Tonight I went to my second ever Vauxhallville.
The only time me and TSB ventured out to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on a Thursday before, we'd just finished work and were due to fly abroad on holiday next day - so there was a Schoooool's Out feeling and we drank accordingly. Since then, I suppose I've always associated Vauxhallville, like Duckie, with unable-to-work-the-next-day hangoverness. Which, as I was able to establish tonight, isn't really what the evening's about.
It helped that Garethwyn was there. I've been to clubs on my own and certainly wouldn't have minded sitting through Vauxhallville's acts alone; I like being able to chat between cabaret turns, though, and appreciated his company. He pointed out Adele Anderson sat in the audience. Tonight's theme was a sort of historical celebration of Vauxhall (introduced by Nathaniel deVille reading a passage from Thackeray's Vanity Fair), including people blowing up and decorating balloons (as a nod to the Pleasure Gardens entertainment of yore). Now, I'm mildly balloon-phobic (don't ask) so didn't take part, but this led onto a very interesting discussion of phobias and (what with Nathaniel's co-host Timberlina mentioning the - for me - traumatic beginning of Enduring Love) nightmares. More on that some other time.
Anyway, I was on a three pint limit and it wasn't too difficult to stick to this - unlike Duckie, where the five, six hours of music mean alcohol's consumed at varying rates and we drink as fast as the fastest drinker ("another?") in the party. No, this evening felt positively civilised by comparison with Duckie's bacchanalia. Although I succumbed to the Pavlovian walk-in-the-door-and-buy-a-Stella impulse, I noticed several people drinking wine and thought, "ooh, that might be nice in future".
Timing it well, I arrived just as the acts were starting. Nathaniel introduced Fivesome, a five-piece woodwind group, impeccably dressed with a bit of a red shoe theme (which garned its own little mini-applause). They played Entrance Of The Queen Of Sheba, then some Gershwin backing for the dulcet Gill Manly:
Timberlina was in vaguely Les Miserables Wench Mode, necking Mother's Ruin:
Highlight of the night (and I took my cue from Garethwyn's eager readying of the camera in anticipation of his turn) was Ari the Aerialist, who hung, draped and spun himself around a hoop suspended from the ceiling, improvising to Nathaniel's (non-pink) oboe accompaniment from the stage. The juxtaposition of a beautiful, classically muscled male form within a circle made me think of Mapplethorpe, although obviously Ari's performance was dynamic rather than stylised/static.
Exchanged a few words with Luke Bear, who was looking attractive as ever, with his beard looking slightly longer and more defined than usual. He and Bearlesque did their can-can. I've seen it before but the live backing added an extra element. Nice pants, too:
And here they are exposing their mimsies:
Really appreciated Dawn Right Nasty's DJing this time, too. I noticed it before, at our previous pre-holiday, drunken Vauxhallville but more so this time. An eclectic, intuitive music selection, less obtrusive and more... sedate? (not the correct word, but in keeping with a pub/cabaret as opposed to dance/club setting) than the Readers Wifes, but quite Readers Wifesish in the sense that it suited the night and hit my choonspot. Was too shy to go say hello - and she was trapped in her illuminated hermitage.
Will definitely do Vauxhallville again.