Wednesday, 29 July 2009
1930's hip hop
It’s just past midnight on a Sunday evening in the middle of the countryside. 2009’s Secret Garden Party is coming to a bleary, rainbow fairy-lit, slightly damp and decidedly quiet end. Party-goers (or ‘gardeners’ as they prefer to be known) are wandering from tent to tent, past idyllic lake and snake-head stage, hoping for more musical mayhem. Those who were lucky enough to find their way to the dilapidated Officer’s Mess will not have been disappointed. Through a tiny tilted wooden door you escaped the rain and the cold and found yourself in a scene straight from MASH, skull and cross bones flag, peeling posters of pin up girls and one or two sawn-off muskets. As four men in lion masks prowled about the DJ booth it looked as though Kate Bush through sodden speakers was all we were going to get. Then an unassuming man in horn rimmed spectacles, a tail coat and wet look leggings took to the stage as ‘King of the Swingers’ from The Jungle Book began blasting out behind him. What happened next was without a doubt everyone presents’ highpoint of the festival. The man could skat, and how!
Mr. Bruce of the Correspondents kept the Officer’s Mess jumping for the next hour, literally splitting the sides of the tent at one point as more and more gardeners tried to squeeze their way in. Grimey beats, squelchy bass lines, all from a man with a cravat who calls you ‘Old Bean’ and wouldn’t look out of place in a P.G.Wodehouse novel. The Correspondents make Jay Z look like the guy who sang ‘zipadeedooda’, get a life Grandpa! We’re dancing to beaten-up swing skat!. If you’ve ever dreamt of getting down and dirty with Fred Astaire or shaking your money maker with King Louis then these are the men for you. Like tap dancing on a tea cup spiked by Ugly Duckling, we are pulling up our spats and dusting off our top hats in anticipation for the next gig.