It’s about time Nottingham hosted a night where you can dress up like a dandy to dance the Charleston and leave with your bow tie around your ankles, so we’d like to thank Tim Moorhouse and Josh Neely for bringing new night ‘Swing’ to Spanky van Dykes. Imagine beginning the evening waltzing pleasantly with Bugsy Malone and finishing being flung around to the shriek of trumpets by The Jungle Book’s Louie, King of the Apes – fabulous.
The venue was terrifically well chosen, complete with quirky paraphernalia from the 30s/40s, old records and photographs adorning the walls, and other visual goodies such as a bizarre caravan installation. There was an effective contrast between the ambience on each floor, with a lively (albeit sweaty) upstairs dance floor where the band played, and a spacious downstairs chill-out area where drinks could be drunk without being spilt.
A live swing group kicked off the evening, with impressive performances from saxophone, keyboards and a suitably smoky voiced singer. The DJ then positively tore the dance floor a new trilby, pumping a stunning mixture of familiar sounding beats and unknown gems, all with a toe- tapping ‘electro swing’ vibe. Think ‘Itchy Feet’ but less twisting and more mad cancan-ing, or ‘Twisted Hearts’ but less carnival. The atmosphere was electrifying; people were pulling out the sort of moves usually reserved for Fatboy Slim videos, and were genuinely unwilling to leave at the end of the night.
As with all launch nights there were a few downfalls. Drinks prices were pretty extortionate (£3.50 for a single gin and tonic), though for beer swillers there was the offer of four Red Stripes for a tenner. The queue was similarly heinous: getting tickets in advance is recommended, but assurances have been made that next time there will be more on the door.
Overall ‘Swing’ was exceptionally well judged. The costumes were fantastic, the atmosphere was spot on and the gimmicks were well supported by the music. If you enjoy shaking a tail feather in any way shape or form, you’d be dim-witted not to go to the next one.