Any time I get to head back up country to London (and my home town just outside) I get pretty excited. This week I had more to be excited about than usual. As you may have seen in my last couple of posts I won a pair of tickets to a secret Eliza Doolittle gig, supported by Appletiser. She has been out of the public eye for a while, but lots of people remember Pack Up Your Troubles and Skinny Jeans, and her new single Big When I Was Little is due out on 28th July.
Now I say secret gig, but really the only surprise was the venue. Otherwise the 200 guests knew most of what was going down. Having been told it was taking place in central London I was suitably impressed when I got the email last week letting me know we would be at Mayfair One, just off Oxford Street. It’s a Grade I listed former church and on the website it looked amazing. My guest and I decided to make a bit of an afternoon of it too and when we located the place before hitting the shops we were suitably impressed. I’ll apologise now for the quality of the photos – as I didn’t want to take my DSLR I was relying on my phone and an ancient point and shoot! I wish I had some photos that gave a sense of how stunning the interior is.
Once we were inside and had been photographed on the green carpet we spotted the photo booth complete with basket of props. We were a little party of 6 as my friend’s brother won a pair of tickets too, and at one point we somehow all got in the booth together. Not only did the machine spit out passport pics but it was also linked to a big screen on the wall adjacent, and they were uploaded to Facebook too. I’m not particularly photogenic so I should have made use of the masks rather than having to wince at the photos I’ve been tagged in.
Something new to me was the digital graffiti wall. We were able to use a spray can to make our mark on the giant screen, and our works of art were then printed onto labels and put onto bottles of Appletiser for us to take home. In my case “works of art” might be stretching it a bit but I’m wondering if my friend has forgotten to mention a misspent youth as she looked a real pro and raised a few laughs when she started shaking the can.
These distractions made the time fly and it seemed like no time before the star of the evening was introduced. Eliza Doolittle appeared in a simple outfit looking fantastic, supported by a couple of backing singers and a small band. Her voice was great and the acoustics and general setting made it a brilliant gig to be at. She performed some of her old hits, but mostly focused on songs which will be on her upcoming album, telling us it was the first time she had performed some of them. There were a couple I really loved and as with her earlier releases they’re pretty darn catchy. The only disappointment was that she wasn’t on stage for longer.
The whole event was so well put together, and Appletiser really made their mark. We loved the bar serving cocktails and mocktails containing their products, which we’d been given vouchers for, and there were fridges full of chilled soft drinks dotted around too. There were themed cupcakes, including ones that looked like apples with green frosting and little chocolate stalks, and even little branded handbag shaped packs of nail files.
I love winning pretty much anything but events are one of my favourites to win, as they tend to be the sort of things I wouldn’t treat myself to in the normal run of things. Although it meant a bit of childcare juggling it was a fabulous night, with a lot of laughs and a bit of dancing, and I would go again tomorrow if I could. Good luck with the new material Eliza!