REVIEW: Hot Club de Swing Xmas Spectacular @ Hare & Hounds, Fri 20th Dec

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Words by Althea Patterson, pics by Carlie-Ann Hare

For the full Flickr of pics, click here

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._DSC0033 - lr

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?

_DSC0013 - lrWhatever 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.

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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.

_DSC0008 - lrElectric 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._DSC0036 - lr

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.

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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/

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For more gigs at the Hare & Hounds, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/event-listings

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