Review: Let's Go To... Carablanca
28th February 2010
"Ees lookin at you Kid" - No, no, no! Ees not 'Let's Go To Caaassssablanca', Ees 'Let's Go To Carrrraaablanca'! (Ok, you can stop the Meerkat voice now...)
Date:26th February 2010
Location: Red Lion Square, Holborn, central London
This is the first of the 'Let's Go To' brand, that identifies places for Modern Jivers to visit safe haven Tango destinations. We've been doing this with Negrachas for a little while now, but the outing on the 26th was the first non-Negracha's outing of our little "Let's Go To... " group - we thought it was time to broaden our horizons a little...
So, tables were booked, floorplans were circulated, and shoes were shined...
So, was it "safe" to venture there?
Absolutely. The usual arrangement of meeting as a collective at a pre-ordained area of the setting was arranged so that we all felt comfortable and not out of place.
This venue, I believe, is a strict Tango-done-oh-so-properly event, with heavy emphasis on the line of dance and the music played being strictly Tango only (as opposed to the Tango and non Tango tracks played in places such as Negrachas downstairs). No neo-Tango here! And never likely to be too either. That might get a hiss or a cheer, depending on how far down the road you are in Tango.
A few of the modern jivers I spoke to were pleased to find that the venue was a very friendly place and they felt comfortable there.
Carablanca has some nice little touches such as free water available - you can write your initials on your water cup also, which helps avoid them being lost. It does cheap but quite good red and white wine at £2 per glass. You can also purchase Argentine style pasties ("empanadas") for £2 each; these are done on a regular basis.
The organiser, Danny, is constantly running around making sure the evening is as good as it can be.
One note: on leaving, you need to take the back exit, rather than the front entrance - so if you're not familiar with the area you may need to re-orient yourself. Red Lion Square itself has a one-way system, so if you're driving and can't park in the square itself, you'll have to go around the houses a bit to get back there. But hey, it's central London.
Let's be clear, "Let's Go To Carablanca" is not "Let's Go To Negrachas Mk II". There are differences in the music played, and in the dancers who attend.
Admittedly, those same dancers do clear off later on to go to Negrachas, but I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I think they all go upstairs at Negrachas, rather than with us downstairs triers who are on catch-up with them, i.e. they are the hard core more experienced Tango dancers.
Will MJ tango folks want to go to "LGT...C" in the future? For the more serious Tango trier, yes.
For those that need their neotango fix and can't stand the music, well, no.
- Ken Royden, 28th February 2010