I’ve decided 2015 is the year I embark on my social experiment/project: “Talking to Strangers”. And I shall blog about my little random adventures, for no reason – other than to practice my writing. I’m pretending I’m a character in a book, and people I meet are also characters. I know it sounds weird. I know I’m weird. But I love writing, just for the sake of it, even if it’s not good, clever or entertaining. I’m writing for me. I’m writing for the future me.
Wednesday 4 March: An Oasis in East London.
My friend is a musician and invited me to a gig tonight at the Kings Head, she even kindly put me on the guest list. I googled the place “a private members club”. Private members – sounds exclusive. Sounds posh. Somewhere I normally would never get in.
I get to the destination and for a second I was worried I got the wrong place, because it looked like it was shut down, it looked like an abandoned, derelict building, with all the windows and doors boarded up. I looked around nervously, there was no entrance. Then a man with big dreadlocks came out of a door, out of nowhere it seemed.
Me: “uh, I’m here for a gig”
The Man With Big Dreadlocks smiled encouragingly, nodded and simply said “Yes”. I felt like maybe he was the Oracle. He pressed a buzzer. And then the door magically opened (okay it didn’t magically open – the doorman/bouncer on the other end opened it). I walked in.
Hostess behind the counter: “Hello”
Me: “Oh hi, erm my friend is playing in a gig tonight, and I think I’m on the guest list” I gabbed on, without actually giving my own name, until she had to ask me. Ha ha. Oops.
I was then led through thick black velvet curtains and behind it a room that was breathtaking exquisite.
Chandeliers, elegant paintings, and a gigantic “stuffed” tiger over the bar.
Me to the barman: “wow this place is very posh. The decor is so nice. Is that a real tiger? I thought I got the wrong place because the outside is all boarded up and looks shut down”
Barman smiled knowingly: “yes, that’s the idea. We don’t take in walking customers. It’s members only”.
All of a sudden I felt privileged being let in. I ordered a virgin mojito, the barman even made a little flower out of mint leaves. Cute.
I then explored the place, and accidentally walked into the gents toilets, those are funny looking sinks…
There were a lot of stuffed animals dotted about – I don’t know if they were real or not, but the baboon at the bottom of the stairs gave me a fright.
I eventually ventured downstairs to where the gig was taking place and the room was enveloped in sparkly blue lights – I suddenly felt like I was in a dystopian world where only certain people were allowed in this secret club and I just stumbled across it by accident.
I found an empty seat next to a couple and asked the girl if it was free and she smiled yes.
I listened to the live music whilst looking around admiring the atmosphere and wondered how rich everyone was. Apparently membership is very very expensive!
I then noticed a “stuffed” monkey, standing on a chair, handcuffed to and holding rifle. I think that was my favourite decor piece.
After the band finished the set, I turned to the girl…
Me: “Isn’t this place beautiful? Who are you here to see?
Finnish girl (later I find out she’s from Finland): “yes, it’s lovely. I met my boyfriend here last year. He organised this gig night”.
We got to chatting and bonded over our mutual love of horror movies, and exchanged emails and made plans to meet up to watch a scary film one day. Because people who like scary films are very rare and we gotta stick together.