I must confess, I've always been fascinated by the idea of Bingo. I grew up in one of those teeny tiny seaside towns full of retired folks, many of whom seemed to be able to while away
hours days at a time in our local Bingo Hall. My friends and I frequently questioned whether or not we were missing out on the most fun our town had ever seen... Also, as I watched a lot of Matilda in my formative years, I've been convinced for a long time that I could win a fortune like Mrs. Wormwood, and take my family for tea at The Ritz, if only I was to partake in this noblest of games.
After much deliberation, however, it was unanimously decided that we should wait until retirement, for fear of out-bingoing ourselves before our twilight years, and having to learn to play Bridge instead (it sounds really hard).
So you can only imagine my delight to be invited, along with some other London bloggers, to Musical Bingo!
The game works like normal bingo. You are given cards, and have to fill in lines to win prizes. However, instead of someone calling out numbers, the cards show songs, which you have to cross off when you hear the DJ play them.
The event took place at Concrete, underneath Pizza East in Shoreditch. Giant silver helium balloons, cafeteria-type benches and tables, and organisers in bow-ties lent the evening a bit of an eclectic feeling. A huge wheel of fortune was on the stage, along with some prizes (including, but not limited to; Wham Bars, stick-on moustaches, a £30 bar tab, an inflatable dolphin, a Crock Pot, and a bottle of Champagne).
Now, hearing the words 'music' and 'Shoreditch' in the same sentence automatically left me suspicious that I would be found flailing with an empty bingo card, not knowing any of the songs. I therefore decided to bring along my partner in crime and secret weapon for music knowledge, Deci.
Having been fed some delicious pizza from the Pizza East kitchen upstairs, it was heads down to study our bingo cards for the first round... Hang on! Derek and the Dominos? Simon and Garfunkel? I KNEW THESE SONGS!
Before knuckling down for some serious bingo, I had the chance to chat with the other girls in our party, who included Rebecca from Runaway Kiwi, and Laura from This City Life London.
As always, it was so fun to meet other bloggers! Being able to nerd out about Blogger vs. Wordpress, SEO and whether or not Google are getting rid of GFC is a luxury I'm rarely afforded with my "normal"* friends...
Once we got down to the actual game, speech was replaced by wild gesticulating (it was quite loud), and we all screamed with laughter as the winners were taken on stage to complete challenges before claiming their prizes... The most entertaining was seeing a girl get her face vajazzled, watching two suited Fulham-types rapping about the new Pope, and (slightly disturbingly) seeing some people attempting to "make love" to a song (I'm not entirely sure how this one's done. Needless to say, neither were the participants).
As we went through the rounds, the music became more fun, the players all got a little more dishevelled, and we began collaborating more with each other's bingo cards (I certainly wouldn't call it cheating - it's all about the group effort, you know).
Felt-tip pens became microphones...
And before too long, the urge to get up and dance overcame us all!
Unfortunately, it wasn't my winning night, but nonetheless it was some of the best fun I've had in quite a while. I would definitely recommend Musical Bingo to anyone as long as they're not afraid of getting up on stage and looking a little silly! It's perfect for big groups (the biggest there was 26 people!) and was a really unique and brilliant night out. You can see there future events here. The organisers run another, quiz-based, night called Last Man Standing. I'm going to have to check that out soon, so I'll give you my feedback!
Thank you to the team at Costa Bingo for your hospitality, and for giving us gals such a treat! The perfect remedy to my traditional bingo cravings, which I think have now been staved off for a while.
*This is obviously hugely euphemistic as I don't think that I actually know any 'normal' people.