#183 Candlelight Club
Katy bar the door! It’s another 20s night. Candlelight Club operates in the style of a US speakeasy, with names on the guest list accessed from – in this case – a single open door behind Angel tube station. With only a hundred and fifty or so ticketed guests, and seating for just about everyone, this was a far cry from Prohibition‘s cavernous knees-up.
The stark white gallery space was lit only by candlelight. As you can see from the horrible photo (I’ll sort out the photography at some point, honest, no I will, okay I probably won’t; it’s free, deal with it), it wasn’t as darkened as that sounds. There were tealights all up in your face. In fact, it was probably a shade too light – instead of giving the place a hush-hush, members-only feel, it was a bit too shopping-mall bright.
If the ambience wasn’t 100% Charlston-inducing, at least the cocktails were spot-on. They were recreations of ancient proto-cocktails, containing generous swigs of red and white vermouth, bitters, throat-scorching whiskey and a, of course, an imperial shedload of gin. For the extravagantly bohemian, absinthe was on the menu too.
“Not served in teacups, as has become standard, though”, we harrumphed disapprovingly, like the spoilt snobs we’ve become. “I mean, they even do that in the Arts Theatre Club on Greek St. And look over there! That dress is plainly from the early 1940s. I mean, some people have no class.”
Nevertheless, when the band got into the swing of things, the tiny dancefloor area was soon filled with stockinged gals and freewheeling fellas. Finally, everyone was having a good time.
And just as everything was falling into place, on the stroke of midnight the real lights came up, the Candlelight Club shut down in a very un-speakeasy fashion, and we had to wend our individual, sad little ways home*. Huh!
Wait. This is unfair. I mean, a group of assuredly very nice people made a great effort to put on a really cool, fun night, and all we can do is complain. I mean, the whole thing was great. Just great. Ignore the carpings above. Put them out of your mind!
It’s a good guideline of reviewing that the harshest opinions make the best reviews. I’m not sure I agree – especially when it’s not products but subjective experiences that you’re writing up. If we’re not careful, our dissections of interesting events and places will turn into grey, bullet-pointed criticisms of everything. We’ll release them in PowerPoint format, for anonymous executives to display in beige, airless rooms, until the sheer bile-filled monotony of the process causes a psychic maelstrom, warping all of humankind instantly into drooling ghouls with a taste for child-flesh.
Or we can keep spouting rainbows and hippogriffs and HEY COOL!, and the world will be safe.
Yeah, let’s go with that option.
*Should read ‘we had to follow hospitable friends and drink solidly for the next four hours at their place’, actually.