Thursday, 11 March 2010

What a night!

What a night! Nutshell's Alice in Wonderland Tea, Cake and Gin Party was a grand success.

Stuffing many scrumptious cakes into their mouths, the various Alices, Mad Hatters, Dormice and other non-dressed-up-folks enjoyed an evening of music and readings to raise money for Nutshell magazine’s second edition.

The Korsan Bar, venue for the evening, was well decorated with customised playing cards featuring the Jack of Nutshells, Nutshell squirrels and other illustrations by Siobhan Maguire as well as balloons, party poppers and paper teapots. Many of the guests and organisers donated gorgeous, multicoloured homemade cakes and biscuits, and the evening included a raffle with many Alice-inspired prizes as well as a rather random bottle of vintage sherry.

The night kicked off with the Bobby McGee’s, undisputed royalties of twee indie, who, with the help of a ukulele and some silver pom-poms, delivered a heart-warming and refreshingly unusual performance. After all the excitement a grown, beardy Scottish man with pom-poms can bring, there followed a reading of three poems by Don Paterson, another much respected Scot whose interview will feature in the much awaited second issue.

Then on came indie rockers Inland Empire. With a frontman somewhat reminiscent of George Lamb, Inland Empire combined a lazy vocal style with old school Rock and Roll and a great stage presence. Substantial merriment was had by all.

Here the evening took a curious turn indeed: after Inland Empire, a selection of actors and Nutshell team members performed a rollercoaster of a reading of the Mad Tea Party scene from Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, featuring Angie Valenti as a Mad Hatter well worthy of its attribute, Kat Redstone as a very suave March Hare and Colin Reed as a perky Alice, perhaps enjoying the blonde wig and little blue dress a bit too much.

Then, without further ado, the London based trio Coppers for Karma got us all out of our comfortable seats and down to the dance floor with their explosive energy, glittery eyes and massive grins. Hooray!

The evening was rounded off nicely with the Housewives, a jovial and entertaining combination of Indie, Drum&Bass and Latin. Everyone was drunk and merrily dancing while, on stage one housewife played various percussive instruments and a small archaic keyboard. The audience took great pleasure in watching a man thump seven shades of s**t out of a cowbell and the live acts came to an end in style.

Now my memory runs a little hazy, although after a few bottles of the Korsan’s finest vino it’s really no surprise. All I know is I ate lots of cake, danced too much and ran into a lovely opium-smoking caterpillar on the way home, which in my book is a good night.

Lucy Adlard

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