This isn’t so much a show as it is an aftershow, and presents a quite magical answer to that ubiquitous and often slurred festival dilemma: where next? Sure, the performers are crucial, and I urge you to witness the entire three hour spectacle, but the main reason to gather in the Gardens this late is to drink, dance, laugh, and repeat. Guilty Pleasures is basically a club night, playing mostly 80s and 90s classics of pop and rock. We’re talking (or rather, we’re singing) Journey, Tiffany, Queen and Take That, which might seem cheesy as hell, but when combined with booze, friends, and the wild enthusiasm of the acts on stage, such a recognisable playlist erases any thoughts of who might be watching or who’s with who, and sends the increasingly beautiful crowd into an entirely unselfconscious dancing frenzy.
Whilst I can’t say without qualification that this is for everyone, the sense of inclusion one feels when entering this booming, glittering mini-arena is so complete that even those non-dancers out there will at least find themselves smiling at the absurdity of it all. An example of such absurdity is the scantily-clad, all-male dance troupe Hot Gusset, whose bizarre choreography of symmetry and lifts, though hugely entertaining, came and went like a sudden hallucination, and left much of the audience a little dumbstruck. What next? Ah yes, dancing!
And yes, we can all dance tonight, including the unstoppably marvellous DJ Anna Greenwood, with whom we all swiftly fell in love. That lady can move, but it’s more about inspiring us to go crazy than showing off. She acts out lyrics, she does aerobics, she dashes around the stage; in fact, she dances like everyone else in the venue, so utterly legitimises our amateurish jerking. By making us feel welcome and necessary to their exclusive party, Guilty Pleasures have created the most fun ‘show’ I’ve seen this month by far.
Assembly @ Princes St Gardens, 4-28 Aug (not 9-11, 16-18, 23-25), 11.30pm