To the Working Men's Club in Bethnal Green last night for The Idler winter 2006 edition launch party. This issue has an 'eco' theme about it – it is dubbed 'How To Save The World Without Really Trying' – but taking centre stage at last night's event at the club on Pollard Row was the humble ukulele.
The Idler editorial appear to have gone ukulele mad this season. The Idler Ukulele Orchestra seems intent on knocking the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain off the UK uke top-spot – even going so far as to recruit Black Box Recorder member and Idler contributor John Moore on musical saw (TUOOGB notably had David Coulter on musical saw on tour with them in 2004).
Still, the evening was a laugh. The Dulwich Ukulele Club were a treat – catch them if you can. The first drinks at the bar were on Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson's tab, which more than made back the fiver entry. Perhaps we were mistaken as being on the Idler staff? Whatever the case, we've learned not to question free drinks.
Londonist bumped into some new friends and had a merry old time. Spotted were Smoke: a London peculiar's Jude Rogers, comedienne Joanna Neary and actor/writer Ben Moor. Doubtless there were other famous faces, but we couldn't be bothered to look for them, and none of them said hello, so they remain unnoticed. A company we can't name sold us a brand new Peter Cook book (one of the editors is Idler deputy editor Dan Kieran) for five quid (RRP £9.99), and the marvellous Duke of Uke of Hanbury Street, E1, had a stall selling £15 ukuleles; we bought a pink one.
What a bloody jolly marvellous thing! We should go out more often.
Image from strollers' Flickr photostream