Yesterday I was at work talking about my weekend – as you do when you are taking your third or fourth cheeky tea break of the day, when I was trying to describe what Fox & Badge was. You see, I have been to this event three times now, and whereas I was not planning to write about it again, I seem unable to keep my mouth shut, and people seem to keep asking me about it. So here we are once again talking about what I’ve called in the past “The Best Night in London”.
Last weekend was the first Fox and Badge of the year. For those who haven’t read my other two reviews, F&B is a club night held in London twice a year. Now bear in mind that I use the term ‘club night’ very loosely here as to be honest, it is everything but that. The theme for the night was Religion, and when I say they took this theme to heart, I mean it. The location of the night was the Steelyard by Cannon street which is a stunning venue to say the least. This time around, unlike last year, they had access to the entire venue, meaning they had an extra bar/chilled area to play with.
So let’s talk about the decor. As soon as you walked in, you were faced with the Temple – a large and long area with a bar on the right a sitting area on the left. The Temple, as the name suggest, was decorated to replicate a Hindu/Buddhist temple, so there were Krishna’s and Buddha’s on the walls, incense sticks, red, yellow and orange flower trails, and gold decor everywhere. You walked in and instantly felt like you were transported to another world. The music here was melodic techno, borderline on trance, so between the music, the decor, the incense smells and the art performance, you were straight away held captive in this maze of spirituality.
Leaving the Temple and turning to the right you found the main space with high ceilings, a long curved bar, and the most impressive altar I think I have seen in a one-night-only event. The altar was were the DJ was set, high above everyone, with lighting behind the set, so that the DJ took an almost god-like status (because, let’s be honest, the DJ is the god of the party). This space was themes around Catholism, hence the main altar, as well as all the Jesus, Marys and candles scattered throughout the space.
Upstairs there were two main sections, one space just off the main floor where it took more of a esoteric theme (even though it did have a confessional), so there were tarot/divine readings and a ‘cleansing’ area which was almost like a mini dungeon. The other area was on the other side of the venue, on top of the Temple, and that was what I called the ‘sexy space’ so lots of mattresses on the floor, with more incense and candles everywhere.
This is just the decor (and trust me, there was so much more to see, but I am trying to keep this post at a readable length) – the performances were also plentiful. From the Virgin Xtravaganzah, which I have now seen three times and I am becoming more and more obsessed with her, to a rope show which resembled the crucifixion of Jesus, an actual church choir, an angelic quarter with pagan influences, a cello soloist…. Every time I turned a corner, there was something happening. I’ve surely missed a lot of the performances, but there is just so.much.to.see.and.do.
But what about the music, you ask? Well, it has been very well documented in this blog that I don’t do techno. I just don’t get it. I know it’s suppose to be spiritual and all that, but I am a Buddhist, a very spiritual one at that, and I don’t get it. HOWEVER, this time they didn’t stick to just melodic/progressive techno – they also ventured into more heavy techno, which meant I danced. Like actually danced for quite some time and I loved it! The ambience, combined with the music and the visual art overwhelmed my senses and transported me somewhere far from Earth.
You should start to get a sense as to why this is not a club night – this is an immersive art installation. This is escapism in its most indulgent form. It’s detox for the soul and body. You may well think I am exaggerating, but I always bring a few newbies with me and they all always leave the night in some sort of trance.
This occasion was also different to me because I was lucky enough to help the amazing power house behind this event, Alex and Sinead, to set up the event. Albeit, I only did the morning shift, but needless to say, seeing the amount of sweat and tears that they go through is admirable. To say that they have attention to detail and vision is an understatement. I honestly do not know where they get the energy to do all the preparation, the set up, partying, take-down and host an after-party. I am so grateful that people like them exist, and that they continue to push the barrier of art and sensuality.
Sensuality. I’ve just said that F&B is an immersive art installation, but I will add the word sensuality to the mix, because at its core, F&B is dark and sensual. Not sexy, but sensual (yes, there is a vast difference between the two). I think a few people regard them as a fetish night, which I guess it can be true depending on your definition of fetish, but for me it isn’t. It doesn’t have a dungeon or a couple’s area, and exhibitionism (in fetish terms) is not permitted, but it is certainly sensual. The energy that you feel at this event is something very raw and almost animalistic with a twist of elegance and a drop of Victorian prohibition. See? I am talking in tongues again.
Last thing I will mention (long post, I know) is the people. As always, people make the night and this was no exception. I am very lucky that the events I go to are always attended by nice and friendly people, so I do count my lucky starts every time. The people at F&B are extremely friendly, and just really nice people in general. I’ve also met some people who read my blog which always surprises me as I still think this blog is only read by me and my boyfriend, but I guess according to Google Stats, there are over 1000 of you out there, so thank you for coming up to me and saying hi. And for reading my posts!
Tickets for their next event (usually held towards the end of the year) will go live soon, so I highly recommend you add this name to your calendar, because it is honestly THE best night in London by miles and I doubt anyone is going to come closer to their spot. If you want to experience escapism and art in its truest form, you know where to go!