By Philippa Morton.
Relationships take work. Somehow couples have to figure out the bills, rent, savings, insurance and all that horrible crap. Then, there’s compromise. For me it’s with food. My day is spent in a frenzy of learning how to be healthy without eating just a bowl of grass; my nights taken over by my serial fussy foodie alter-ego. There’s a lot of compromise needed for cooking time, food choices, managing my, sorry, our kitchen, and budgets on eating out in restaurants! All this between extremely long, stressful hours of work, and we haven’t even got kids yet. How often do you think we, as a couple, enjoy going out in London, searching high and low for the bars, pubs or clubs that cater to our needs?
I don’t need to say it because we all know that most central to all this is the nucleus that bonds you together: love. That all-important bond is what you need to pamper, nurture and strengthen a relationship; so easy to overlook with all the other demands of life. Even writing for Fluid London can be demanding when you can’t seem to get a moment off. I’m sure you know the feeling. But, on the other hand, Fluid London gives us the chance to nurture that nucleus. I was reminded of this on our visit to Village Underground bar/club in Shoreditch, east London, on Saturday night.
The Stumblin Slims Rock N Roll Club gig was presented by Camden's Blues Kitchen bar and diner-restaurant (above). So, this was the SECOND time in a row that it was my favourite choice of dancing. A few weeks before, we had celebrated my friend’s birthday at City FireFly Barwith Swing dancing (close enough to Rock n’ Roll). Of course, this means next time it’s definitely HIS choice, so I suggested that we go to Zigfrid Von Underbellyin Hoxton Square as we have both been there on separate nights with our friends, but not together. I know he’ll love the groovy electro beats and we will have fun dancing in their underground bar. If you’re someone with the same taste in music that he has, I know you will, too.
But for now, we were both most impressed with Village Underground. It was probably an old London factory of sorts, with arched ceilings and sky lights, and of course beautiful exposed brickwork. An East London gem. He also loves architecture, and that’s when the penny dropped: it’s important that you keep your bonding activities varied and interesting. But then you probably already know that, right girls? It wasn’t, however, something I’d consciously thought about. It was just what London happened to present to us onthat night in that part of east London.
Irritatingly, my invite indicated a 7pm start, which most of us learned, in the dark arts of bar and club etiquette, means 8pm, at least. So having grabbed dinner on the way at arestaurant in Liverpool Street (some awesome bonding time,discussing the menu, sharing the food and testing our mutual love for chocolate fondant), we arrived at 9pm only to be told that the doors weren’t open! Eventually they did open, but only after a drink at the Hoxton Pony. Say what you will about the nightlife scene in London, at least it keeps you on your toes.
London has a love for classic, vintage style and so all the foot-soldiers of the retro craze would have been there that night. There were ladies with poodles on their heads (not actual poodles, but you know what I mean) and they complimented these 50’s hairstyles with stunning flair dresses. The guys were leather-clad, as though they had stepped out of the cast of ‘Grease.’ After ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ and ‘Shake, Rattle N Roll’ by the DJ the first band started to play. Die Hard Rock n Rollers jived up the front while happy listeners bopped at the back, there was a place for everyone.
I was stuck somewhere in between. I really wanted was to be a die hard, part of the crowd up front rushing the stage, BUT for the sake of not embarrassing my boyfriend I made that sacrifice. At least this time we weren’t bickering over who was doing the wrong move, like at City FireFly Bar. No, it was more like the time we went Salsa dancing at Camino bar (above) in King’s Cross. We danced to a live salsa band under the summer stars. Such a special night that became a special memory. We really need to do this sort of thing more often. Luckily, we live in London, the right city for it.
We have resolved to take more dance classes together “when we have the time”. For now, we will enjoy every dancing opportunity in London we can take. But if you’re not a big dancing couple or if it is your thing and not his, London has many wonderful bars, pubs and clubs for food/drinks and live bands. Endless opportunities to find the middle-ground that suit you and your relationship. And really, is there anyone who would moan about an evening of live music and cocktails? With your relationship, I think you’ll find that sometimes a cliché is good advice: MAKE THE TIME, lady! Never forget that your bond is more important than that pressing bill or project. For, without the nucleus, the entire cell has no structure, no direction.
I can’t wait for the next gig from Blues Kitchen. But really do I have to wait that long? Can anybody tell me PLEEEAASE when the next gig is on?? Anybody?