|Cecille Grey playing live|
Do you remember the time when your days were filled with running around in circles and using your coat as a cape to pretend you were a super hero? You could only read really slowly and out loud whilst following the words with your finger tip and the hours at school were whiled away getting yourself covered in PVA glue, glitter and bits of pasta and claim it to be a piece of art? Well, those days are definitely gone. Sorry. You’re more than welcome to do all the former things but you’d probably have a man in a white coat waiting for you when you’ve done. The latter though is still acceptable, thoroughly recommended even. To avoid feeling like a bit of a spoon though I’d suggest that you get yourself down to Alley Café on the third Thursday of every month for Jumpers for Goalposts as crafting is a sport best practiced en masse.
The delightful night, hosted by Hello Thor!, lets you release the inner child and you can have a beer whilst you stick your tongue out in concentration at getting that feather to stick to the lollipop stick exactly where you need it. The laid back vegetarian bar is a perfect setting and you’re provided with everything you need to create your masterpiece for the night - although you are welcome to ‘cheat’ and take your own items. Add to that some darn fine tunage from a DJ throughout the night and a band to entertain and judge the winners and you’re on to, well, a winner.
October’s Jumpers for Goalposts was vaguely Halloween based with the competition being “Who would you kidnap and what would you send in your ransom note to the authorities”. Cue lots of rushing for the craft bag, furtive looks around and arms protecting creations and ideas from rival teams. After finding a lovely egg shaped bit of polystyrene we contemplated sending a dinosaur egg with the threat of releasing velociraptors into the world if our demands weren’t met, but then felt foolish. Maybe it could be Barney’s love child and we could demand that purple dinosaurs should be banned from telly but we knew in our hearts that if we had Barney and he was in fact real, we’d just kill the annoying bastard.
Next I tried to convince my team that we should make our polystyrene shape into a head and make some ridiculous demands. I was met with rolling eyes as they pointed out that decapitating someone would make the ransom part a bit null and void. Oh, yeah…
|Elton's prize Faberge egg...clearly not a winner.|
So we went with turning it into Elton John’s prize Faberge egg which we would write the ransom note on and cover in sparkly bits and feathers. We also lovingly made a pair of, somewhat wonky, Elton John glasses as our item to go with the ransom note and adorned it with jewels and rare feathers and semi precious metals. OK, it was some coloured feathers, sequins and sparkly rope but you get the picture. Pleased as punch with our efforts and a little bit giddy from all the coffee (it was a school night, alright) we could relax and enjoy the band of the evening.
Cecille Grey were this months guests – previous acts include Hhymn and Jake Bugg - and after leisurely parking themselves at the end of the bar, they entertained us with their laid back tunes. Whimsical and light hearted folk pop, there was an air of French-ness to their songs that was refreshing to the ears on a cold, autumnal night. The foursome do not like being referred to as ‘jazz’ and I’m happy to agree because I’m now a fan of theirs and I do not like jazz. No. The singer’s voice was clear and sweet, and with the percussionist accompanying her on a South American drum (I forget the name of it, it looked like a light box that he sat on and played with drum brushes) it was musical honey on toast. Seriously, being an adult is great: music, craft and alcohol.
|Beadle's hand was the winner on the night|
That’s the last good word I will say about them though because as judges they clearly didn’t realise that our entry was the best and that their lack of artistic taste could potentially get them a bad review. Oh, dear. The winners won a variety of tat which I won’t mention as I’m sure some of it was contraband but the first prize went to Scott and Sue with Jeremy Beadle’s hand. A clear winner (if you took our entry out of the equation).
Walking home we agreed that next time we would win for sure, we’d definitely be checking out Cecille Grey again as soon as possible and stopped for a game of dizzy monkeys at the Forest Rec and a quick go on the swings.
Cecille Grey played at Jumpers for Goalposts at the Alley Café Bar on Thursday 21 October.
Read a LeftLion interview with Cecille Grey here.