Review: Bongo Ball
Keen on Bongo.
I’ve had the pleasure of going to Bongo Ball every year since starting at St Andrews. Over the years, highlights have included vomiting on my boyfriends kilt on the bus home (and him severely judging his fresher girlfriend) , dancing with lions, tigers and bears (oh my) and deciding what colours to splash my face in (bird, butterfly, lion or peacock?!) . This year I was ordering face paint off Amazon weeks in advance with the anticipation of getting Bongo’d.
It’s secret bunker/festival feel makes it the least formal ball on the calendar which is exactly what St Andrews needs, and what makes it an exceptional night. The Lion King projected on the wall of the hanger, the shisha tent, another intimate marquee for when you feel like dancing hard- Bongo had something for everyone.
But ladies…was I the only one who didn’t get the memo that said it was mandatory to dress like a leopard? Seriously. Bongo demands more creativity from us. That night the guys definitely won that prize for best dressed- everywhere you looked they were rocking combinations of funky bow ties, authentic African dress, hats and scarves suavely combined with their black-tie finery.
“My scarf is from Chile- but it looks kind of African- right?” as one guy said to me. He got away with it. Of course, the infamous onesie was everywhere; elephants, tigers, and even a crocodile busting shapes somewhere on the floor.
The Zambula band never fail to get people moving and shaking in the carefree zesty spirit of Bongo. After a few minor sound difficulties (they wanted those bongos LOUDER) , they got going with rolling tunes which packed the dance floor straight away. Solo dancers, group dancers, people kissing- the love was flowing, the energy high.
I found myself dancing solo enthralled by the Zambula band at one point (my friends lost long ago to the shisha tent, the beautiful bonfire or in the line for the glorious free chips) with a guy doing the same next to me. I must have been frowning in concentration, mentally noting the atmosphere for this very review, because he turned to me and said “smile!” I shot him the biggest grin I could.
Looking at him, I realised that he encapsulated the free energy of Bongo- dancing hiply yet gracefully in his onsie, (he was beautiful, seriously, he was like Andy Jordan off MiC, not that I watch it or anything) not a care in the world, £1.50 vodka coke in hand, getting well and truly Bongo’d.
DJ Alex Bryson followed up Zambula and absolutely nailed it. He produced strings of thumping tunes which made your chest vibrate (literally- maybe being an old 4th year it was too much for me.) The set made me want to dance with anyone (or any animal) that came my way.
Much Stand love to President of Bongo Alex Mount (above) and his exceptional team for pulling off an outstanding event. See you next year!
Images courtesy of Lightbox