Bo Nanafana Social Club presents … The Big Top Party at UEA’s 50th Anniversary Festival, 28th Sept. 2013
The Big Top Party was to be the grand finale of a day of celebrations, talks and lectures, reunions and countless other events on UEA’s 50th Anniversary Festival. Who better to present a party with all the trimmings and style required than the exceptional Bo Nanafana Social Club.
It was fascinating to see this vast tent go up between the broad and the ziggurat buildings, and when opened in the evening it really did have the atmosphere of a mini-festival. As well as the huge big top there was a smaller cabaret tent, also beautifully decorated by the Bo Nanafana team, and the UEA bars had an overworked beer tent with the Anniversary Ale soon selling out entirely.
On a personal note it was a great thrill for me to meet up once again with so many people I’d last spent time with at Bestival earlier in the month, including the Shellac Collective, with dj78 and Greg Butler of Greg’s Greats playing an uplifting set of classics in their usual style but on this massive stage with super lighting effects and even dry ice. There were many in the audience who it is probably fair to say were experiencing the Bo Nanafana celebration for the first time and of course were being seduced by the entertainment and sheer sense of occasion and celebration that Bo always provides.
Inside the tent, where the team had also done a magnificent job, there was a stunning pineapple mirrorball, totally in keeping with the 80s tropical theme of the night, which was to be headlined by the wonderful showman that is Kid Creole.
Before that though we were entertained by a very rare live dj set by Mark Lamarr (stepping in at short notice for Huey of The Fun Loving Criminals who was originally due to do a set), and a very funny set by UEA alumni Nina Conti, as ventriloquist with her rude monkey!
I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the acts that I was able to catch in the cabaret tent. I probably should have spent more time in here as everything was a visual delight. It was great to see again the Nanas of Theatre of Escapades with their hip-op renditions! (Zim-zimmer!!)
Food in the area was provided by Harbercue, Geaux Cajun, Nom Nom Nom, and the Proper Pizza Co. and with all these enticing odours wafting about it was very tempting.
The outdoor event had to finish all too early because of licensing restrictions, so after Kid Creole & the Coconuts finished their storming set in the packed big top, there was just time to catch a few more acts in the cabaret tent before heading off for the after party in The Pub’s Blue Bar, with some more swing and rock classics played by Greg Butler to round off a truly memorable event which nobody wanted to finish. Totally unforgettable and another in a long line of truly outstanding Bo Nanafana Social Club celebrations. Brilliant, brilliant night, really amazing.
words and photos (c) all rights reserved by richard shashamane 2013