John’s May Ball 2014

JOSH SIMONS is delighted by this marvellous mousse of a May Ball.

ball ents food johns josh simons katy b may May Week mousse review

John’s lived right up to its reputation as the best party in town this year.

Organisation was slick, food and drink delicious, and entertainment, on the whole, top-notch.

Our evening began where all Balls begin – in a queue. John’s has worked the whole thing out very efficiently, although it really is not worth turning up at 7.45pm as once the gates open everything moves very swiftly. All you achieve is one queue-free burger. I’ve never quite understood why they don’t hand out beers, champagne or at least water to thirsty queuers though.

As you walk in you glug a glass of champagne and wolf a strawberry, watching the sun set over New Court’s tower. At this point, we witness a seriour altercation between a punter and a porter: the former had poked the porter with his pole, earning himself a tirade of abuse and a ‘ban’ from watching the fireworks. As if he could hide them.

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The initial food queues are always a bit of a bore, but they quickly die down once everyone has scoffed a round of fish and chips, or a mac n’ cheese. The puddings this year were particularly excellent – even the chocolate mousse wasn’t light and fluffy, but dark and velvety. Just how a mousse should be. My mousse-based spirit was only temporarily dampened by an overzealous barman, who insisted that I would love his cider. I didn’t. The cider bar is always empty and I’m not sure why they bother getting it back every year. You just don’t want fomenting apples taking up the space of velvety mousses.

The fireworks were excellent: John’s time the music with well-though-through bangs and crashes that all make it seem like a meticulously planned affair. I felt safe in the hands of my May Ball organisers from this point onwards.

After a bit more nibbling and knobbing, we went to catch a few minutes of MNEK who was okay. Oneman however played a seamless set which lifted the mood of the entire dance tent where blissfully, unlike Fez, you actually have room to move. Katy B wiggled her bum a lot, with some meaty backing singers, and seemed very happy but played four ear-bashing songs which just about got the crowd moving.

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Floating points topped off a superb lineup of DJs until 4pm. At this point everything became a little happy and blurry, unexpectedly. I felt a lot of love towards Xavier Hetherington for his set, in fact a lot of love towards everyone in general.

My critical taste buds were somewhat diminished by this point, but I had a rich treacle sponge and some tasty strawberry gin and tonics. One of the best things about John’s is almost nothing runs out, and by 4am you can wonder round picking up anything and everything you fancy. Even cider. Strangely though, queues for the two cocktail bars remained until almost 5am. (More cocktails less cider I think).

After the survivors photo guy made a few quite bad jokes, I grabbed a final peroni and headed back.

With some great lineups across the entertainment tents, scrumptious food and meticulous organization, John’s pulled a banger this year.

Food: 5/5

Entertainment: 4/5