Saturday 15th was the annual Gangster's Ball in Brisbane, held at the very fitting venue, the Tivoli.
I had attended the ball for the first time in 2011 with PoisonedKitty and Sassy D. That year we'd had such a good time watching all the acts, attempting some very bad dance moves to the live swing and big-band music and gawking at our first glimpse of burlesque. We left the ball last year vowing that we'd return in 2012, with some swing dancing lessons under our belt.
We did return in 2012, without the swing dance lessons, but with new additions to our group. Missy M and the ever classy Melissa came along. Melissa joined us at the last minute due to my sis-inlaw falling ill on the afternoon of the ball. Sassy D and I scrambled around to pull together an outfit for Melissa to wear - and I think we did rather well given the hour's timeframe we had!
We arrived half an hour after the doors had opened but hadn't missed much of the evening from what I could see. We proceeded to the second, smaller bar and bought drinks which we sipped while watching the first act of many. The evening had an acrobat, magician, live music by the Well-Swung Daddies, burlesque, juggling acts, a hypnotist, a knife-throwing/comedy act and a singing stripper (who absolutely wowed me with her voice while singing 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend').
I loved all the acts (minus the hypnotist act which seemed very very staged), however it was a little frustrating that a few of the performances involved a large amount of floor work (the juggling act, particularly) which meant that we couldn't see anything from our vantage point. I completely missed seeing the Empire Swing troupe dancing because this was done on the dance floor rather than the stage so we only saw glimpses of heads moving around. I suppose this is why some people pay the exhorbitant price for VIP tickets that give them a balcony view.
The website for the Gangsters Ball is very specific about dress code. All attendees must wear 20s - 60s, rockabilly, burlesque or gangster, moll or flapper gear. Accordingly, Sassy D, Melissa and I all wore 1920s outfits. Missy M dressed as a 20s style moll, fitting with the theme. PoisonedKitty was the darkhorse in 1950s glam.
The costumes and outfits worn by all at the ball were fantastic this year. Women were in flapper outfits, rockabilly and vintage-wear. There were the odd one or two girls wearing 'burlesque' costumes in the crowd but this was far less than last year. The ball is an event where men can shine - because what man doesn't look good in a suit? There were also a few rockabilly greasers and the odd gent in something altogether different. I stalked the poor lad above while he waited at the bar to grab a photo with him because I loved his knickerbocker motorist look. Well done, sir!
Apart from the My girls looked spectacular but stunning shoes often mean smarting feet. As a result, we spent a lot of the evening in the foyer area where there were comfortable seats to rest sore toots. However the plus side of this was that we ended up meeting a number of exciting and lively people who stopped to chat. Amongst the interesting folk we got to meet were a honey-blonde bombshell, a minxy rockabilly chick and her awesome mum.
The ball was a really fun event - though I didn't get as much out of the stage acts this year as I did last. I'll definitely be heading out next year when the time comes around again!