Review by Egigs

“Having seen Slamboree at Beat Herder festival 2012, I’m afraid I’ve 
been badgering as many people as I can to watch their live performances 
on Youtube or better still, in the flesh. I can count on the fingers of 
a recently deported cleric’s hand, the number of bands whose live 
performances have had such a huge and immediate impact on me. I make an early commitment to attend the gig and don’t manage to convince any of 
my friends to come with me. Ahhh. Nervously reading more and more about Rumpus, I get the feeling that heading out alone won’t be a problem, the evening sounds like I’ll be in the company of plenty of “friends I 
haven’t met yet”.

The reports make the event sound like an indoor festival and butterflies 
stir my stomach and onlookers gaze on as I make my train journey into 
London in fancy dress. I arrive at the venue (an old theatre), and make 
my way to the bar as the theme from Star Wars’ Mos Eisley Cantina plays 
in the background. The musical choice seems very appropriate as I gaze 
around my fellow creatures inhabiting the beautifully decorated venue.

Succumbing to my urge to explore, I take a wander up the stairs to a DJ 
spinning some great tunes. I’ve no idea who it is but there’s an 
eclectic mix of ska and bass heavy beats getting an airing and plenty of 
bodies swaying appreciatively. Upstairs again and another bar area but 
this one has a completely different vibe to it. The hair and make-up 
artists of ‘Hairy Poppins Pop Up Hair Salon’ set about transforming 
punters. Taking direction in beautification, they set about their work 
with broad smiles on their faces and fast working fingers.

A tarot reader has developed quite a following and there’s a lovely 
selection of handmade jewellery for sale too.

Meanwhile back on planet Rumpus and out into a ‘Blade Runner’ style 
alleyway come smoking area, further ‘rooms’ lead to strange places. A 
ball pit (adult size), and art gallery with all manner of weird and 
wonderful paintings and 3D pieces are on display are busy with people.

The Travelling Tavern is playing some blissful deep dub with a bass so 
heavy I can feel it in my chest. It’s lovely. Just up a set of stairs, 
‘Suck My Rock’ has put together a photo shoot set and plenty of people 
are getting snapped. The maze like venue is a perfect location for this 
kind of event.

I catch the end of Gypsy Hill whose fast paced Balkan style sets the 
scene perfectly for my highlight Slamboree. Slamboree take to the stage 
and I’m really not quite sure how it’s happened but I’ve managed to get 
to the front of a packed crowd. The madness begins. Now, if you haven’t 
seen it, I feel like I’m about to ruin something quite magical by trying 
to describe Slamboree with something as clumsy as words. Apologies, I’ll 
try not to let them down.

Excitement mounts among the expectant crowd at the front; we all know 
we’re in for a real treat. Mike Freear appears, almost conductor like 
and takes his place behind the decks. He is accompanied by musicians and 
performers and the whole place explodes into life. The brass section on 
stage introduces a track and a Balkan stomp envelops us. A wordless call 
to dance has been signalled and we are GO!

The next hour and a half moves seamlessly through a musical and 
theatrical masterpiece. At one point I notice the Cheshire cat is 
projected onto a backdrop, but really, when there’s this much happening 
on the stage, the projections seem superfluous.

During the set, the singer’s lungs seem to be supplying endless fuel to 
a deep and powerful voice as she moves to the barrier. A few feet away I 
hear the unamplified and amplified version of her vocals. She is 
amazing. I’m captivated and forget for a moment that I really ought to 
take some photos. On stage, the trombone player has laid down his brass 
and is stomping around the stage. He seems to have been possessed and 
has become an unlikely accident out of wedlock from Dr Zeuss, Jim Henson 
and Albert Hoffman.

While the music grabs us by the ears lobes and shakes, on stage there’s 
fire! One of the performers is spinning a hula hoop on each limb (no 
mean feat on its own), whilst moving rhythmically, to the tunes. There’s 
juggling, street dance and the Balkan circus rave is born.

Somewhere behind me in the crowd, (seemingly about 15 metres away), I 
can hear a trumpet. It seems like a trick by the soundman, a sound 
magically thrown to the back of the room. As I turn around I see a man a 
few paces away, playing what looks like a half sized trumpet. I’ve had 
this before at gigs, people who aren’t on stage playing instruments. 
Almost every other time it’s been awful. Not this time. The man is 
ushered forward to the barrier by those on stage.

Again the singer comes to the front with a microphone and he is 
amplified properly. Nobody wants the mic taken away, he’s bang on the 
money and everyone is lapping it up. I hope someone from the band gets 
his number; this is a magical Slamboree experience!

A crescendo is reached and things calm slightly as a barefoot Beans On 
Toast makes a guest appearance. His poetic rapping and poetry with folk 
undertones are known to me and it’s a great surprise to see him in this 

Musical highlights are the Slamboree take on ‘Zorba The Greek’, the slow 
hand clap building and building, and the 1980s’ video game sound of 
‘Little Boxes’. I’m afraid a lot of the rest of the set I can’t put 
names to, but one thing’s for sure, these guys are on form. Miss them 
performing near you and you’re bound to regret it.

Rumpus is a great night out, I make new friends, talk to loads of people 
and I’m sad when it’s all over. Looking back I wonder where the night 
has gone, isn’t that the way the best nights out end?”

Fluff vs Filth Guestlist Review

“Guestlist refuse to miss most Rumpi. In accordance with this policy, we 
were frontline partiers at February’s event, which saw fluffy costumes 
pitted against bondage-inspired ‘filth’ costumes, in what is fast 
becoming known as one of London’s most fabulous nights out.

We spent most of the night on the dancefloor, although it wasn’t nearly 
enough, and made sure to get our fill of the ball pit, which had 
tolerable queues throughout the night for the understandable reason of 
it’s being a unique selling-point of the event.

Islington Metalworks is by far our favourite Rumpus venue, containing as 
it does said ball pit, as well as a cinema room, a food van and a 
cavernous array of rooms across multiple floors which dizzy the 
funloving attendee. Located in Angel, it’s the perfect place for a 

Since the last party was so good, we’re fully recommending the next, 
taking place this Friday at the same venue between 10pm and 6am. Get 
tickets here.”

Rumpus Vol. 21: Day Of The Undead Creatures

‘Torture Garden without so much hanky panky’ was how a chum described Rumpus parties to me. That teamed with their infamous fancy dress themes had my attention from the word go!

Let me explain a little. Rumpus is a travelling party who have built up a immense following in the underground alternative scene throughout the years. Their costumes are a thing of legends; with ‘Pirates vs. Ninjas’ and ‘Creatures under the Sea’ being just a couple of their previous themes.

Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 21: Day Of The Undead Creatures”

Rumpus Vol. 14: 20,000 Creatures Under The Sea

So, my beauties, there we were, on the deck of the MS Stubnitz, late of Hamburg, now come to Canary Wharf, the icy air seeking out our exposed flesh, surrounded by all manner of weird creatures, some with the smell of seamen about them, but many from worlds strange and unfathomable. We found ourselves in the midst of a great rumpus of noise and commotion, at once assailed and bewildered by the desperate voyage now embarked. Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 14: 20,000 Creatures Under The Sea”

Rumpus Vol. 9: Tomorrow’s Party, Today!

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.) Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 9: Tomorrow’s Party, Today!”

Rumpus Vol. 8: Carnival of the Animals

I arrive early, just before opening time at the Islington Metal Works in the hope of slipping in unnoticed to the sell-out Rumpus party that has recently been the subject of dirty whispers from those in the know. Tonight is the ‘Carnival of the Creatures’ and I’ve managed to wing it as my lady friend is running a stall selling animal tails to the furry masses queuing in the cold outside. Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 8: Carnival of the Animals”

Rumpus Vol. 8: Carnival of the Animals

‘Is my tail wonky?’ I find myself staring at the behind of a man dressed as a tiger wearing the tail of a fox. I make a slight adjustment, give him a pat, and send the tiger-fox on his way. I need to get back to the important matter of considering my own tail.

We’re in the Tall Tails corner of a warehouse in London’s Islington where you can buy yourself a tail to match your outfit. But zebra or dragon? These are the sort of obscure questions you find yourself asking at Rumpus, probably one of the best roving parties in London right now. Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 8: Carnival of the Animals”

Rumpus Vol. 6: Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas

It was only my second Rumpus ever, but the night confirmed for me that this is my favourite party in London town. The mini-festival atmosphere incapsulated by the big old warehouse premises of the Electrowerkz in Islington was electrified by a sheer endless array of random moments created by a beautiful mix of people. Almost everyone made an effort to dress up – which meant I could have almost been blindfolded and still would have been able to take brilliant shots. I felt like all I needed to do was to point and shoot and I could be guaranteed someone interesting was doing something interesting right in front of me. Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 6: Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas”

Rumpus Vol. 6: Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas

When I first decided to attend Rumpus I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Their website held promises of bands with names like Sam the Womp, Penny Black Remedy and Perhaps Contraption, and attractions like the Rubbish Sideshow Circus and Jungle is Massive. Upon further investigation nothing became any less obscure; phrases like ‘art rave’, ‘secret garden meets Shangri La’, and ‘psychedelic tea party’ were thrown around, but that didn’t really clue me in (although it definitely excited me). Well now I’ve been, and I can see why it was so difficult to find a concrete definition of Rumpus. Continue reading “Rumpus Vol. 6: Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas”