As an alternative to a dip in the Ocean I instead headed to the Nottingham Contemporary last Friday to get ‘All Fired Up’ in aid of an event run by a locally based domestic abuse charity, Equation.

I will definitely be looking for more arty events at the Nottingham Contemporary.

As a first timer to the Contemporary I was a tad disappointed when the swanky, marbled building was on entrance only filled with a rather underwhelming scene of one band’s warm up session accompanied by two small children dancing enthusiastically around the front of their set. To my relief this slightly slow start was however swept away within minutes as crowds of people swarmed into the venue, completely filling the space and the bar area. For the rest of the evening we were constantly pushing past people to find a space, an experience I can easily relate to a packed, end of term all nighter, although these were mostly middle aged members of the public who were maybe not quite as intoxicated as the average crisis goer.

I was nicely warmed by some lovely singing (and maybe a spot of mulled wine too).

In a sudden change of events the first promised act of Georgie Rose was replaced by Leah Sinead due to unavailability. Leah however held her ground and impressed with mellow, melodic vocals in an effortlessly relaxed solo performance.

The enthusiasm of the crowds made it well worth the chilly watch.

After being nicely warmed by some lovely singing (and maybe a spot of mulled wine too) it was announced that the firewalk was about to begin. I was not sure how the Nottingham Contemporary could say goodbye to its ceramic flooring which I had so recently come to admire, but at this point my doubts were put to rest as we were instructed to head outside into the cold and down the road to find the firewalkers’ path. The enthusiasm of the crowds however made it well worth the chilly watch as on arrival an organiser pulled up a table for us stragglers at the back to stand on. From our birds eye perch we watched as people of all ages rushed across the five metre stretch of burning coals. Some were definitely more keen than others to take the plunge but all of the fundraisers completed the walk, with raucous applause from the crowd each time someone reached the end of the fire trail.

We watched as people of all ages rushed across the five metre stretch of burning coals.

Whilst in the queue for the loo back at the Contemporary I got talking to the very friendly drummer of Three Minute Heist. In his Derby accent he informed me he was in need of a ‘tinkle’ before they started their set.  The five men making up the band were all very well dressed. They appeared to have waltzed straight out of a Great Gatsby-esque party, fully equipped with guitars, harmonicas and tattooed fingers. In fact, I enjoyed their lively blues so much that my friends and I were named ‘the dancers on the front row’ by the lead singer. How embarrassing.

 I enjoyed their lively blues so much that my friends and I were named ‘the dancers on the front row’.

The second band offered quite a different spectacle. Each member was dressed in a token item of red and together they formed Salmagundi. Using their ensemble of every instrument imaginable, including a trombone and bongos, they produced carnival style music with an infectious energy which everyone jumped, clapped and wooped along to.

Carnival style music with an infectious energy.

The night was a huge success and ended on a high. The acts were well ordered, with the atmosphere of the evening building up from the odd pre school jiggle to the whole room cheering and swaying. Athough I did not win the raffle I thoroughly enjoyed myself and congratulate the charity Equation for such a well put together and unique event. I will definitely be looking for more arty events, to fill those rare alternative evenings, that the Nottingham Contemporary has to offer in the future.

Katy Roe

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