Pimping Your Hen

Join us for the third and final instalment of the electric three-part Alternative Hen series by Mistress of Mayhem Siobhan Scanlon, founder of The Peacock Bride. In part three Siobhan explores the art of Peacocking with party accessories.

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Hencessories

So you’ve picked the date, chosen the location and pestered the hens, the only thing left to do is to choose the hencessories (aka accessories for hens). Now this can open up a can of worms; Do we choose a theme? Do we dress the bride as a 6ft c*ck (it being a hen and all)? Will granny wear a leopard-print tail? In truth these these are just minor blips along the journey. With so much to consider choosing the right accessories need not be a worry if you follow our tips for choosing the right accessories for the big do.

Peacock the Bride

Peacock the Bride: Peacocking means dressing flamboyantly and for attention. Rule number 1: the bride must stand out. Whether that be with a flashing veil, a sequinned hairband or a ‘drama queen’ emblazoned tiara, it must mark her role at the party. The good news is thank to fluffy wands and metallic wings there’s more choice than ever and trust us any bird worth her salt has a pair of these. In short, pimping the bride need never be a chore.

 

Hens who play together

Hens who play together, stay together: An often underestimated factor in the creation of a great ‘night out’ are what we call ‘fun fuellers’. These are anything to unite a group of unknowns in a light hearted way. Our favourites include inflatable instruments, glitter top microphones, photo props, fake tattoos and of course piñatas… There is nothing quite like watching a blindfolded chick aimlessly beat a half bashed unicorn.

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Look after your broad: So the big night has been and gone, and has most likely left a thumping sensation behind for the majority of hens. I’ve been to enough hens to know that foreseeing a grim aftermath can often be enough to tame a hen in her tracks which is not what anyone wants. But there is a cure, and they come in the form of 2 x 25ml health shots known as Faust’s Potions. These are pure magic. After a few too many G&Ts take the Asleep Potion before hitting the hay and the Awake Potion when you rise. Overnight they will work their way round your insides delivering all kind of goodness to your vitamin depleted carcass and come morning you’ll have more gusto than Miley Cyrus on speed.

Connect with The Peacock Bride’s whimsical world of poultry cool via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Thank you for joining us for The Peacock Bride // Bane + Antidote Alternative Hen series!

Keep your eyes on The Peacock Bride for our next collaboration this Autumn. When the nights draw in, the parties get longer. More room for depravity and the sublime we say… Bring it on. #alifelessordinary #badlybehavedbalance






How to Throw a Kick Ass Hen Party

Join us for the second instalment of the electric three-part Alternative Hen series, penned by Mistress of Mayhem Siobhan Scanlon, founder of The Peacock Bride. In part two Siobhan proffers poultry pearls of wisdom, explaining how you can throw a sizzling bash for even the most disgruntled of hens.

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Anyone who has had the pain, I mean pleasure, of organising a hen party knows all too well the challenges sometimes faced. Trying to please 20 ladies can be difficult at the best of times but throw location, cost, food, activities and sleeping arrangements into the mix and unless you carefully manage this you’re likely to end up with hen’s egg on your face. Below are a couple of simple tips that can really make the difference between a ‘MEH’ party and an ‘Sha-mazing’ bash.

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1. Save money on the RIGHT things

In the last few years, the price of hen parties has sky rocketed. But there are some clever ways to save money so you don’t have to sacrifice a month’s salary on pleasing the bridezilla.

– Consider self-serve options for accommodation, such as glamping or renting a house. You can pre-load the place with bubbles and breakfast, saving you a fortune on sleeps and eats.

– Call restaurants/cafés in advance for any group deals. You’d be surprised how often they are willing to create a set menu for group bookings. That way the cost is set, everyone is clear and you don’t have Greedy Gertrude at the top of the table ordering steak to get her money’s worth.

– Fish around for any BYOB (bring your own booze) options in the area. These are becoming more and more popular, and are a massive relief to the budget without actually sacrificing anything.

2. Nobody likes to be dictated to a hen party is NOT a military operation

dictator henI’m all for having set plans, and for a hen party it’s a must – but there are certain ‘rules’ to be considered when it comes to planning. Before bulldozing ahead with a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s worth bearing in mind that people’s expectations of a hen party can vary massively depending on their own situation. Understanding this is the key to a successful hen party!

Let people dip in and out of activities as they wish. I organised my sister’s hen party last year, and we decided to take a jaunt on some electric bikes for a couple of hours. This wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I had arranged a masseuse to come to the venue for anyone who preferred that. There’s little worse than feeling obliged to do something you don’t want to do, especially when you’ve paid good money to be there. Besides, when the pressure is off, people will most likely get involved of their own accord. By setting the tone for a relaxed and flexible weekend early on, the hens will be onside from the get go!

3. Never underestimate the power of FUN FUELERS

‘Fun Fuelers’ are what we like to call any paraphernalia that, in a nutshell, generate fun! Remember, often hens are meeting for the first time or you may be flying solo for the weekend, so having a couple of icebreakers are a great way to quickly unite a group in a natural way.

Things such a photo props, hats, inflatables and piñatas goad people to get involved. There’s full fuelersnothing more unifying that discussing your outlandish costumes or watching the blindfolded bride-to-be beat the living daylights out of a unicorn piñata.

4. Arrange as much as you can advance

Where possible, prebook and pay for as much as you can. The only thing worse than being forced to wear matching pink t-shirts that say ‘Zilla’s Hen Party’ is being landed with another £200 bill at the end of the weekend. The last hen I went to included food for the weekend, taxis, drinks, dinner, club entry, even some champagne caviar! It was such a relief to all the hens at the end of the weekend, and there was no begrudgery over the price tag.

5. Dont be afraid to switch it up

Don’t be afraid to switch up the traditional format of the hen party and stray from the ever popular two-night/one-day activity format. One-nighters are becoming more and more the done thing, and you’ll find that people generally tend to give it socks for the night. Another trend is that of day parties – still life painting, ice cream making, laughter yoga and clay pigeon shooting are all the rage amongst 2015 hens. Do what your little heart heart desires but for pete’s sake consider your hens in the process.

Connect with The Peacock Bride’s whimsical world of poultry cool via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned next week for the third and final instalment of the Alternative Hen series, where Siobhan will be exploring the art of Peacocking with party accessories.

We leave you to ponder the words of Charlotte Brontë, ‘I would always rather be happy than dignified,’ she says. Second that Charlotte. Cluck fucking cluck.

#alifelessordinary #badlybehavedbalance






Can Reflexology Cure a Hangover?

Bane + Antidote review alternative hangover cures for you to add to your wound-licking arsenal. Does reflexology work? Find out here. 

Before we get started, there is something I must admit. I got hideously over-involved with the research for this piece. I went deep cover. Four glasses of champagne, six glasses of wine and two cocktails later I was in the zone… in the zone of clutching my head and wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole. Cycling in the rain the next morning was no fun at all. Every bitching bump was like a cattle prod to the back of my head. I was kicking myself, metaphorically (I was in no state for feats of two-wheeled acrobatics), for making such an early (12 noon) Saturday morning commitment. I finally arrived at Netil House panting and sweaty with clouds of alcohol fumes trailing me like a swarm of midges. Poor Rachel Morgan I thought as I shuffled inside.

Rachel MorganRachel practices out of a sound-proofed cave of softness on the first floor of Netil House in East London. Her first encounter with reflexology was in 2008, when she started training in drug-free alternatives that encourage the body’s natural healing processes.

The first thing I noticed was the music. I have a very low tolerance for spa jangling. To my delight Rachel was playing some wonderfully mind bending tracks. Strange ethereal, industrial noises (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) filled the room. Subtle enough to be barely noticeable, but interesting enough to carry your mind on a meditative journey for over an hour.

As I lay back on the supremely comfortable treatment table, swaddled in blankets, with my jeans pulled up to my knees, my heart started to race. I am extraordinarily ticklish. So much so that I have never had a pedicure. And in arranging to submit myself to this treatment for this piece, I had somehow failed to acknowledge the fact that reflexology focusses almost entirely on the feet. I think I had confused it kinesiology. Oh well. I was past the point of no return.

I can’t speak for all reflexologists, but Rachel’s touch was everything a ticklish individual could hope for. Firm, confident, self-assured and yet soft at the same time. To my amazement I didn’t squirm once. Rachel Morgan uses incredible hot basalt rocks to massage the relevant pressure points in the feet and lower legs. As the rocks cool Rachel swaps them for newly heated ones. Sometimes the heat is so intense it feels as if they might burn, but I found that going into the pain and embracing the heat was a very cleansing, reviving experience. At times Rachel really focussed on particular points, applying a lot of pressure and really working on a particular spot. It was a strangely satisfying sort of pain, like that of a well executed back massage.

I think what really got me was the simple act of someone massaging my feet with the care of a mothers touch. I can’t think of anything more attuned to that self-pitying hungover state, than to lie swaddled in blankets listening to dreamy music while some lovely individual gives your feet an hour long hug. It’s totally brilliant. My spinning head was brought back into my body, and it was a joy to drift along in a deep trance like state for an hour. I was surprised at how deep I went. There was a ‘switch-it-off-and-switch-it-on-again’ genius to the whole process… If you can trick the mind into relaxation, when you come back to reality nothing seems quite so bad.

feetI also firmly believe in the liver cleansing properties of reflexology, now that I have experienced first hand what it can do. After being treated by Rachel Morgan, my headache was gone, my eyes felt clearer, reality made sense again and I no longer wanted to vomit. I can’t vouch for all reflexologists, but Rachel is a supremely talented individual. I quaffed a Faust’s Potions Awake Potion natural hangover cure on my way out just to make sure.

One word of warning – chuffed with my new found ability to handle reality and all that, I bounded out of Netil House and straight to Borough Market where I consumed a massive fry up. Bad idea. System overload. I struggled to keep it down. The nausea soon passed but the message was very clear – give your body, and this experience, the respect that it deserves. It felt as though something quite major had shifted in my body, a real hard-drive rejigging if you like. My modus operandi for the rest of the day was giant cushions and herbal tea, an inclination I should’ve acknowledged pre fry up. I became very cat like for the next 24 hours. But my feet felt GREAT, as did my head.

VERDICT: Reflexology CAN cure a hangover. We hereby proclaim it to be Bane + Antidote Quick Fix #1.

For a full list of Rachel’s treatments and prices please visit Rachel Morgan Therapies.

Keep up to date with Rachel’s work on Facebook and Twitter.

 

How to Create a Romantic Atmosphere with Decor and Styling

Katherine Hudson of The Arabian Tent Company, the Queen of aesthetics, explains how you can stimulate the sensual with styling and decor.

Katherine

Katherine founded The Arabian Tent Company in 2004 because of her love of outdoor parties, and a wish to be able to recreate the magic of festivals at events and weddings. Her beautiful, unique designs do just that and so much more. Our favourite are the William Morris and La Rouge. Watch this video on The Life of an Arabian Tent Party to learn more.

1. How did fascination with decor and aesthetics begin?

As a child I lived in an old house, with rooms piled full of furniture my grandparents had collected.  One of my favourite things was climbing through these rooms. I was fascinated by the old faded chaise longues, rattan bed-heads, collections of truncheons, elephant feet and chests filled with tapestries… I’d carry pieces of furniture through into my own room to ‘re-style’ it regularly.  I simply loved the way you could make the space feel so different, depending on what you put in it.

2. In your opinion, what is the connection between aesthetics and mood?

There’s a huge connection between them.  We absorb the atmosphere of our surroundings, which effects the way we feel.  Just imagine standing in a brick tunnel; now lying on the grass in the park staring up at the blue sky; and now sitting at a table in your favourite restaurant… how different do you feel in each of these scenarios?!

3. Can colours and textures be aphrodisiacs?

www.lighttrick.co.ukAlthough I wouldn’t be quite as bold as to claim colours and textures can actually stimulate sexual desire, colours certainly have an effect on our brains…especially male brains!  Several studies both on humans and primates have found that the colour red worn by females makes men find them more attractive (although this doesn’t work the other way around!) and textures can certainly encourage us to be tactile…try wearing a pair of velvet leggings and see how many people ask to stroke your legs!

4. What would you say is the number one mistake people make regarding their physical surroundings when trying to create a romantic atmosphere?

Tuning in to listen to a romantic radio station, but then having to listen to the adverts in-between the music! Major buzz kill.

5. How can one create a romantic setting using aesthetics?

Think of each of the senses and ensure you’ve thoroughly tantalised it! Lighting is very important as www.lighttrick.co.ukit affects cognition and mood.  You just can’t beat candle-light (definitely no LED lighting), but ensure you’ve got enough candles – dim lighting isn’t sexy, but soft lighting is. Scented candles can stimulate senses in one. Women have been found to have a more acute sense of smell than men do. Scents like jasmine (which is said to induce euphoria), and sandalwood (which heightens sexual excitement by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system dominant during sexual arousal), and rose (an aphrodisiac for women) would all be great choices. Then ensure you’ve got tactile materials like silk or velvet around you.

6. Is a romantic atmosphere just for two or can it be used to stimulate other kinds of love and openness?

A romantic atmosphere certainly doesn’t have to be just for two, although creating one for multiple couples, like for a Valentine’s dinner party, can end up feeling clichéd and cheesy.  It’s about generating a relaxed feeling in people in order to encourage intimacy, but you do need to start with a basic level of trust within the group to begin with. It’s best not have too many people involved. So it would certainly work for a dinner party but not really for a large gathering like a wedding.

7. What is romantic for you?

Thoughtfulness. Although oysters are most definitely aphrodisiacs!

8. What are your predicted decor and styling trends for 2015?

Pops of bright colour on white/clean backgrounds will be big this year both at events and in ourDay of the Dead Shoot - weheartpictures-0113homes, as will metallic finishes and smokey glass!  Rather than large floral displays, we’ll be using statement trees and lots of green to add architectural interest and height at weddings. More herbs, berries and woodland touches such as fir-cones will be appearing instead of traditional floral displays, as ‘rustic’ is going to be a key wedding trend this year. That means lots of exposed wooden tables with benches being used in dining areas.  And lighting will be very important – LEDs are out. Warm white is in, with a revival of old fashioned Edison bulbs accented by mirrors and other eclectic objects eclectically mixed together.

9. If everyone could only have one styling item in their Valentine’s Day tool kit, what would it be?

A sumptuous large red velvet throw!

Check out The Arabian Tent Company Blog or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest to keep up to date on this innovative company’s news.

What to Do on Valentine’s Day if You’re Single

Bane + Antidote have sourced the funnest, quirkiest Valentines Day weekend events and shenanigans from around the world. Singletons say ‘no’ to misery and mediocrity – dust off your disco shoes and fly.

By Slava T Gordon

It may come as a surprise that Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love by comedian, playwright and founding father of the English language Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages. Whatever its origins, it has grown to become a global celebration of love, and a vital post-Christmas source of revenue for card manufacturers, confectioners and florists worldwide.

But what if you’re one of the millions of people who haven’t found ‘the one’? Or one of the thousands of people whose Facebook relationship status says, ‘It’s Complicated’? Should you lock yourself in your room shedding tears for good times past? Hell no! The world is chock full of people just like you, and they’ll all be having a splendid time, so why not join them? Your options are to join those uniting in mutual rejection of love, or those that are going out to find it. Either way it’s bound to beat a bunch petrol station flowers and a high pressure candlelit dinner.

undie run FP Alice 2

Still need convincing? This article will get you in the right frame of mind: Why Valentine’s Day Is Actually The Best For Single Girls (same goes for guys too).

Authors note: Whether you plan to drown your sorrows or to raise a toast to individualism, you’d be wise to stock up on hangover cures. Check out our shop for details.

 

 

 

London

1. The Artful Badger present Love & Lightning Valentines Ball at The VAULT Festival Lates 

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13th & 14th of February 2015

After the sell out success of the 2014 Art of Hearts Valentines Ball, the Artful Badger are delighted to invite you on another amorous adventure of exploding emotions and magnetic attractions. For two nights we, once again, infiltrate the tunnels below Waterloo Station as part of the Vault Festival 2015. Rooms of love and lust where wild music and passionate performances set the scene for mischief and match making. Secret rooms, stalls, games, alluring aerial, boisterous bands, provocative & punchy performances, delectable dancers and of course…a romantically rampant party!!

2. If sexy debauchery is what you are after head directly to the Library Members Club.

Hosted by MEATtransMISSION’s Radio Love, a night not to be missed with burlesque routines from House of Kittens, live painting by Alex Tzavaras, and cocktails and general misbehavior instigated by House of Wrong, ‘So wrong it’s left’.

3. You may be surprised to discover Valentine’s Day is a great day to try your hand at taxidermy.  

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Stop in at Horsely House to craft your own pair of ‘Anthropomorphic mice’ in their special Valentine’s Day workshop. ‘All equipment and ethically sourced animals provided. After this 5 hour class you will leave with your own pair of romantically entwined mice‘. Yes, you did read that correctly. Read more here.

4. If you just want to dance until the sun comes up, head to one of the edgiest underground party locations in the city – Hackney Wick.

Check out Number 90 Valentines Day & Night Party – they will keep you going with great House and Techno from the Half Baked Familia, ft. Bloody Mary, Konrad Black & Geddes at Number 90 Wallis Road.

5. Friday I’m in Love sing-along club at The Phoenix 

Karaoke? Pah! That’s just for show-offs. The real fun comes from 200 souls singing as one. That’s the deal at the UK’s first ever singalong club; grab a songbook and throw your arms around your friends – or complete strangers – as you belt out hits all backed by the amazing FIIL house band. Previous special guests include comedians Al Murray, Sara Pascoe, Tim Vine and Phil Jupitus’ .

If none of the above float your boat, The Londonist has found 13 Non Clichéd Things To Do On Valentine’s Day.

 

New York

Image and text courtesy of NewYork.com’s post, 7 Unique Events at New York Museums. Read the full article for many more V Day weekend tips.

1. Missed Connections Valentine’s Day Party at New York Transit Museum

‘Everyone has had the guilty pleasure of cruising the Missed Connections section of Craigslist from time to time, whether to poke fun at other people, or in the far-fetched hope of finding love with a complete stranger from the F train. Take it a step further by attending the 5th Annual Missed Connections Valentine’s Day Party at the New York Transit Museum (Feb. 12, 6:30–8:30pm), which includes Valentine’s crafts and love poetry inspired by Missed Connections posts; tastings from NuNu Chocolates, Brooklyn Winery and Brooklyn Brewery; a photo booth; and an informative talk from OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder. Boerum Pl. and Schermerhorn St., from $15, web.mta.info’

2. MoSex Steamy Valentine’s Weekend 2015

MoSex

‘Get steamy on Valentine’s Day at the Museum of Sex. On February 13 and 14, the museum will remain open until midnight and offer spa-themed packages featuring stimulating exhibitions, aphrodisiac cocktail “treatments” (fruit-infused vodka shooters) and the debut of the museum’s new sensual bath and body kit. 233 Fifth Ave., from $20,  museumofsex.com’

3. Sensory Tour: Valentine’s Day at Brooklyn Museum

‘Discover the power of touch on the Sensory Tour: Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 2:30pm) at the Brooklyn Museum, which is offered to the blind or partially sighted, or simply those who wish to expand their appreciation of art beyond sight alone. A museum guide will lead guests through exhibits by including rich verbal descriptions, interactive discussions and curated sound and tactile experiences. 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, free, brooklynmuseum.org’

4. Love Cults, Drugs and the Hypnotic Arts at Morbid Anatomy Museum

‘One thing’s for sure: Your Valentine won’t soon forget this date. On February 14 (1–4pm), the museum is hosting a Valentine’s Day Special Workshop where you and a friend can make anthropomorphic insect shadowboxes together. In the evening (8pm), Love Cults, Drugs and the Hypnotic Arts  presents sex-culture historian Mel Gordon lecturing on “the erotic procedures and shameful public exposés that transformed… American courtship habits.” The lecture is accompanied by rare film clips chosen by Gordon, who is the author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar BerlinMorbid Anatomy Museum, 424 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, from $20, morbidanatomymuseum.org’

 

Paris

It may be the city of romance, but even in gay Paris you still have options. Check out the following articles before resorting to a candlelit dinner pour un:

 

Los Angeles

The events and text below were taken from LA Weekly’s post, 8 Valentine’s Day Events to help you celebrate your freedom. Read the full article for loads of great ‘anti Valentine’s Day’ tips.

1. Bacari PDR’s

‘Bacari PDR’s awesomely long happy hour from 5 pm to 11 pm is the place to go if you are single and live in Playa del Rey. The anti-Valentine’s Day for singles theme has inspired $8 speciality cocktails like the “Love Me Tinder” made with a spicy infused vodka, grapefruit and lime juice, dry curacao, fallernum liqueur, and cranberry and lime bitters. All small plates (excluding seasonal menu items) will be $6. Guests can also drown their sorrows in a $20 open bar all-nighter, which includes 90 minutes of all-you-can-drink red, white and sparkling wine, sangria, and house beer. Sounds like an Uber kind of night.6805 South Vista Del Mar Lane, Playa del Rey; (310) 439-2100,bacaripdr.com’

2. Anti-Valentine’s Party at Bird’s Café/Bar

5925 Franklin Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 465-0175
Date: Feb. 14, 2015, at 8 p.m.

So, you’ve been dumped and are still licking your wounds and trying to mend your broken heart. That’s all right. Bird’s Café/Bar will enjoy embracing your woe-is-me presence on Valentine’s Day. For two decades, this neighborhood dive – known for its juicy rotisserie chicken and black-heart martinis – has thrown well-attended pity parties for down-in-the-mouth souls. You’ll get a chance to engage in some righteous voodoo-doll therapy, and listen to such tunes as “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and “Love Stinks.” Make sure your ditching story is comfort-worthy, because door prizes will be awarded to those with some of the sappiest tales.’

 

Hong Kong

Read Quintessentially’s QInsider/HongKong article on ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day Options‘ in the city. Our favourite? Anti-Valentine’s Day at Fatty Crab.

‘Kicking proceedings off a day early, Fatty Crab celebrates single-life with its Anti-Valentine’s Day evening on Friday 13th February. Think cocktails from guest bartenders, an in-house tattoo artist and plenty of hot, hip individuals’. 

 

International

CUPID’S UNDIE RUN

Put the hilarity in charity’ in 38 international cities including New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Sydney.

‘Cupid’s Undie Run is a mile(ish) run in your bedroom-best on Valentine’s weekend. No, we’re not crazy, we’re just crazy serious about raising money for The Children’s Tumor Foundation. We raised over $2.8 Million in donations last year, so come join the fun and help us double it for 2015! Brief’ run. BIG party. Millions fundraised!”’

What is the Collective Noun for Unicorns?

Alex Volkers for Bane + Antidote reviews Morning Gloryville – the early morning rave sensation that is taking the world by storm.

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When I first heard about Morning Gloryville last year I’m afraid I got the wrong end of the stick. It must have been the effect of encountering the words ‘morning rave’ and ‘East London’ in one sentence. Clammy handed flashbacks of a base seeker’s AM adventures bowled me over, as I remembered regional treasures such as Public Life and Aquarium with the glorious trepidation of hindsight. I had shut said terms firmly in the ‘Shoreditch poser’, ‘drug haze’ and ‘awkward techno’ files of my brain. And I thought nothing more of it. Until I found myself grumpily cycling through the rain in the dark at the god-awful hour of 6am, bound for Morning Gloryville London #20, to do the research for this piece.

My reluctance doesn’t last long. Upon my rain soaked arrival I am immediately accosted by a spandex-clad wing-bearing angel, and treated to a lengthy bear hug in spite of my soggy state. This angel’s name is Sean and he is one of the Morning Angels, he proudly tells me (as he strums on his ukulele). It’s their mission to ease people into the day with joy, and send them off to work blissed out, limber and open hearted. As I stop to accept a few lashings of glitter from one of Sean’s feathered colleagues I am overtaken by someone in a dinosaur onesie. Then two strapping men clamber out of a taxi to my left. The one with a huge beard is wearing a tiny nighty. His friend is sporting a neon tutu and I suddenly realised I’ve been caught off guard; ‘painfully cool’ is nowhere in sight. This crowd seems comfortable with silly.

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As I climb the external stairs of the Oval Space the picture is familiar enough: smokers’ draped over warehouse railings that rattle to a beat from within. But as I open the doors and am blasted by a cloud of sweet chunky disco funk my face bursts with an enormous grin, and I lay my eyes the delightful reality of Morning Gloryville London. There is not a sweaty palm or shifty gaze in sight. This huge, light, airy space is teeming with bright-eyed ravers and they all appear to be having the time of their lives. They are quite literally having it. There are grannies and babies, unicorns and narwhals, fairies and Yodas, yoga bunnies and stiff shirted businessmen, all bouncing in unison to the most spectacularly chunky yet playful disco set I have ever heard. That’s Plump DJs someone tells me, rendered sublime by the empowering loved-up rhymes of MC Angel, and done justice by a surprisingly impressive sound system (authors note: it takes a lot for Bane + Antidote commend a sound system).

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Lining the walls are purveyors of all things delicious and healthy. I warm up with a free massage and yoga session. After moving on to cacao and a croissant I work my way into the tightest, sweatiest nook on the dance floor that I can find. The vibes will be optimum here. All around me random bursts of swing and breakdance erupt. This is exuberance and exhibitionism on a massive scale and there’s a cynic in me that wants to object, yet it all a strikes me as extremely genuine; infectious, in fact. The stage is crammed with an eclectic mix of beautiful weirdoes, of all shapes and sizes, in varying states of disarray. They are populated by a preponderance of unicorns and all have one thing in common – they can seriously bust a move. Surrounded as I am by 700 people who are dancing like nobody’s watching, it’s near impossible not to follow suit. As I lose myself in the delights that The Loose Cannons and DJ/unicorn Miles Metric have to offer, my thighs start to burn and the sweat pours and I’m not even high. I want to know more.

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Dajana (one of the founding team members) tells me that two years ago this was just an idea. An idea that Samantha Moyo and Nico Thoemmes came up with after searching in vein for the euphoria of a club vibe without the inextricably linked communal drug and alcohol consumption. They liked to have fun but needed to find a more sustainable way of raving. And so Morning Gloryville was born. 150 people attended the first rave, most of them Samantha and Nico’s friends, but word soon got out. The elation that the frontiersman left with was enough to light the fuse. This was something that people wanted; needed, even. And with a mentor of the calibre of Felix from Basement Jaxx behind them, it’s little surprise that things got so big so fast. Morning Gloryville now happens in over 19 cities worldwide through regional Glory Agents (Dubai was the most recent metropolis to follow suit). Each is culturally attuned – in Tokyo it’s all gym gear, Paris too.

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Morning Gloryville is clearly making waves. So much so that founder Samantha Moyo was recently asked to speak at TEDxEastend (see the talk at 1:56 here). I can see why. Over the course of two hours I have smiled and laughed more than I have all week. The sweat flows in torrents (I really went for it) and my stiff and rather intelligent looking hat (fit for journalist on assignment) has melted and now drips limply across my face alerting me to the fact that this is more exercise than I’ve had all year. I have met some wonderful people. I have reconnected with at least 5 friends I hadn’t seen in years. I’ve consumed delicious and potent snacks. And I lost myself in the music, in the movement, in the heaving throng in a way I never thought would be possible without a basic level of intoxication. But it’s more than that still. Samantha, when addressing her TEDx audience on the topic of Society Beyond Borders, really brought it home. This is about playfulness and physical connectivity. We are playful, physical creatures. And when we connect through play and physical contact all the other crap just falls away. ‘Take it with you as you go,’ a Morning Angle tinkles as she writes me a sick note for work. And I do, for a time. As my jellied legs carry me down the stairs I bump into Anneke, an old friend, now a unicorn. ‘The collective noun for unicorns is a fabulous’, she tells me, and Morning Gloryville is their heartland.

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Things to Look Out for @GloryvilleHQ: 

  • Guest DJs – on top of mind blowing residents, Morning Gloryville pulls in some serious guest jockeys. Basement Jaxx recently played to 1000.
  • Regional Morning Gloryvilles – around the world in 19 early morning raves.
  • Summer – at Morning Gloryville London there is live music and yoga on the terrace for low-key ravers.
  • SleepoversMorning Gloryville London recently held a sleepover for 150 lucky flannel clad Londoners complete with cacao ceremonies, storytelling, massages and an early morning rave.
  • The Fabulous of Unicorns – these hooves for hire are professional sparkle spreaders. Catching a glimpse of them is an auspicious happening… keep your heart open and your eyes peeled.

How I kept Dancing for 3 Hours Before Breakfast:

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With a Faust’s Awake Potion health shot.

Thanks to Nicole Cataldo-Davies for the above image of Faust’s Potions keeping in real on the dancefloor.

Thanks to Sam, Dajana, Tegan all the Morning Gloryville for making this review so much fun and for being so fabulous.