Yet again, I have been horrifically lax in updating with shows and events so this is the last big themed show we did, back in the summer of 2015.
I thought it would be nice to do a show where I combined the key elements of a typical English summer, so the set ended up being a 4 part creation to encompass the main elements that sum up summer in England for me.
Part 1: Cricket on the village green
What is more English than the sound of birds singing in the trees, the gentle murmur of voices enjoying the warm sunshine, the distant chime of a church bell and the thud of leather on willow (and no, that’s not some kinky BDSM reference! It refers to a cricket ball being hit by a cricket bat!)
The guests arrived at the set by landing on the edge of a typical village green, beside the duckpond to the tune of Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’.
They strolled around the green, making sure not to get too close to the cricketers, and enjoyed a cool glass of bubbly at the picnic blanket whilst we treated them to a selection of sunny feelgood tunes.
And what can be more English than watching tennis at Wimbledon? The guests wandered through the churchyard, leaving the cricketers behind, and arrived at Wimbledon just in time to catch the beginning of a high-powered match.
But of course, this is England. And what is even more typical for an English summer than tennis, and strawberries and cream? You got it…
Fortunately, it turned out that there was a rather special spectator in the crowd who got up and led everyone in a singsong (with a little help from yours truly – any excuse to get in shot) until the shower passed over…
Part 3: Croquet and afternoon tea
After all the excitement of the tennis and Sir Cliff, I figured our guests could use a little break, so our next stop was for tea and cake. But not just any old tea and cake. Oh no. I led the guests to drop down a rabbit hole from the tennis court and they landed on a soft bouncy pile of leaves in none other than Alice in Wonderland’s garden.
We danced on the croquet lawn, much to certain people’s disgust, and had Early Grey tea from fancy china.
Part 4: The Seaside
No English summer would be complete without a trip to the seaside. The guests were led down the along the lawn and across a footbridge leading over the little river at the bottom of the garden. As the came to the end of the footbridge, they came out through a lovely Victorian bandstand at the end of the pier…
There were heated discussions about who won the sandcastle building contest, whilst others just enjoyed paddling in the water or lazing on the sand.
The final months of 2014 where a a busy time for Marcel’s and the Caffeine Nights group, .
One of the most important changes was the move from the platform recreating a Parisian street and square (la Place des Cerises…), to the sea level, which gave the whole build a bigger sense of space outside, and wonderful views, while keeping the intimate cosy feel inside that our friends have enjoyed so much as they discovered the bistro.
But soon Fall was upon us, and fallen leaves suddenly where everywhere (inside the bistro too!) and allowed Anouk to add a moody feel to the whole set, (which reminds me of a perfect tune to watch these pictures by, a song about the passing of time and the changing of seasons by Sandy Denny.
Everyone tried to stay outside for quiet evening chats at Marcel’s terrace as long as there where some warmth left and before the snow settled in.
Eventually Halloween arrived and Marcel’s rose to the occasion with some great sets from our dj’s and yet some more awesome decorations by Anouk!
The Matelots where also active, and in true pioneer fashion sailed out to discover new lands, and were treated by team Captain (G-WINZ) to some wonderful routes, sampling all the seasonal beauty of SL’s winter wonderland. There was also an unusual trip to the Great Wall of China, where we were kindly hosted by Selena Nirvana of the Heartbreakers Entertainment group, and her wonderful Chinese pavilion venue which held the cruise party.
And we finally got to Holiday season. Anouk once again showed her skills in decorating Marcel’s and all of Croissantville, and all ye merry group enjoyed a time of warm friendship inspired by outstanding musical shows which conveyed according to each dj’s style the spirit of the season.
So here is 2015!
We can’t wait to see what it will bring to Marcel’s and the Caffeine Nights group, and take this chance to wish you all, once again, a Happy New Year!
Well it’s been a while since our last themed show, what with everyone being away on holiday over the summer, so I’ve had plenty of time to indulge myself in my most epic set build yet.
I’ve been very involved in the Sky Atlantic tv series, Penny Dreadful recently – if you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. True gothic horror with Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and a host of other well known names.
Aaaanyway – there is a scene filmed in a Victorian tropical glass house that really caught my interest. The architecture is stunning, with all those glass curves and domes and tunnels. Then there is the undeniable beauty of the foliage and colours of exotic tropical plants and flowers. But beneath all that beauty, there is also a slightly sinister element. The delicate curtain of steamy mist that hangs in the air – the thick humid heat – the rich sweet scents.
In the scene from the programme, our heroine (or should that be anti-heroine?) is leaning over a delicate and beautiful flower, closing her eyes and inhaling its perfume as a beguiling Dorian Grey stands beside her and whispers in her ear.
“What does it say to you?”
“Touch me, with your finger, softly, with my scent on your neck. Open your lips and taste.” Vanessa, who seems to have forgotten herself, opens her eyes and stares at Dorian. He identifies the plant as deadly nightshade, a lethal plant.
“It seem so enticing and luxurious, but within, there’s a dark thing waiting…”
“Is it poisonous?” she asks him.
“Like all beautiful things, I hope so,” he replies.
I have paraphrased the actual dialogue a tad, but the overall atmosphere of hidden darkness just below the surface of all the delicate beauty was what appealed to me. So to that end, I threw myself into creating my own tropical Victorian butterfly house. And since I now have my nice big plot of mainland with a yummy big chunk of prims, I was able to go crazy. The build took over two months to complete and we finally managed to open it to our guests last weekend.
We hosted our Gothic Victoriana evening and between us, Sword and I (with some great suggestions from Lord Andy) put together a list of music that ranged from authentic Victorian, through period musical show tunes, but also with an undertone of darker music to balance all the grace and light.
As usual, all our guests made great efforts to dress the part and gave that extra touch of authenticity to the surroundings.
And as a final surprise at the end of the evening, the roof opened and we treated our guests to a stupendous fireworks display, with colours glittering off the glass walls and sparks flying up into the night sky…
The set will remain in place until the end of this month (October) so if you missed the show and would like to have a stroll around a lovely, relaxing tropical greenhouse, please feel free to pop by and visit – and don’t forget to sign the guest book!
Here’s a few kind comments left by visitors to this set:‘Just a silent admiration to your work, Anouk’ka.’ – Satu Catronis ‘Always great to be part of one of your amazing sets. Thanks you my friend for being such an artist, We need you in SL’ – Valdez Lauria ‘Amazing venue, just gorgeous, and the music was as usual perfect. :)’ – Rhiannon Colclough ‘FABULOUS and brilliant build!’ – ElizabethWallington Resident ‘Love this place, Anouk – is totally fabulous! ~ G 🙂 ‘ – Gerrard Winstanley ‘Great music and time here. Thanks Sword’ – andrea jonesms ‘Absolutely stunning build, Anouk. Thank you for sharing it.. :))’ – Autopilotpatty Poppy ‘Magnificient place! This is my first time here but I’ve already fallen in love with it! ^x^’ – Peppermint Girl
We were treated this weekend to one of our special themed shows, this time DJ’d by the very talented Mr Gerrard Winstanley, playing a selection of Asian fusion music. The show was based around the oriental Willow Pattern, the story of which was posted here a few days prior to the show itself.
The set was all in muted tones of blue and white, and was a replica of the china pattern depicting the lovely oriental landscape scenery. A bamboo bridge crossed over a babbling stream in which blue and white koi carp swam. The blue and white crane bobbing their long necks into the water every few minutes to pick up a fishy snack.
It wasn’t until guests zoomed their cameras away from the set that the realised that they were actually in the pattern itself – the entire set being a huge Willow Pattern dish, complete with giant chopsticks perched across the rim..
I even made sure I co-ordinated my entire outfit to blend with the background..
The rest of the guests really went all out and the costumes were breathtakingly beautiful. The contrast of the pure blue and white setting, together with the stunning, butterfly-like colours of the guest’s outfits was the most perfect opportunity for some amazing photos.
I was very fortunate and managed to “find” a very rare and valuable Ming dynasty DJ deck for G. Thank goodness he was carefully with his dancing throughout the evening as the decks were totally priceless and irreplaceable, and a mis-placed kick could have been a tragedy 😛
We even had the spirits of Koong-se and Chang floating over us in the form of a pair of white doves..
As the evening drew to a close, and the sun set behind the hills, the guests were treated to a surprise display of hundreds of glowing lanterns which were released to slowly float up into the midnight sky.
Sword spent ages on the night taking about a million photos so he could put together one of his cool stop-motion videos of the event which you can see here:
And here are a few very kind words left in our guest book for this show:
‘Amazing as usual. Congratulations on the fabulous work Anouk. xxx Valdez’
‘Fabulous set and music, Anouk. Thank you so much! Spectacular!’
‘At the Willow Tales event – wonderful set and wonderful music, a true pleasure to be here. –Lewis Luminos’
‘Lovely Party… thank you ありがとう
And finally, with thanks to Lewis, here’s a link to Lewis Luminos’ Flickr album, with some more gorgeous photos: Lewis Luminos Flickr – Willow show
Marcel’s Cafe took it’s entire crowd of Caffeine Nights clients on an amazing trip on the Orient Express last week. With DJ G-Winz at the wheel, we were taken on a musical journey through many of the countries visited by the original Orient Express, all with a fabulous chff-chff-chff rhythm to accompany the rocking of the carriages as we passed through each new location.
Here are some pics I took before the show, as Sword and I discuss the journey…
And now, click on the YouTube video to get an actual taste of the journey, with sounds and scenes recorded and compiled by the very talented Mr Sword Starfall!
And finally, here are some very kind words left by our passengers in the Caffeine Nights Guest Book….
‘I’m adoring your work. astonishing, really. congratulations……..Satu.’
- satu Catronis
‘è bellissimo stare con voi! grazie!! it is wonderful to be with you, thanks’
- Stella Anwyl
‘Thanks for having me – what a lovely event! ~ Zoe’
- Zoe Foodiboo
‘Thank you for fulfilling my dream for me! HUGS! Liz!’
- Elizabeth Wallington
‘This place looks lovely :)’
- gustav2005 Resident
‘First time aboard. Very excited!!!’
- Emily Genopeak
‘Love this train and station – the detail is incredible!’
- Rhiannon Colclough
‘lovely time had by all, thx, kalanite’
- kalanite Bluestar
‘Great party Anouk’
- alexiasulamericana Resident: