"We flyer like bitches, bake like crazy and hope for the best!" it’s not the usual list of priorities for a London club night but then Rock’n’Roll Tea Party Viva Cake isn’t your standard three pints of Carling and the threat of a fist-fight.
Viva Cake occurs every third Saturday of the month at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club in East London and it’s one of the most fun things DiS has discovered for a while. On an usual night "Things kick off at around 4.30pm with free tea, cakes and sandwiches. You can also amuse yourselves whilst enjoying your tea with a spot of Dominoes or a hand of Cards before the evenings entertainment gets going!" explains Cava Collective member Kate one half the Ladies Grey (there are a lot of monikers involved here, but do keep up…) when we caught up with her in the midst of organizing this weeks club. She took a break from baking crispy cakes, dusting off doo-wop records and oiling her roller skates to talk to DiS…
Is it that lots clubs you've been to in the past 5 years are a little predictable, is this why Viva Cake started?
Yes! In a nutshell actually.
Kate: We were so incredibly bored with the sheer mass of generic indie clubs that seem to be every where at the moment and were really looking for something different to do on a Saturday night. Once we realised that there wasn't really anything out there that we liked we decided to just come up with something ourselves. The idea of the Tea dance really came about from wanting to go to one ourselves but again the realisation set in that the only Tea dances around weren't quite what we were looking for, we decided it would be an amazing idea to start a new breed of Tea dancing for our own generation! All the other ideas sort of came into place after we realised that we would have to be open from 4.30pm - 2am so we had to come up with some ideas to keep people amused, hence a club night with a difference!
At your last club there was a cowboy theme, are all the nights themed? If so, what others have you done and got coming up?
Well we like to keep our nights interesting and individual however our theme pretty much remains the same. It's a Rock N Roll Tea dance with a twist. For instance this month we have The Schla La Las playing, who have a 60's girl garage band feel and next month its looking like the bands are gonna have a bit of a rag time influence. So its not so much a theme but an influence.
Are there any themes you think might be too hard to pull off but dream of doing?
Initially when Viva Cake was yet a pipe dream in the making we had wanted to go for a more thematic approach to the night as we had some really good ideas for both a Japanese art punk and a dark 80's night, however realistically it all became a little too complicated to organise each month. Therefore we felt it would be much better to stick to one thing and do it well and not to mention that the Tea dance aspect is much better suited to a Rock N Roll night.
You give people free tea and cake if they arrive early, have you not been mobbed by old biddies yet? How early do people need to get there?
We welcome all old biddies with open arms, the more the better in our opinion! However if you do want to take full advantage of the tea and cakes you must arrive early! Last tea is served at 7.30pm.
What's the most popular biscuit / cake?
Hmmm..... well quite honestly it all seems to be popular, everything gets eaten pretty quickly especially as people begin to get more and more pissed. We do however try to cater for everyone and as 2/3rds of the Viva Cake team are vegan we find that the vegan brownies always go down a treat!
Well aside from the obvious 50's classics that we like to play during the tea, we would prefer to give you a list of some bands that have either played in the past at Viva Cake or will do hopefully in the near future!
Viva Cake loves: Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, The Barker Band, Vincent Vincent and the Villains, The Pipettes, The Schla La Las, Fast Lane Roogalator , The Puppini Sisters, The Polecats, The Brick Lane Boogie Boys and Holly Golightly.
What's the best tea to drink whilst watching Eastenders?
Well it can only be Earl Grey all the way! yessir!
For anyone who may be thinking they fancy throwing a soiree like this, talk us through a typical week running up to a club, what sort of things need organizing?
To be honest it can be fucking stressful, there is a lot of organisation involved what with the bands, the D.J's, the jive teachers and of course the actual Tea. So we flyer like bitches, bake like crazy and hope for the best!
And what things do you need to do on the day?
On the actual day it is the setting up of the venue that is the most time consuming. We have a large collection of crockery so we have to get this out of storage, unpack it all and arrange it so the place looks pretty. Then there's the logistics of the technical side of the live entertainment like sound checking for the bands etc, as well as the coordinating of the roller girls to flyer the area.
If people want to know more about the club and get in touch with you, where's best for them to go?
www.myspace.com/vivacakebitches is our temporary webspace. We are in the process of setting up a website, so any prospective bands or D.J's please contact us through myspace for the moment.
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to set-up a club?
It is a really good idea to set up or involve yourself in a collective. We go by the name of The Cava Collective and are always on the lookout for like minded people with an unusual creative skill to work on new projects with. Really the best advice we can give to someone who has a new idea for something, is just to give it a go and see what happens. We had been planning and talking about setting up Viva Cake for over a year and probably still would be if we hadn't somehow managed to get our act together. Thankfully we did manage it, so come down and check it out for yourselves!
The next club takes place this Saturday 20th January at Bethnal Green Working Mens club from 4:30pm. Visit www.myspace.com/vivacakebitches for more info