I barely know where to start to describe a night at Rumpus. Rumpus is like an adult wonderland with something different going on in every room. I felt like an over-sized child wandering from one atmosphere to the next (it didn’t help that my costume made me look like I was about to go to a children’s birthday party, nor that we all at one point ventured into the Ball Pit. Yes, there is an adult-sized ball pit.)
So, let me start at the beginning. I have an eclectic taste in music so what Rumpus are trying to do really appeals to me. Up to seven rooms, all with different types of music and goings on in them. Not only that, but dressing up is strongly encouraged. Each night they put on has a different theme. And we’re not talking just ’70s’ or ‘Blitz’. These nights have their own backstories to explain the dress code. Friday’s was ‘Tomorrow’s Party, Today’: It’s the future, the People’s Party have taken over in a world where the line between humans and animals has blurred to indistinction and everyone must dance and party forever more. But wait, an underground guerilla resistance group is rising up! And so you can decide – animal creature, towing the party line or guerrilla warfare costume. Or of course, anything out of the ordinary whatsoever.
And, if you can’t be bothered or don’t have the imagination or wherewithal to dress up, that doesn’t matter either. They have all sorts of tails on hand to hire (long furry ones, squat dragonstyle ones, I saw some that were lit up like lanterns) and some talented ladies who will paint your face so that you ‘fit in’ better with the costumed crowd. But even if you don’t fancy that, the place is friendly and non-judgmental – wear what you like so long as you’re enjoying yourself!
We arrived about 11:30 and went into the main room which is a courtyard where there’s a BBQ, the facepainting and tails, and oh yeah, there just happens to be an underground tube train in the middle. Off to the right was a room with a bar in it that at first was playing some rock ‘n’ roll music, but then a live band came on singing some soulful dixie music, if that’s a thing, which made me feel like I was on the bayou. Music in each of the rooms varies over the course of the night though so if you don’t like it when you first come in, just come back later and see if it floats your boat then. Over on the other side of the courtyard is another room which, when we entered had two ladies stamping their feet in a generally Irish kind of way. That song finished and before we knew it we were being rounded up to participate in some kind of Irish line dancing, complete with dosey doe-ing and running through people’s arms. Brilliant fun. Breathless, we left to explore upstairs.
The more serious dancing seemed to be happening up here and later in the night this is where we spent most of our time, raving to house and d ‘n’ b. There was a large room, which is where the ball pit was situated, some cages, and also some naked body painting was occurring, though somehow I managed to miss this (although I did see some of the results afterwards). On we went through to another DJ-based room, and then to a smaller one at the back where a band that I would describe loosely as Gypsy Turbo Punk were shouting into microphones and whipping up a storm for those who like that kind of thing.
On top of all this, popping up almost at random there seemed to be burlesque type acrobatics – we saw a woman wending and weaving through hanging sashes, and upstairs a lady threading herself and balancing
through a hoop.
I’m still slightly taken aback by the variety on offer. Early bird tickets were only £10 and the night lasts from 10 pm until 7 am representing excellent value for money for a night out as well. Also, the drinks were fairly averagely priced. Not cheap but normal bar prices. And there was a BBW and cupcakes on offer, though I didn’t end up sampling either. We were some of the very last to leave, which you can take as a seal of approval. The next one is June 1st – see you there.