Burlesque & Rock N Roll, by Ben Spencer


Laura London & Mr Stu Present Magic, Burlesque & Rock N Roll, by Ben Spencer
Holloway road is a part of London that I am relatively familiar with in regard to several drunken excursions at the former Nambucca venue. However with the venue reaching its unfortunate demise I found myself parting ways with this particular area of north London . When the opportunity to review an event that entailed both bands and burlesque dancers I found myself gravitating towards my destination: The Big Red. The magnitude of tonight’s event was organised and hosted by the fiery haired magician Laura London. Laura became a key figure for me this evening with enough aces up her sleeve to engage not only the venue in the world of magic, she also provided a worthy guide through tonight’s extravagant journey of colourful dancers and passionately charged metal acts From Great Height and Five Second Rule.
Upon arrival the venue was loitering with a strong alternative following who waited eagerly for the extravaganza to proceed. The opening act was Enfield ’s From Great height. The quartet pierce through the venue with Adam’s darkly driven synth that compliments his impressive vocal range. The band themselves battle it out in The Big Red’ raising their sound and passion towards Maynard Keenan. While certain songs appeared like an alliance between both Tool and A Perfect Circle , these guys pull no punches in their dark and brooding journey. The north London prog rockers fill the air with a sinister smoke like ascendancy, truly raising the bar in terms of any prior expectations I had of them. From great height will lock you down into a rollercoaster ride: with twists, turns and pit falls to create one exhilarating journey, one that would give the new SAW themed ride at Thorpe Park a run for its money.

During what was an already an impressive set, The Doll’s Of Sin entered either side of Adam on stage to begin the burlesque dancing of tonight. The duo showed an ability to persevere within the confines of a stage already populated with Adam and his progressive comrades, however their performance suffered. The duo seemed to place an emphasis upon posing for the camera flash instead of working together, the dancing appeared disjointed in regard to the rhythm of music being projected from the band. The Dolls of Sin were clearly trying to achieve something by performing in synchronization with From Great Height, however this was an idea that when put into practise felt both over compensatory and unnecessary.
Fortunately the burlesque acts that followed were able to redeem the evening with the impressive performance of Chrys Columbine. This burlesque dancer shows us why blonds can and will do it better than the rest, as Columbine plays classical music on a piano while removing items of clothing. The execution between playing music and taunting the audience with her gradual nakedness was indeed flawless. Displaying both grace and mastery over her profession this was a dancer not to be taken lightly.
The other burlesque dancers were also able to hold their own on a stage of the electrified evening as north London welcomed Philly Caramel and Claudia de la crème. Two intriguing performers who knew how to get the keep the room booming and keep the guys watching, while Claudia wets anyone’s appetite for more the American Caramel leaves a rich taste in our senses; the taste of the big apple.
Another memorable performer was that of Vaudy Ruin. The sexy vampire of a dancer assumes centre stage and begins her bloodsucking as every guy in the room had eyes on her. Her magnetic pull was unparalleled when a fire lit hoop became a worthy ally within this immense performance: one that reminds us of what happens when we play with fire, and I am sure many of the audience would not want to get burnt; or would they?
The final burlesque performer of the evening witnessed the second round of Chrys Columbine. While her earlier performance startled received the metal head and punk infested venue, she was certainly about to reveal that she had more up her sleeve in her next instalment. In this encounter with the ethereal beauty we are taunted with her wielding two hands held black feathers that resembled wings. The use of these feathers mirrored the sensuality of her performance; the hypnotic spellbound audience had an appetite for burlesque and indeed who better to fill that than Chrys Columbine.
The final addition to the big red extravaganza bought us back from the mesmerizing world of burlesque into the hard rocking performance of Five second rule. The grunge driven quartet fused together with 80’s metal stormed through their set with tight musicianship and an organic fluidity. Together with Spider MCrawl’s husky vocals and his well refined band conjure up some serious hard rocking anthems, these guys are hard to resist and indeed stand strong in a world where music has become somewhat saturated with bands of a lower credibility. Five Second Rule have a “get up and go nuts” factor as dancers Miss ReJoyce and the lush Little Bo Freak take centre stage showing us how burlesque and bands can stand side by side as the convergence between the two becomes a powerful force to be reckoned with.