King’s Bunker: Toybox

TOMMY SHANE’s love affair with Jessica O’Driscoll Breen reaches a tragic conclusion at King’s Bunker’s Toybox in his last ever Tab review.

Cambridge event jessica o'driscoll-breen king's bunker King's College Music review Toybox Truly Medley Deeply

This was meant to be my final flourish. I had it all set up: I’d told Jessica I loved her at the Churchill Spring Ball, I’d made an impression at Dionysia, and at King’s Bunker I was meant to bring home the bacon, so to speak.

You would not believe how many people stood in our way. Comment after comment, email after email – all telling me that I had no chance with the double-barrelled beauty from Ireland, my Grace O’Malley, my Shergar, my Jessica O’Driscoll-Breen.

And then finally I felt the final nail plunge into my coffined heart. She was to be on board a flight to Ireland and would not be going to King’s Bunker.

Clearly, she was sneakily setting up a ‘Did she get off the plane!?’ scenario where she’d romantically miss her flight and serenade me à la Rachel Green.

Despite knowing this eventual outcome, I still had to bring a fucking man date for my plus one, as usual. The same man as Churchill ball, in fact. He took the ‘Toybox’ theme pretty seriously, and dressed up as a fairly convincing ‘Etch-A-Sketch’; I, on the other hand, stroppily strapped a penguin to my neck and claimed I was Pingu.

But even the ‘Etch-A-Sketch’ was dwarfed by the efforts of an ensemble of Tetris shapes, with other efforts including twister matts, jigsaw puzzles, and ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earing’, this was no slap-dash attempt at fancy dress. Little touches like face-crayons and transfer tattoos meant that no one was left without a decent enough costume, though of course a small consolation for those of us left Jessicaless.

The major issue though was that the night lost the hype, mystery and creativity of past events. We did get Truly Medley Deeply, but their very presence, welcome though it always is, veered the night away from its raison d’être. Truly Medley Deeply have to be the ultimate default option for any event in Cambridge. Ben Pearce, the performer last term, suggested King’s Bunker was going to battle it out for the top spot in Cambridge nightlife. These guys did not. A fire alarm here, an Avril Lavigne song there, and this felt a lot like a bop.

The music in the actual bunker was, however, pretty brill, especially when combined with the UV lights and Felix Bazalgette’s enormous grin above the decks. But whereas last year’s Genesis was exciting, fresh, and innovative (I’m thinking David Attenborough’s Life on all night in the Chetwynd Room), this seemed uninspired. What’s more, with a price tag of £14, this is the most expensive event on in Cambridge outside of balls: more than Dionysia, Denim, Klubnacht, and twice the price of Rudimental, which was open until 6 am.

Ok, ok maybe I’m just bitter. You might have guessed, but Jessica chose not to miss her flight in the end. So it was just me and Pingu, wondering what could have been. It was probably the last chance I had with her, and it was to perfectly coincide with this, my last review for The Tab. This review was meant to be her Taj Mahal: I, Emperor Shah Jahan, and she, Mumtaz Mahal.

But as you, Shah Jahan, and I now know, Mahals always leave in the end.