Last night Gowanus welcomed London promoter James Flames and his entry into the neo-Bingo stakes, the Underground Rebel Bingo Club. Billing itself as “the most dangerous, most hardcore society in the known world” the URBC is conceived as part Fight Club, part Bingo club night, part ritual humiliation.
The first rule of the the URBC is that no one talks about the URBC. Attendees that have ostensibly bought tickets to a Young Persons’ Antique Fair are “advised to carry an antique at all times in case you are further interrogated.” To this end the streets outside Littlefield are a mixture of returned club members, curious onlookers and fake antique enthusiasts.
What happens next defies easy explanation. Yes there are antiques and there is Bingo but there are also Jerry Springer audience theatrics, crowd-surfing inflatable pools and full-body Panda suits. Audience members that enter with Antiques leave covered head-to-toe in improvised face-paint gleaned from Bingo markers, many no doubt awaking to the much ballyhooed ‘Bingover’.
Festivities begin tonight with the stirring theme of Antiques Roadshow. Host James Flames appraises a painting of a mustachioed Queen of England, introduced as his Granny, before inviting audience members to come forward with their own antiques. The formalities dispensed with in 5 minutes, Bingo begins.
Many arrive unsure what to expect from the URBC. Will it be a traditional seated roll call of ‘two fat ladies,’ ‘legs eleven,’ will there be an opportunity to win a meat platter for the little ones? (more…)