Friday, October 9, 2009

Sponsored by Drambuie...

"So you really think that all these people are just here for the open bar?"
"Oh, I don't know. There seems to be a real resurgence in interest in silent film..."
My demurring noises were somewhat undercut by the appearance of Chris clutching four glasses between splayed fingers.
"It's madness up there. There's no way I'm going back."
The man, who introduced himself as a friend of one of the composers raised an eyebrow, and we ended up buying his silence with a Drambuie Fizz.

We were at Cinema 16, a silent short film and live music night, thoughtfully sponsored by Drambuie. If they were trying to generate word-of-mouth amongst the self-consciously cool hipster set who'd queued round the block to get in, it was working... sort of.
"What the hell is it anyway?"
"Yeah, no idea."
"Smells like gin. Brown gin."
"Or like Pimms." (Naturally my ears pricked up at this.)
"But sweet, really sickly sweet."
"You should have got a Rusty Nail. All you taste is the whiskey."

The setting was as improbable as the libations. We were in the Players Club, an establishment determined to old-school the Establishment clubs back in London. Paintings of actors hang from the walls, and every corner seems to support a twinkly-eyed Peter O'Toole body-double.

At the end of the night, after a mind-blowing Busby Berkeley vintage clip, and some varyingly pretentious shorts, we abandoned our lethal Drambuie-and-whiskeys on the piano and headed off in search of pizza. I had a quiet heart-pang as we left the flocked wallpaper, cosy fireplaces, bearded artsy crowd and free, paint-stripper drinks. Unlike Chris, my life wasn't full of invitations to private clubs. What if I never got to see the inside of one again?

Ten minutes later, with a slice of $1 Two Brothers pie in my mouth, I shrugged, officially consoled.

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