It’s trashy, seriously retro and doesn’t take itself too seriously — Wam Bam Electric, the post-work Friday night event taking place weekly at Rise Superclub, is a trip back to the eighties – through cabaret. And it’s a lot of fun.
While The folks over at This is Cabaret have given me a great introduction to this genre and even had me tag along on their burlesque adventures quite a bit, I must confess to not being an expert. However – When you find yourself either applauding, cheering or laughing pretty much constantly through an evening of talented singers, burlesque performers and acrobats – you don’t really need to be.
The evening is presided by Lady Alex, your kitsch, lap-sitting, banter-engaging compare between acts with a divaesque level of costume changes, accompanied by a trope of Wam Bam Buff Boys and Wam Bam Belles who perform tongue in check routines as cocktail waitresses, workmen and disco lovers. Ooh La Lou, reknowned for her modern burlesque performances, often homages to film and nods pop-culture icons, dazzles against a backdrop of Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet, while Jo Foley gave an impressive display of aerial acrobats to 80′s blockbusting tearjerker Total Eclipse of the Heart. Singer Reuben Kaye, equally cutting as he is charming, gave a confident and wickedly witty performance as did Tina Turner Tea Lady, with hilarious and Spot on impressions of Tina turner, she’s definitely one to look out for at future shows – her act has already placed her third at the Musical Comedy Awards this year. The aptly named Hula boy gave us another acrobatic offering manipulating a multitude of hops with lot of ease and even more flair.
The evening was rounded of brilliantly by comedy rock band Rayguns Look Real Enough, with a seamless mix of riffs, lyrics and beats from a selection of crowd pleasing songs – it’s quite possibly the best live mash up I’ve witnessed. After the final curtain and applause, the conga line made it up stairs to enjoy the sounds of DJ Earl of Ealing.
The evening includes food and drink – the dinner, like the show, is fast and fun, with platters made up of small plates of chips, fish, pasta and breads. Want a drink during the show? No problem – just wave your glow sticks (provided — you don’t have to bring your own) until someone finds you. If you loved the sugary sweet, brightly coloured cocktails of the 80s, then go for the Wam Bam – which as a your springboard comp drink – you’ll probably be sure to do so. Personally, I stuck with the raspberry Collins, as the fresh purée made it a little more tart. However, you’re also welcome to bypass the cocktails and grapes and go straight for the Grey Goose Vodka. You know you want to. Just as much as you want to join that conga line.
Wam Bam Electric is at Rise Superclub, 1 Leicester Square (entrance on Leicester Square)