B:Rave at Scala London Review


The cool white exterior of Scala on the night of B:Rave on 7th October, gave no indication of the riot of colour that was about to happen inside. Laura Jones was there for the high saturation, mind-bending mashup collaboration between party favourite 10-piece brass band Old Dirty Brasstards, and Beyond Repair Entertainment who specialise in dance, performance art, and wildly creative events.

B:Rave was a creative outpouring that was the absolute tonic for the year we’ve just had, getting us back to lasers, lights and dancing with friends

The UV activated hand stamp, the neon balloons at the entrance bar, and the queue to get bespoke body paint gave a hint of what was about to explode, on this, B:Rave’s sophomore outing having sold out 93 Feet East first time.

In the main room, the audience had got the memo, and those not body painted had worn colourful clothing with a healthy dash of animal prints and 90s chic, as they limbered up on the dance floor to the DJ.

Hula hooping onto the stage, a day-glo acrobat was escorted by the Brasstards to Gala’s Freed From Desire. It was an easy sing along to the chorus of “na-na-na-na-na!” to get the crowd really in the mood. Seamlessly slipping into Snap!’s Rhythym is a Dancer, the Brasstards proved themselves once again to be a versatile act, swapping their trademark tweed for rave casual so they were dressed for dancing!

The procession of dancing glitter balls were led by a neon orange firebird, like a rave Phoenix rising triumphantly to dance again

We stayed firmly in the 90s as a Brasstard announced “Mesdames, messieurs Le disc-jockey Sash!” for Encore Une Fois. Everywhere you looked was colour. The Scala’s bannisters were decorated in neon tape like acid house maypoles by way of The Hacienda. The giant LED screen washed the crowd below it in bright colour. The procession of dancing glitter balls were led by a neon orange firebird, like a rave Phoenix rising triumphantly to dance again.

The beautiful Baby D’s Let Me Be Your Fantasy was accompanied by a club kid ballerina butterfly, floating across the stage. The set list allowed the club tracks to ebb and flow expertly from high energy to dreamy, and the dancer captivated the crowd.

The beautiful Baby D’s Let Me Be Your Fantasy was accompanied by a club kid ballerina butterfly, floating across the stage

It took a while for Show Me Love by Robyn S to register, and the tracks with slower intros and mid sections created a fun game as our brains worked out what was coming in. Three wonderfully extra exercise queens were on stage and served pouts and thrusts to the beats, and the crowd below.

But it was Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-lite’s instantly recognisable bass line where every part came together to be much, much more than the sum. The lazy trumpets sounded sexy as hell, the tuba drove the low funky rumbles, the psychedelic dancers grooved for their life, as the MC hyped the band which even included a penny whistle for maximum attention to detail. I think Lady Miss Kier would’ve found it de-gorgeous!

A fabulously leggy UV unicorn pirouetted, high kicked and vogued in heels

We were spoiled with so many classic dance covers, in this two-part night. Stand-outs for me were Insomnia by Faithless, Corona’s The Rhythym of the Night, Darude’s Sandstorm, Daft Punk’s Around The World, and Sing It Back by Moloko. Basement Jaxx’s Good Luck is one to listen back to, on Old Dirty Brasstard’s debut album.

Neon Poseidon (as one B:Raver described him) dazzled in a show of daring acrobatic strongman feats. A fabulously leggy UV unicorn pirouetted, high kicked, and vogued in heels, serving us maximum drama. Beyond Repair Entertainment, a brilliantly versatile act, made sure to include nods to all the party dances such as breaking, disco, waacking, jacking, and everything in between, throughout the night.

Justice’s ravey clash with Simian’s We Are Your Friends had all our hands in the air and shouting lyrics into each other’s faces gleefully. Crowd participation was at a high, as the breakdown of Rudimental’s Feel The Love was emotionally sung at the band. It felt like we were only getting started, as they hurtled into DJ Fresh’s Gold Dust, showing off their drum & brass chops.

Beyond Repair Entertainment, a brilliantly versatile act, made sure to include nods to all the party dances such as breaking, disco, whacking, jacking, and everything in between

By the last track, a mashup of The Prodigy’s No Good (Start The Dance)/Out Of Space, the crowd were skanking harder than ever, to the panoply of dancers in the room and on the stage for this, the confetti cannon finale. For those that had the stamina, the Guilty Pleasures DJ would keep the crowd moving into the small hours.

This was a night where dancing glitter balls threw shapes with giant glow sticks, hula hoopers and sparkly bearded strongmen duetted, club kid ballerinas reached for the lasers, and drag unicorns death dropped the stage.

All to the on point musical arrangement of Old Dirty Brasstards, giving us their highest energy set yet. From early rave anthems, through classic house bangers, noughties French touch, and drum & bass dance floor destroyers, they’d never sounded so good. B:Rave was a creative outpouring that was the absolute tonic for the year we’ve just had, getting us back to lasers, lights and dancing with friends.

From early rave anthems, through classic house bangers, noughties French touch, and drum & bass dance floor destroyers, they’d never sounded so good.

Catch Old Dirty Brasstards at venues across the UK this year. Check out Beyond Repair Entertainment events.

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