size of the room even more.
Artwork is eclectic and slightly creepy as the paintings expand beyond their frames, dripping luminescent blood down the marl grey patterned paper.

Two giant chandeliers hang suspended from metallic gold ceiling roses while intricate detailing add to the richness of the decor.
The Ballroom branding is subtle.  Ish.   A giant B made from old fashioned stage lightbulbs hangs garishly above the dance floor which the wrought and rusted iron B sits more comfortably within the bar.
The bar dominates the middle of the room, while sofas and benches frame the edges, prompting conversation and banter across groups as you work your way around the low coffee tables designed to look like hewn tree trunks.
Bar prices vary - there is a cocktail menu (including the cocktail in the tea pot) and a bottle of Sol costs £3.50.  Careful though - a Desparado is £4.20, pretty steep for Canterbury, and while you can pay on card, there is a £10 minimum charge.
There was a distinctive pirate theme.  All the bands were calling out for the audience to make pirate noises between sets, which we did enthusiastically.  And then there was this gentleman.
A lovely man, we chatted for a while, he drank brandy and red wine and we danced.  He is a member of another local drama group.  The pirate theme also meant I was pleased I had unknowingly coordinated with these shoes.
My beloved gold skull platform ankle boots from Iron Fist.  Ridiculously comfortable and perfect for the rocker vibe I was channelling last night.

There was also a bathtub by the dance floor.  I'm not kidding.
Let's be honest though.  We were there to dance the night away.  And we did.  Right at the front of the stage, jumping and waving our arms like fools.
Afterwards we collapsed on the sofas, got the drinks in and chatted about all sorts of sweet nothings until the lights came on, the bar staff started lifting the stools onto the tables and we took the hint that we should probably say our goodbyes.

My feet are a bit tingly today.  Sign of a good night.

By the way, apologies for the blurry nature of some of the photo's.  It was really dark, people were dancing quite erratically and this doesn't make for a good combination for my little camera!

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