I’ve never been to a ‘Steampunk’-styled event as a punter – only playing with Sunday Driver – so it was a little bit odd to find myself at the Sphinx dining club last weekend, in the charming company of the Optimist on Tour, Mark Stevenson, and a bevy of lovely ladies (and a few chaps. But it was really all about the ladies).
Also odd to be going for a night out in South London, but thanks to the engineering miracle that is the East London line, it took barely 40 minutes to make it from Dalston to Crystal Palace. Mr Brunel would have approved.
The aim of the whole thing was to raise money for the Picture Palace campaign – a local group aiming to bring a cinema to Crystal Palace. Apparently, there used to be four, but now there are none and the locals (and even those further afield) would like a picture house to call their own.
Anyway, I had a brilliant time. The three-course dinner was delicious, the free gin cocktails were awesome, the entertainment was charming, and everyone looked incredible. I’m glad I left when the band started playing a ska version of Pachelbel’s Canon- that would have been a step too far.
Star of the night for me was the silhouette artist Alison Russell, who conjoured incredibly accurate portraits of the guests with nothing more than a pair of scissors and some black paper.
Do go and check out the video on her website – it’s absolutely amazing. I really hope we can get her involved with Sunday Driver in some way, either artwork or at gigs.
Here are some of my pics from the night: