Sunday, 30 October 2016

A Thriller Night

Hallowe'en - certainly one of my favourite times of the year.  Hallowe'en parties, in the fetish and alternative scene, are always some the biggest,busiest and best, too, and always a great opportunity to glam and vamp it up and enjoy some blood-tingling fun.

This year Cirque in Manchester hosted their first Hallowe'en event - a Vampire Ball.  That meant digging in my red velvet lined black box for a blood-red Kiku corset, combing my casket of clothes for a blood-drop sparkling lace see-through dress and slipping on my torture chamber Alexander McQueen shoes.

Glammed and vamped, I made my way to North Manchester and arrived (in customary style) early at the Vampire Ball.  

I love to get there early - it gives me a chance to chat to the friends that run and organise the club, and a chance for a couple of snapshots before the inevitable crowds arrived.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Vampire Ball, Cirque.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Vampire Ball, Cirque.
I settled down to enjoy my first drink of the night black Chesterfield sofas, and watched the vampiric hoards arrive.  There was some fabulous outfits on display, and some wonderfully theatrical make-up.  Amongst the new arrivals were more friends, some that I hadn't seen for a while.  Our chat was interrupted in the nicest possible way by the start-up of the evenings first bit of entertainment - a fabulous acoustic trio playing some unusual takes on well-known hits.  Survivor's 'The Eye Of The Tiger' done in a 1920's jazz shuffle?  Yes, a first for me, too - but they were very, very good, and indulged in the atmosphere with their own ghoulish make-up - unless they take loads of drugs and never sleep, that is.

The evening fairly flew by, as these events do, and I drifted between the partying and dancing crypt (ground floor) and the more relaxed belfry (first floor lounge), seeing quite a few familiar faces in doing so.  People half-remembered from the opening night and Peepshow nights came over to say hello, and the club made me think that it is one of those special places that becomes it's own close social community.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Vampire Ball, Cirque.
By glorious chance, I was next to the stage when the main act took to the stage - the tiny but perfectly-formed Becky Holt.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Becky Holt, Vampire Ball, Cirque.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Becky Holt, Vampire Ball, Cirque.
The tattooed beauty performed a suitably dark burlesque routine, with a finale of dripping hot wax and blood-red wine over her inked body.  I tried to get some good photos (all in the name of research, of course), but my hands were a bit shaky, particularly when she peeled off her sequined shorts and threw them into the crowd.  I was tempted to use my claw-like vampire nails to fight the person who picked them up and claim them, but at the last minute my dignity was saved by Becky pouring more molten wax over her breasts, so I was a bit distracted from the attack.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Becky Holt, Vampire Ball, Cirque.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Becky Holt, Vampire Ball, Cirque.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Becky Holt, Vampire Ball, Cirque.
The loss of the dequined shorts was more than compensated, however, a little later on, when once changed, Becky came over to chat and say how much she loved my outfit.  A beautiful and very sweet lady - but I would have still liked to savour those sparkly shorts in my sweaty palms, even if only for a few minutes.

At that point, the music in the dance area shifted into my taste - the unmistakable sounds of AC/DC's 'Hells Bells' rumbled from the speakers, followed by Alice Cooper's 'Feed My Frankenstein'.  The heavy rock sounds swirled briefly into more gothic territory at my request of Bauhaus' superb 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' (bringing memories of Bowie and Denevue in The Hunger), and then into industrial dance with The Prodigy, etc.  So, I spent the remainder of the night on the dancefloor, including a bit of a freak-out to Thriller, of course, written by the incredibly talented and recently departed Rod Temperton.

A Thriller night, indeed.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Vampire Ball, Cirque.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Vampire Ball, Cirque.




Monday, 17 October 2016

Wartime Rerun

Sadly, I've been little under the weather recently, resulting in some plans for going out and having fun (including getting some Picture Of the Week photos) being put on hold - hence why my website wasn't updated for a couple of weeks.  However, with a chance of a day out looming, I decided it was time to get out and get some fresh air - actually, some fresh Yorkshire air.
 
It's been two years since I last attended the annual Pickering 1940's weekend, so thought I was due a trip back over t' Pennines for a revisit of , er, the revisit of the 1940's, Yorkshire-style.  It's also been some time since I last attended a 1940's weekend, and the desire to slip into some soft stockings, high heels, leather opera gloves and stylish vintage attire was calling.  The only problem really was getting there early enough to enjoy as much of the day as possible.  In order to do so, that meant an early start from the Red Rose side of the country, leaving Manchester at 7.00am.  The drizzle of Lancashire rain followed us all the way to the lovely old market town of Pickering, so it was a rather damp 9.30am start to the day on the Yorkshire White Rose side.

It was still pleasing to see the event was quite busy, even at that relatively early time, and as usual quite lovely to see so many people taking part in the whole dressing-up fun.  The main street, Market Place, already had lovely old vintage cars parked up, with photographers taking the opportunity to snap, some shots before the main crowds gathered.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Street entertainers were already in full flow, crooning back the old radio glamour days of Bing Crosby, Al Bowlly and others, and while I stood and listened it felt as though the soft drizzle was getting lighter.  Some with a little more energy than me took the chance of the quiet street and music to indulge in some 1940's dancing, to the delight of the watching crowd.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I took my time wandering up through the pretty town, disrupting my stroll with visits into the town's numerous second-hand shops, all of whom appear to save up their stock of vintage 1940's clothes for this one big weekend... well, either that or possibly the small town itself has just hit the 1950's, thus relegating yesterday's clothes to the thrift shops.  Being a Yorkshire lass, though, it is my duty to think it is the first option...

My slow stroll was interrupted too with bumping into vintage-fan friends, many of whom I hadn't seen for some time, due to my missing most events this year.  With the drizzle easing more and more, it was now becoming quite pleasant to stand and chat in the lovely and charming atmosphere of the town.

By the time I had reached the end of Market Place and turned around to head back towards the train station, it was quite evident that the crowds were beginning to arrive.  Market Street had turned from this fairly quiet start...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
...to this somewhat busier place to be, just in the space of an hour or so...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I soon realised why - with 11.00am approaching, it was time for the annual parade.  I found a place at the top of the street to watch.  Sadly, thanks perhaps to Health and Safety issues (or maybe even keeping the town standing upright) the days that they would have tanks rolling through the Market Place have long gone, but it was still nice to remember that many who wore those original uniforms played such a vital part in the country's history - even if many that wore them in the parade would have been far too young to have been of fighting age in the early 40's!

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
As the parade cleared I began my walk back to the train station, where the main trading area was.  However, Market Street suddenly looked even busier than before.  It was as slow making my way back down the hill as going up it, due to the now-bustling crowds.  Nevertheless, it was still hugely enjoyable, with small groups of 40's fans gathering together to make unintentionally interesting street scenes.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I finally made my way to the bottom of Market Street and headed off towards the train station and trading area.  The sun was definitely winning the weather war, too, and the promised day of clouds was retreating under the blaze of the Autumnal sun.   I caught the attention of some rather unruly-looking, er, school boys, whose appreciative sounds would have only been intensified if they knew a) what I was wearing under my skirt, and b) what I do that allows me to buy such frivolities.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I did consider some friendly banter back, but knowing a) me and b) them, it would no doubt have got out of hand very quickly and descended into a rather bizarre and very public 'Carry On Evacuation' scene, with eleven naughty boys with their shorts around their ankles whilst I chastised them across their bare bottoms with my leather-clad hands.  Mmmmm, chastisement of naughty gentlemen....

Anyway, where was I... Oh yes.  More lovely vehicles lined the road to the station itself , adding to the charmed vintage scene.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Of course, I couldn't resist showing my stocking tops for a Picture Of The Week photo, and popped around the side of a vintage bus for a quick flash.  I possibly made one lovely gentleman's day when he surprised me by wandering around the bus to be confronted with my unladylike display of stockings, suspenders and very small panties.  Oh well, stiff upper lip and all that...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Once past the busy train station the crowds lessened, and in the warming sunshine it was quite a lovely stroll to the trading/shopping area.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
There were more lovely cars in the little market-style shopping area, sat serenely amongst the bustling crowds, and I took a very leisurely stroll around all the stalls, some selling some quite lovely original vintage clothing and accessories.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I met up with more friends again, and together walked back to main town area.  The walk back up Market Street was now a rather daunting prospect with the invading crowds out in full force...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
 ...but, like soldiers hitting a beach-head we battled up, only getting slightly waylaid by stopping for a well-earned ration of peppermint tea and another chance to look at some more wonderful cars...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Pickering 1940's 2016 weekend.
I stayed and enjoyed the company of friends until the late afternoon, but by 4.30pm it was time to start thinking of the journey home. I left busy Pickering and the still gathered crowds as the sun lowered in the October sky, tired but having had a truly spiffing day, feeling all the better for a breath of vintage air.