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Blog: Cabaret!

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I was in London's Glittering Kings Cross last night for a return spot at Tricity Vogue's Ukulele Cabaret. On the way I was thinking "This was a LOVELY gig last time", so was surprised when I arrived and found the pub was full of screaming tossers, SHOUTING at each other in a room full of Drunk Businessmen. "Yes", my BRANE said, "this is what it was like last time."

I was confused - how could I remember it as BOTH being lovely AND horrible? Then I realised I had made exactly the same mistake as before, and arrived FAR too early. I went somewhere else for a coffee then hung around for a bit, and LO! by 8pm the vast majority of awful people had staggered off home and been replaced by LOVELY people. Next time I do this, please somebody remind me to get there at eight o'clock instead!

I have spoken at some length about the difference between INDIE and COMEDY gigs, but this was another different type of gig again i.e. it was CABARET, which seems to feature the positive aspects of BOTH. The atmosphere is very similar to an indie gig, in that it's a crowd made up of friendly and variously odd types of people who know each other but welcome others, the line between audience members and performers is extremely blurred, and the emphasis is on DRINK and general lairiness. It's also like a comedy gig in that there IS comedy and the emphasis is on LARFS and interaction, rather than introspection and Respectful Listening.

THUS it is the sort of gig I really really like, especially as nobody seems to mind if you've just rolled in in your everyday clothes, rather than getting GLAMMED up. This was handy, as there were a LOT of people glammed up, especially the first act on, Topsie Redfern. She was in FULL Drag, looking AMAZING, and went on to do a very funny, happy, inclusive set of BIG songs and tunes with a LOT of audience participation. I must admit I did think "How on earth am I going to follow THIS?!" but quickly realised there was no realistic way I could, so concentrated on enjoying the show before going on and doing MY bit.

A week or so ago Tricity had emailed to warn me it was going to be a Fashion-themed gig, but that I wasn't to worry... I'm sure I don't know WHAT she meant! She is an excellent host, and very cleverly prepared the audience for the complete change in VISUAL TEMPO from Topsie to me but, as I said when I went on, she didn't need to as I was THE MOST FASHIONABLE person in the room. Apparently NORMCORE is the current big thing, and if looking like a middle-aged man on his day off is COOL, then you may consider me THE HEIGHT OF CHIC. "Lap it up, squares", I seem to recall saying, before launching into THIS:
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • I Did A Gig In New York went down pretty well, and I'd decided to do Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine next because it was about the LAST time I'd been fashionable, back in the early 90s when GRUNGE came in and suddenly looking like a smelly student was on the front of VOGUE. It went OK, but it was a bit too SEDATE and I lost the audience a bit, HENCE dropping my original idea of playing The Merchant Ivory Punks (which is also about fashion) and doing the OLD FAITHFUL set closer instead. Wise choice!

    I lurked around for a bit afterwards and had a chat with some VERY pleasant people, thoroughly enjoyed the other acts, and generally thought "Cabaret and Cabaret people are DELIGHTFUL!" I hope I get asked to do it again, but next time I'll get there a bit later!

    posted 12/3/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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