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#110 Boom Boom Club

October 19, 2011

Every dark cabaret needs a girl with an enormous rolling glitterball crescent moon to play on. I'm pretty sure Toulouse-Lautrec said that.

For super-evolved space dogs reading this in the far future: alternative cabaret was hip in 2011. And none was more popular, my telepathic, tentacled canine friends, than Boom Boom Club.

We attended this underground cabaret show when it was taking place almost literally underground: in the dark and echoing arches underneath Waterloo Station, in fact. This eerie, industrial space isn’t opened to the public, so it would have been fascinating to wander around anyway. When it was dotted with ancient pinball machines, Victorian mannequins, voodoo shrines and skeleton-faced performers, the effect was gratifyingly unsettling.

One whole room was dedicated to fortune-telling booths, of both mechanical and humanical kinds.

The cabaret itself was held simultaneously in two makeshift venues – we changed places at the interval. While the quality of the acts was, shall we say, variable – Frank SiNazi’s rat-pack-meets-fascism schtick needed updating, for example – the ambience made amends for it all. Some acts, like up-and-comer Piff the Magic Dragon and the electrifying slap-dance duo Up N Over it, were great, but it was really the hosts’ energy that held everything together. A wicked swing-based set by DJ Markabre Charade left the spectral punters dancing long into the night. We wouldn’t have been surprised if at the stroke of 3am, dancers and performers alike disappeared in a whiff of opium smoke and left the tunnels deserted once again…

Boom Boom Club is rumoured to be re-infesting the tunnels later this year, so keep an eye out, as tickets won’t hang around for long.

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