Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today I am ... at a lunchtime disco

The entrance to Drink, Shop & Dance, based in a former sex shop on Caledonian Road
A visit to London's only daytime disco was only ever going to go one of two ways; awkward sober dancing with colleagues, or a mad, surreal slice of fun to start the weekend early.

After hearing about the monthly Lunchtime Disco at Drink, Shop & Dance (what's not to love about that name) and championing it enthusiastically at work, I recruited a small gang of curious friends to join me in this 'social experiment' on payday Friday last week.

We were greeted by a neon Adult Erotica sign as we walked down the garish red staircase into Drink, Shop & Dance (the naughtier, underground alter-ego of cute and quirky café Drink, Shop & Do on Caledonian Road).  At this point I felt a little sheepish as my colleagues wondered what kind of event I had brought them to, but any dance party that operates a BYOS (bring your own sandwich) policy has got to be worth a try, so in we went.

The erotica sign is actually a genuine memento from the club's former life as a sex shop, which is also hinted at by the peep holes in the walls, through which you can admire vintage pin ups. It was a stroke of genius to leave these up as ghosts of the club's chequered past, adding to the speakeasy-esque sense of taboo and intrigue.

Once inside, the atmosphere was in fact rather innocent and welcoming; the disproportionately female clientele were predominantly fun, friendly girls in pretty dresses who fancied a lunchtime micro-boogie (good news for any single men in the Kings Cross area), and most of the action centred around a disco ball and a giant foam sandwich. Jess Indeedy, the founding DJ of the Lunchtime Disco, explained to us that she designed the sandwich especially so it would be super-light enough for revellers to inevitably pick it up and dance with it - and who were we to deny the sandwich of its sole purpose in life?

Dancing with a giant foam sandwich
The club itself is fun and dramatic, with sumptuous candlesticks and sweeping curtains alongside mismatched second hand furniture and 1980s boomboxes stuck to the wall, and the cocktail list is a thing of wonder with over 30 boutique gins and infusions.

Boutique gins at Drink, Shop & Dance. Image from squaremeal.co.uk
Pre-1pm, the vibe felt more like a chilled weeknight in a funky gin house than an all-singing, all-dancing disco. However we needn't have worried; there's only so long you can stay sat down while the amazing Jess Indeedy cracks out the kitsch 80s pop (including Shake Shake Señora and Madonna's Holiday) from her DJ booth atop a piano.

With some of our group only having ten minutes to spare, we quickly threw our inhibitions to the wind and cracked out the classic moves, including the sprinkler, the 'putting on the trousers', the shopping trolley, the 'floppy arm' move and my new favourite, the Chinook.

Half an hour later, when our group was down to just me and one friend, the whole room was suddenly buzzing and everyone was on their feet throwing shapes and taking turns posing with the sandwich. It attracted a lovely crowd who seemed to be in high spirits, feeling a little naughty, and just wanting to squeeze as much joy as they could out of their lunch break before going back for the last unproductive leg of the week.

DJ Jess Indeedy
Luckily for me, I wasn't going back to work. With a friend visiting from afar, I'd booked the afternoon off and we enjoyed that brilliantly liberating feeling of being tipsy in the daytime while everyone else is at work.

We indulged our munchies with a slightly hazy trip to Borough Market, where we had wild boar sausages and impulse purchased Gruyere and prosecco, before meeting friends at the Old Thameside Inn where we sat outside by the river as the sun went down. Now that's what I call a Friday afternoon.

Lunchtime Disco (free entry) takes place from 12pm to 3pm on the last Friday of each month at Drink, Shop & Dance, 9 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, London, N1 9DX.

1 comment:

  1. They should do one on the weekend too! Other cities (Berlin) have loads of daytime dancing options. I love dancing but can't cope with staying up til the early hours so much these days.