Review, Rufino and the Coconuts etc. @ the Polish club, Sat 17th Aug
by Stephen Harrison. Images by Alana Williams 

This was my first foray back to the Polish Club in many, many years. We waited in the dining room for the first act (that I saw, anyway). The Wanninashvilles were fun, remnants of a bygone era: simple, deep southerly located, slightly hay-seedy. They had that edge of menace to their schtick that only a hillbillyesque band can bring to the fore. The female lead singer, a smoky, sexy voiced gal, bopped and swung the crowd with a cat-like sultriness and double entendres were laced into the songs. Two dancers, a couple on the dance floor, twirled each other around and ended up being quite entertaining: again, dancing of another time and another place.

The Wanninashvilles

What happens when you enter the sleazy yet entertaining world of Catalan Casanova and his troop, are two things: One, you are transported to his realm. His life is one we all want. As men we want to live his womanising, gallivanting ways, travelling the world. And as women we don’t want to, but cannot help being drawn to, his sleazy charm. The second thing what happens is, as the viewer, you are metaphysically destined to travel to another city, at another time. Istanbul, perhaps, or New York in the melting-pot twenties. Definitely, though, we were transported to jungle beat areas of the world where anything goes.

Rufino and the Coconuts

With the dark lushness of Michaelangelo’s Deep Sea Gentlemen, Pip Branson and his fellow crew gave us a funny (as in ha ha) atmospheric night. Interspersed throughout the night (far, far too few times I might add) were the Burlesque girls. Three women came on the floor, gyrating and shaking their great bodies, sporting plumes of feathers and not much else. As a long term appreciator of the female form and all things to do with women, I find this kind of display to be wonderful: women rejoicing in the secure knowledge of their own beauty and sensuality. Having just done a stint back at Uni where dated, feminist politics are still angrily dragged out by a select core of dinosaurs that run, for example, the entire Art Theory department, it’s greatly refreshing to see these acts. I’d invite the entire department to the next gig but bet they wouldn’t come, probably seeing it as some degrading thing to women. Feh.

All in all a great night was had by all of us at my table, and it finished early enough for oldies like me to get a fairly good night’s sleep.

More pics in Alana’s facebook gallery¬†here.

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