Serena Morton’s disco party is deserving of capitals.
I arrived at her gallery in deepest and on this occasion, coolest West London, late – to find most guests had just vanished to the after party. (I couldn’t help it. I’d been to the Irish Embassy for something – anything – and one does not like to leave the Ambassador early). One of the security guards offered me a quick look around before locking up.
I knew it would be right up Conversation with Strangers’ street. Disco. Just that word is evocative of fun, decadence, good times and the inevitable classic tunes. I looked at the photos on display taken by Bill Bernstein to celebrate his book launch. I was there. I could feel the energy, the eccentricity and that feeling of being with like minded souls.
A gold lurex clad dame approached me. “Hi, I’m Serena. Would you like a lift to the party?” I hopped into a blacked-out-windowed vehicle and met others of her entourage: Long haired polite pretty girls who welcomed me enthusiastically.
In truest old-skool W10 style, the venue was packed with the youngest and oldest of reprobates. Champagne was £5 – indicative of a PR hostess with class and not a small amount of sway. Through the marquee up some steps by a gas-works type building, the dancing was already in full swing. Luke and James from Horse Meat Disco had us back in Paradise Garage NYC, to say nothing of Studio 54.
The reprobates danced with abandon. Several people asked me how I knew Serena. I explained each time how I’d missed the book launch but arrived in time for this. “Ah” said Sean. “You’re invited to one of Serena’s parties because you’re either beautiful or eccentric, or a mixture of both.” He should know, he’d flown all the way from Sydney for this one.
Stevie’s Signed Sealed Delivered, or was it Reggae Woman got me moving? Chaka Khan, and Diana’s The Boss followed mixed in with lesser known cult 12”’s. Andre’s special leg lift dance move kicked in.
It was hot. I went outside to find a wind machine and met Archie. We stood in a space where the breeze was indeed strong, I held my face up to it as my hair flowed back and we talked effective altruism while cooling down.
Later, much later, replete and satisfied we’d celebrated the privilege of good times, I grabbed my coat. “Bye Serena – thanks it was great” I said. We kiss kissed, “Bye darling” she said. “Oh, and by the way there’s always room in the SUV for you, baby.”