Hoxton. A foray into these parts is rare, and walking towards the venue for tonight’s entertainment with a chill north easterly wind blowing straight through me, I wondered at my own dedication to the cause.
Los Hermanos Cubanos. It’s been almost a year since I saw these amigos but I knew they were the only boys who could cut through the cold by raising the temperature, and bring a smile to my face with their irreverent humour and funky tunes that no one would be able to wipe off.
‘Not many people here, are there R? I said to my cousin over the neon orange lit table as we surveyed the scene of two lone twenty year olds with haircuts that denoted the territory, pogoing on the dance floor. ‘I knew they’d never be on at 10’.
‘Yeah, but guess what – drinks are half price until 11.30 – even the champagne!’ ‘Well, cheers to the recession; let’s have a couple of glasses!’
As the place filled up, the anticipation grew and the tunes got better and better at making it impossible to stay seated. ‘Come on cuz, it’s time’ I said.
We headed to the edge of the dancefloor and waited with a buoyant crowd for the magic to begin. Suddenly a cheer went up and there he was, Miguel, descending the staircase in his fedora hat, shiny blue tracksuit, oversized aviator shades and long black wavy locks, closely followed by his ‘nephew’ Archerio sporting an all in one blue lurex number with tassles down the sides. Kengo San leapt to his duties on the decks and all was right with the world again.
‘Hey Hoxton, eets good to see you, we just got back from the Oscars. OK, lez go’ Miguel said as he bounded onto the dancefloor. ‘Hey! Sexy ladeez in the house tonight – we been partying too much in the las few days, you know ladeez; we might have the ‘plasticine’ problem if you know what I mean. D’you know what I mean?’ ‘OK, lez go, eets good to touch – that’s what I’m talkin’ about’.
Ladeez and gentlemen alike shrieked with laughter as Archerio and Kengo San started break dancing to a rapturous round of applause. Archerio ran towards us, sweat flying off him: ‘Hey sweeties!’ Before we knew it six of us were in a group hug.
I continued to laugh and dance as I wiped the sweat that had now transferred onto my cheek. A smell of rotten eggs wafted through the room causing Miguel to pause on the mic: ‘OK, guys, guys; I been partying with Charlie Sheen for the pas few days, you know – lots of the nose… ahem…’ he said touching it. ‘ Whoever is letting off the arse whiskey – you gotta stop, OK?!’
It got crazier; it usually does. The finale as always was ‘All Night Long’. Miguel invited us to join them on the dance floor, and within seconds we were there – an audience that was as eclectic as it was bonded by the wit of an act that transcends age, gender and race. Next opportunity for more: 18 March at The Paradise, W10. © www.inconversationwithstrangers.wordpress.com