I can’t dance. I just can’t. A lot of my life is lived vicariously through the artistic energies of others, so why should swing dancing be any different? When I was invited out to the Electro Swing Club’s dance party at The Electric Owl last Thursday, I jumped (jived, and wailed?) at the chance.
When I arrived at The Electric Owl that night (after my obligatory cheap pint at The Ivanhoe), I was met at the door by Miss Lydia DeCarllo. This is always a good sign. After a brief chat, we entered together and I was met at the ticket table by Valentin, my host for the evening. The party was already in full swing (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). Deanna Knight and the Hot Club of Mars were on stage and the dance floor crowded with the “swing kids” giving it their all. Most were dressed in period-specific attire and the moves they were pulling off were inspired. Unlike most of my arrivals at The Electric Owl, instead of heading straight for the bar for a sleeve of Pilsner, I stood and watched, taking in the scene, for a good five or ten minutes before making my way to the back bar.
After the band finished their amazing set, there was a fashion show. As soon as I saw the dresses parading across the stage, there was no doubt in my mind that the gang from Scout Boutique were rocking the house. Something I have always appreciated about the clothing at Scout and the girls from Morrismore Models who parade it across the stage is the accessibility of it. The dresses may not cater to everyone’s personal style, but the variety of sizes certainly makes the dresses available to every woman, not just those who possess the magazine-perfect Size 2.
When the fashion show ended, a second swing band took the stage. Company B was the perfect band to fill the dance floor again. They were the Andrews Sisters reborn. Matching outfits and perfect harmonies turned the Electric Owl into a USO party. The mood was upbeat, the crowd truly electric (I’m on a mission to see how many truly awful puns I can reasonably squeeze into this piece.).
The closer that night was a three-performance, burlesque set. Scarlet Delirium, Lydia DeCarllo, and Burgundy Brixx took the stage like only they know how. I had never seen Scarlet Delirium perform before. She looked like a living doll. Miss DeCarllo was her usual cheeky self, in every way she could be. Any day you can see her impish grin and wonderfully cute bum at the same time is a really good day. As for Burgundy Brixx, the woman is a true professional and I almost feel bad to use the term “effortless” because I happen to know just how much effort she actually applies to her trade.
All in all it was certainly one of the best events I have been to in a while. I’d seen the poster for the show leaving the Night Owl Review but, had it not been for an email from Valentin, I probably wouldn’t have gone. So I will have to remember to thank him for that at the very least.
After I left The Electric Owl, I stopped in at The Keefer to catch Villainy Loveless, Little Miss Risk, and Cherry OnTop perform the last (12am) set. After missing my bus, I considered my options. I didn’t want to call for a ride and I didn’t want to pay the $40 for a taxi home. So, out of options, I decided to Occupy Vancouver. Yeah, I did. But that, my friends, is another story of this wonderful city of ours.