Words by Althea Patterson, pics by Carlie-Ann Hare
Well this is ridiculous fun…
Straight-laced amateurs move closely and nervously, while the more serious dancers sway and bop with gracious ease; shaming all us who sit and gawp.
Tattooed rockabillies Jive and Lindy-Hop to beautiful Swing music. Gig posters for Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington adorn the walls. Is this really 2013 Kings Heath, or a Capone controlled Speakeasy in 30’s Chicago?
Whatever it is, it’s brought out an eclectic mix of folk; from hippies, rockers, too-cool-for-school wannabes and the simply curious, wondering what the hell is going on. I sup my beer and embrace the madness.
The dancers continue to move with ease and style, perfecting routines that would make a surefooted cat look clumsy; an absolute delight. My cohorts and I sit watch with respect and a twinge of envy.
In the first of two rooms, I was in the one for the dancers and shakers. And it’s a refreshing change to slip between centuries; from Singapore Sling to Sex on The beach in a heartbeat.
In the second room – what a contrast. My neck cricks at the speed of the spin. Faux Flappers writhe between hip hoppers, Electric Swing Circus slap the stage with their infectious exuberant eclecticism; with influences as diverse as Bjork, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae and the Spice Girls.
Electric Swing Circus’ leading lady, Laura Louise, dons a Santa-esque red dress trimmed with faux ermine to belt out a confident set. A lady who says she’s a natural extrovert, I fall in love with her stage presence.
And the band are kicking down the door of change in music for 2014; declaring they want to “bring something spectacularly fresh to pop music”. I hope they do; as go home at 3am, listening to their deliciously infectious eponymous debut album, I still have oodles of energy.
A great night; I loved the dancing, the 40’s seamed stockings, zoot suits, and gusto from the passionate people both partaking and observing.
Thank you Hot Club de Swing, have a spectacular Christmas, and more please.
For more on Hot Club de Swing, visit https://www.facebook.com/hotclubdeswing
For more on Electric Swing Circus, visit http://www.electricswingcircus.com/
For more on the Swingamajig festival, visit http://swingamajig.co.uk/
For more gigs at the Hare & Hounds, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/event-listings