Big Fish Little Fish Spooky Special – 18/10/15


Put your hands in the air! It’s the BFLF Halloween special, at the dark and cavernous Shapes in Hackney Wick. Of course, this being BFLF it was the middle of the afternoon when we went in and not remotely dark or spooky. Which made it all the more hilarious to see a trail of people dressed as ghosts and Frankensteins pushing buggies down the road all the way from the station. Some people had gone full committment to the spooky theme, which was impressive. I’m sad to sad we didn’t…but Reuben had his skeleton t-shirt on:



While we’re outside, let’s have a brief bit of love for this dinosaur:


“ROO”! Or possibly “Rooooar” but who’s being pedantic?

Anyway, let’s hurry on inside and get down to some dancin’. Unless Roo gets distracted by the playdough table:


This was a rare moment of stillness for one of our kids – they spent most of the time dashing about, fitting through gaps that their parents couldn’t. Bob, Not-Bob and Boby were in attendance but I didn’t see too much of them, thanks to the aforementioned crazy kids. I didn’t see much of Nathan either, if it comes to that.

Next stop after playdough was the craft table, where Roo and Eva made Halloweeny hats out of paper plates. Both would later lose their hats but amazingly, we found them and both plates made it home. Here’s Eva modelling hers:


She was enjoying herself, honest. She just didn’t like the camera flash. Are owls spooky, by the way? I figured some people would find them spooky…

A new feature of this rave was the Korg synthesizer workshop, tucked away at the back of the room. We had timed tickets so only a few children were in there at once, which was nice. They put on headphones and played on mini pianos, note bender and drum machines. I would have been happy playing in there myself, but Eva was hogging the headphones:



I think these ^^ were some kind of finger-drum-machine. I’m not sure but I think that was the gist. They were pretty cool. I also liked the notebender. I imagine that the BFLF are hoping to inspire the next generation of DJs, who will one day take over the whole business. Anyone up for Eva’s set in Hackney 2035? We’ll definitely have hoverboards by then, right?


Next up, Eva wanted to check out the play area with the traditional BFLF tunnels and tents. I sat down for a moment but as soon as I did she was off again. There were giant balloons on the dance floor and she wanted some of that action. She soon got distracted by slightly smaller balloons though, carrying a massive three of them about her tiny person (one in each hand, one between her knees). I managed to have a little dance while she was busy doing that but soon got co-opted into helping her protect her balloons from all the toddlers that wanted to share them.


Guard those balloons Eva! Later on, Reuben had a similar issue and solved it by writing his name on a balloon. Because toddlers can read, obviously.


At some point, Nathan and I swapped children. I think he was finding Reuben exhausting. So, I took him for a while and he showed me his brand new dance routine. Check it out here. You can learn it too! Meanwhile, Nathan had taken Eva out for a breath of fresh air in the buggy park and they were, along with some other parents and kids, practising a bit of stage diving.


Roo and I joined them for a game of keepy-uppy with Roo’s personalised balloon. Then we all went back in and something was different. The atmosphere had gone from “Bonnie Tyler video” to “1880s Whitechapel”. The smoke that had been gently swirling about was now not so gentle. This is the actual view from the dancefloor:


#nofilter. Just lots of smoke. I recreated it quite effectively while frying sausages for tea this evening. It certainly gave things a spooky feel but Roo and I both thought it might be overkill. It was only when I saw HannahBFLF frantically fanning the room with a fire door that I realised something wasn’t quite right. I later found out that an errant child had set the smoke machine to “permanent” and no-one quite knew how to turn it off again. Hilarious.


Eventually the fog began to clear, and the groovy lighting-up glasses of the DJs could be seen once more. I’m not sure who was DJing when but I was thrilled to hear that one of the DJs was Jude Rogers, former editor of (appropriately enough) “Smoke”. Now, I’m going to sound like a total stalker but I was big fan of “Smoke”, which was an infrequent London periodical in the mid 2000s. It even inspired LWAT’s 300th birthday trip out. I swear I even have a couple of issues in my bathroom right now. The stalky bit is this – when we moved to Kennington, we realised that MattSmoke lived on the same estate as us. Then we moved to East London and I spotted Jude on a parenting group. Now she turns up at BFLF? I’m sad not to have met her, but it’s probably a good thing, given how very creepy this whole paragraph is sounding.

Let’s move on. Parachute dance – hooray! And a rare shot of all four of us together, courtesy of Bob. Mmm, flattering:


The kids always love the parachute dance and it was helping to waft away the smoke too:


It was almost time to go but first, a trip to the hipster toilets:

Chipboard and marbles. I don’t get it but I think I’m probably too old to understand hipster interior toilet design. I’m OK with that.

The kids were melting down all over the place but Reuben enjoyed a quick go on the picture wall while we were gathering our stuff:


..and then they were pacified with a well-timed Happy Monkey smoothie on the way out. Hooray! Another successful afternoon’s raving, even if I didn’t get much dancing done. That’s what partying with kids is like…



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