Insecure at Bob’s Cabaret (Area10, Peckham, Thursday 5th Sept 2002)

It has become a habit for me to go down to Bob’s Cabaret, experience the “art”, but have to leave early, feeling a bit downcast because I ain’t doing anything so creative or expressive as these people. That is my own insecurity.

The cabaret starts with some pleasant classical guitar. Unbeknownst to me in another room, something else is going on, and crowds of people appear after this.

A siberian man strips down to his trousers, casts his arms into the air, starts to spin and wail at the same time. Performance dance, or wanky posing? I don’t know, but some of the other folk at Bob’s Cabaret seemed to think the latter. They started shouting arty things like “Something”, “Nothing”, “Everything” and smashing bottles against the wall and throwing large bits of wood. The performer continued his own cacaphonics until breaking point and he shouted “Fuck you very much” and walked off.

Considering previous occurences at Bob’s Cabaret, and the embracing of disruption by a number of those involved, I was unsure whether this was planned, or just the attention seeking of one or two at the expense of another performer. I suspect there are one or two people who think that everything they do is art, including being brash and rude in the middle of other peoples’. How is the audience supposed to understand this? Drawing on my own insecurities and inferiority complexes I try to incorporate some sanity into my interpretation, but should I rather go to the thing in itself and judge the disruptors as a hatful of arseholes? Could I in these circumstances even begin to consider creating something? Seems a bit isolating to me, contrary to the spirit of the hopeful Area 10 press release.

That over, a film show began, slow motion film of the clouds and the moon, accompanied by a rather operatic singer.

They finish and a man and women in Aztec dress enter the room, with insense burning. She is wearing a giant feather head-dress. He carries a large floor standing drum. He explains they will perform Aztec healing music, and I feel the need to be healed. He begins to drum, she wafts insense in the faces of the gathered crowd, before entering into a spinning, leaping dance. It does feel quite healing. It is healing for the heart he says. He leaves the drum to join in the dance himself and they are spinning in unison, turning each other like cogs. From what I know about Aztec religion it is all about rebirth, the world and society returning from oblivion through the self-sacrifice of a god. I hope there is no self-sacrifice tonight…

At the end of the Aztec performance, the siberian leaps on to the stage and asks for the drumming to start again “and we will see what happens”. Again he starts wailing and leaping. Now I wonder if this man strives for attention too. In his own way he is acquiring anothers performance as his own. Perhaps the hecklers were right. Or perhaps it is all “art” existing in its own exclusive space.

This over, the heckler from earlier is the “resident poet” and starts his rant. Still undecided I decide to leave. I don’t need to hear this man anymore.

Walking home I am insecure as to whether I should have left, insecure that I might be walking away from something interesting, insecure that I can’t do this stuff, insecure that I am being dragged away. So much bloody insecurity. It’s a Thursday night. Sort it out….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s