Fitzwilliam Ball

Tom Rasmussen claimed ‘it was like having a fucking prolapse’; TOMMY SHANE begs to differ.

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Essays were written, supervisions endured, Michaelmas done. Time to celebrate Cambridge Style. Instead of riding an invisible horse, I wanted to drink champagne, get massages and try to resist the temptation to Dawn French the multiple chocolate fountains.

And so Fitz ball, which facilitated all this and more, was just the traditional end of term blow-out I wanted. Champagne and chocolate fountains were indeed aplenty, as were the comically feeble attempts to relate the ball to the Narnia theme (a bit of turkish delight and some coat racks).

Now it wasn’t all plain sailing. One major hurdle a winter ball committee has to confront is the cold. Attempts to counteract this natural inevitability were of variable success. The tepid apple juice offered in the queue was an outright and miserable failure; the industrially heated tent was a resounding success.

When it came to ents, the Fitz ball made reliable if predictable choices. Truly Medley Deeply were as fantastic as their reputation holds them to be. The fit one on the left even did a shout out to ma gurl Tyro. They were impossibly charming, but most importantly, performed some great music.

That said, the audio crew royally fucked up. They started about 40 minutes late with the band members awkwardly trying to get the DJ to turn the music off and their microphones on as they stood on the stage in silence.

This had inevitable knock-on effects for Denim, who in turn started late, with Joe Bates seething with frustration as his keyboard just wouldn’t make any sound. The technical issues were worthy of cancelling Assange. But the sheer charisma and panache of the Denim posse rose above it all. Amrou Al-Kadhi’s rendition of ‘Say My Name’ was enough to outshine Florence Welch, and Tom Rasmussen smashed all the high notes in ‘Love On Top’, even if it was, as he claimed, ‘like having a fucking prolapse.’ Things only got better when Armou and Charlie Parham sang ‘we found love in a hopeless place’. Was it secretly to do with their time together at Eton? Who knows. But it was triumphant.

The ball was spread over quite a large space, with rooms hidden down corridors and up stairs which meant that it really was a landscape you had to spend a while discovering. Occasionally this meant that the ball was spread a little thin, and that it therefore felt a bit sparsely populated. It didn’t always feel like a sell-out event. I’m not sure if they were allowed any more people, but it would have benefited from a more packed atmosphere.

All in all, the ball had nothing to do with Narnia, it had some minor fuck-ups, and the food wasn’t exactly top notch. But when you’re all dressed up, when you’ve finally sewn up the term’s torturous work load, and when you’re there with your friends guzzling champers, you remember why Cambridge style is the only way to recover from the work. And Fitz ball provided an event to do just that.