It started as many weekends have done past for I at the start of spring; being pulled in opposite directions by my sister at one arm, and buddy fi long time, sweens by the other. With their birthdays both positioned on the 21st of March, again I faced creating some sort of let down on my given parties. I was just butterfly reeled in again with nervous fisherman choice of who to break it too. Previously I had tried trying to get them to the same party (considering that they have similar tastes of music and fun, you would anticipate that this would be not so difficult) but once again the pair had booked themselves in for events quite the opposite ends of the spectrum: Sween on one side of the map in his parents pub (norfolk) and my sis quite the other at “Playgroup” in a club (Brighton). Decide-able was I that this year this year there was a way I wouldn’t have to and determinedly squeeze em’ both in…… somehow.
Desirable I was to go to Playgroup, a night I heard and seen much about on my various adventures down to the south coast, it sounded like a wacky affair… “secret garden party in a club” on chap hyped to me on occasion. Amongst many other stories, many involving fancy dress shenanigans, this one had been well on the books to go to for a long time…
So on friday the 26th of march, in mind of many long journeys ahead I began planning my train travel to Brighton and Beyond. Regardless of the sleepless state I’d end up in the next night and Sween’s Pub, It seemed worth it for two parties and possibly free pub food, right? With echos of the comments made about the nights secret garden-esque vibe and the fact it was my sisters birthday it seemed pretty ‘fitting’ to wear the getup she picked out for me for the same very festival last year. A long brown South Indian style dress, with beads and sequins all over it (yes, I am a little tea pot). The choice was a tight one, but it was the perfect extra layer for the time of year and the Brighton cold sea breeze I had got to know well from similar nights out.
In the scrambling before departure that fair friday night, I encountered my housemate Jon ‘ALAN’ Davis in the Kitchen, making his usual pre sleep squash Berroca mix. If you haven’t met or heard of Jon, he is not human, he is of the robotic breed. Works full time whilst maintaining one of Londons hottest nights (ALAN) as chief promoter, amongst others. On a day to day, the guy barely sleeps. Most of the time is emailing someone. An inspiring doode to be around due to his relentless work and play ethic. He was supposed to be ON again that fabled friday night, and so he could have the energy, he was planning to sleep for a few hours then get up at midnight and drive to London to flyer for his next event… or so he explained. Meanwhile I was slamming my bish bosh four veg. burgers into the oven and forth-ing the back about our night plans running my lip about how good it was going to be. Now Jon is a pretty incorruptible kind of chap, makes decisions and sticks to them.. with a certain ..’wont let anyone down unless I’m dead’ .. kind of thing about his character. But since meeting the guy at a Glade Festival in 2007, mashed, I suppose I always knew his weakness- a good party opportunity. Say to any Co -raver or party head that your heading to a wicked party and by thus information; they will board the ship, by whatever means. Sure enough, just before I left the house Jon came flying down the stairs in his PJ’s screaming that he was “coming”, like an adolescent teenager.
Scrapping the train Idea as it was late and Jon now needed to get ready to go out, we switched the transportation method, leaped into his car, and flew the cuckoo’s nest. Off to get petrol, J realized that there was need of air in his tires, so we sped round to another station on the route to the motor-way. The back right tire at the back he began to pump up when reaching the garage. Everything seemed fine but on removal of the correct air pressure, an unexpected turn of events happened. The tire valve (that keeps the air in the tire) popped off! Leaving us stationary at a petrol station in Guildford with a nights plans seeming now nowhere reachable.
My initial reaction was laughter (probably due to the classic situation we were now in), though this quickly turned to a reality check strokey beard meeting, after realizing that this in fact was also the spare tire. Jon and I both smiling, went about trying to piece together a method of getting to Brighton. Our first idea being getting a similar spare tire, that would fit the shoe of his Peugeot. I rang a good friend who offered to come out from his evening plans and hook us up with what Jon promised to be the same fit as Renaults were also “french” cars and this meant they were similar?! In the meantime before the french spare arrival, we entered the garage, to get out of the rain and devise a plan. Surprised to find at the back of the shop £1.99 superglue, we jested and thought it was worth a shot gluing the tire back together. Funnily enough it worked, we filled the tire with air, it held the pressure (of its air and the weight of the car), and with the friends french spare not working we decided to set out on our now botched job…
Having driven around town for several hours looking for a tire and flirting with the idea of “borrowing” one.. we decided that the best thing to do to keep karma was to make nice and drive on the motorway to Brighton at 70mph..(With the logic that the pressure wouldn’t even intensify past that point, it seemed like a good idea) thats right SUPER GLUE!!
The Playgroup part of the night kicked off like many other by bumping into friends and family outside this time at the Komedia and forming a considerable line outside. Having waited there for a while, the night seemed to be well under way and buzzing with excitement from those that had got inside and were festively dressed in the smoking area. Unlike any other night I’d been to though, much entertainment was provided outside. Magicians with mind boggling trick and fire wallets were all apart of the entourage. The most memorable people perhaps being the two australian girls hiding behind there home-made bush and catching and naming the que members. A friend got labeled (yes even with a sticker!) an ‘orange capped bush onion’ :[) with Rabies, much to our amusement.
Inside we bounced to the likes of the Dub Pistols, who started smoking inside and starting on some of the staff.. which seemed a little rich for me to an extent.. although they did play ‘Running In the Cyclone’.. so I suppose they have been God at some point in time 🙂 Other memorable performances included that of the fresh of the underground stylings of ‘The Correspondents‘ in full jazzy getup; dancing beneath the mini hot air balloon baskets and literally raising the rafters. At the end of thier performance Mr Chuckles running some pure DnB tear-outs with lead chap Mr Bruce hopping through the crowd onto the bar and up the far wall, all the while swing-dancing shadowing every daytime saturday movie I ever watched as a kid. Unbelievably I don’t think he missed a word on his high energy nazal Mc Vocal patrol.
The next event is the Playgroup team up with the Secret Garden Party Crew to round off the end of the Brighton Fringe Festival on Sunday May 30th Make sure you get yourself their its not to be missed. Artists including “The Worm” and “Molotov Jukebox” .. its gonna be BIGG!!
To finnish up the story, I managed to get home… on the same super-glue tires that got me there! Then a lift to Norfork the same day.. hooray!!
Lots O Love,
Dave Pickavance – The Mad Dash Crew