The 7th Bohemian Masquerade Ball

The Thornebury Theatre, 23rd October 2010 
We looked good. We looked damn good. Our egos were running high as we were strutting through Footscray on our way to the Boho Ball. Not having been there before or heard much about the crowd we thought we’d be the most overdressed people there in our best op shop clothes. But as the 96 tram neared Thornbury Theatre we were rudely awakened to our true dagginess as some other aristocrats jumped on. Four women with the most elaborate dresses and hair pieces (she had a tiny pirate ship replica in her hair!) made us want to forget about the whole thing and head to some dingy pub where we’d have to be the suavest cats out. But the temptations of Barons of Tang and burlesque lovelies made us suck it up and stay on course.
Words cannot describe it. The complete debauchery, glamour and complete hedonism we experienced. It was the Capulet ball in Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet. A rocking gypsy pirate ship. Rainbow Serpant Festival in a can. The brilliant Thornbury Theatre housed every freak in Melbourne that night boogieing to some of the best barely known bands around.
When we rocked up Juke Baritone had just pulled some poor dude on stage to fondle and make out with. The dude didn’t look too happy about it all but what do you except from that ultra gypsy freak Juke. Then some weird clown cabaret occurred involving coveralls, animal guts and a chainsaw. I don’t remember much of that, perhaps due to a traumatising blackout but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I witnessed Kira Puru and The Bruise.
Why has no one heard of Kira Puru and The Bruise? Why hadn’t I? That snarling hefty beautiful woman possessed by Aretha Franklin and Etta James standing in the middle of her chaotic three-piece band. Peru eats up every single female singer out today and The Bruise have simply invented a mad kind of hardcore rhythm and blues sound. She combines a flawless voice with a killer snarl and attitude Keith Richards would fall in love with. Amy Winehouse is a dove compared to this perfect specimen of everything I love about music.
Barons of Tang rounded out the night causing the flurry of heaving bodies they always do. It seems gypsy tunes have hit the 21st century in a massive way with Barons of Tang kind of leading the way. With other bands like The Woohoo Revue and Rapskallion it’s hard to crown a king of the gypsies but Barons seem to have the edge with their self proclaimed Gypsy Death-Core. It will be very interesting to see if the music crosses over to the mainstream and far out I hope it does.
It will be a fine shining day when suits and ties are replaced with feathers and face paint; when the streets are awash in rum, music and madness; when all the stiffs are replaced by insane freaks that care more about living their lives than trading their time for cash. The Boho Ball is the end of the world party.
 -Rhys McRae