Review: Feast of Fools, Sidewinder, Kemp Town

I am far too lazy to go to Kemp Town. I live on the other side of the city and, at the age of 25, I am already feeling old and decrepit in my soul, so I’m more likely to be seen lazing with a book on the beach than I am stumbling along St. James Street at 2am.

However, sometimes you’ve got to get out and do something different, so last Saturday I went with photography maven Inês to Sidewinder for their Feast of Fools event, put on by Riddles In The Dark.

I’ve never been to Sidewinder before, but there’s clearly a regular crowd here –  at 9pm it was already packed. It’s trendy but not painfully so, with squishy sofas, a delightful beer garden, friendly staff and a warm vibe. The event was all circus/harlequin themed, with various stalls set up for face-painting, tarot reading, magic and a few performances.

I decided to have a go at a tarot card reading. Besides a brief period of messing about with some anime-themed tarot cards in my teens, I’ve never done this before. Amy, my reader, took me through the process with confidence and enthusiasm, advising me of the big choices I had to make in my near future and informing me that I should think more about my own desires and less about outside pressures.

Whether you believe in tarot or not, it’s a pretty interesting experience and does end up making you think about your current place in life and where you want to go. It’s almost a cheaper version of therapy.

After the session, Amy and I have a chat. She’s been doing tarot for ten years and also acts, dances and sings. Wherever I go in Brighton, I’m always really impressed with the number of multi-talented people I come across, and the way they always manage to find creative outlets while still paying the bills in this beautiful but rather overpriced city.

We also had a look at a couple of jewellery stalls. Inês definitely had her eye on some gorgeous boho-ish pendants, cursing herself for not bringing her purse. Another highlight was the brooches made from bird skulls – Hannah, the artist, pays a beachcomber for them. The goth in me was very intrigued.

By this point the garden was almost completely full of customers, many of them extremely stylishly dressed – I burned with awe and jealousy at one girl wearing head-to-toe black leather, like a real-life Catwoman. In between people-watching, I enjoyed taking in the sight of tables of punters being entertained by a magician, and a girl in full clown gear blowing ginormous bubbles. Really, who doesn’t like bubbles?

If Sidewinder did another event like this, I’d definitely go. It wasn’t overwhelmingly event-y (if that’s a word) – you could go and grab a table and have drinks and chats with your friends, and enjoy the entertainment without feeling like you need to focus on it 100%. This more laid-back feel is something I really liked about it, and would recommend to others looking for something a bit different on a Saturday night.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy a leather catsuit...

Written by Ciara.

Photos by Inês. You can find more from Inês on her website and by following her on Instagram @queenantigona.