100_0356It is a cold December night in old London town.  An extraordinary tour bus circles the streets around Clapham Junction Station, prowling for the perfect place to pull up and party.  Opposite the station there stands The Clapham Grand ““ the grand old lady of popular entertainment.  Tonight she awaits the arrival of a titan of musical mythology.  Tonight her sound system and her stage will be pushed to the very limits of their one hundred and nine year history as the drums thunder and the guitars scream and the amps are cranked all the way up to eleven…

Tonight she will bow down to the loud sound of the mighty Spinal Tap!

On Thursday 3rd December the Jameson Cult Film Club bestowed a generous gift upon lovers of great film and very silly rock bands by hosting a screening of rockumentary classic This is Spinal Tap.  Not ones to do things by halves when it comes to matters of movies and mixology, they filled The Clapham Grand to the rafters with Irish Whiskey and classic rock anthems, then parked a whacking great tour bus outside to serve as staging area for pre-gig drinks.  We like the way they think!

100_0350In 1982 legendary British metal band Spinal Tap were accompanied on their American comeback tour by fan and documentary filmmaker Marti De Bergi.  The footage he captured set the tone for the future of rock “˜n’ roll in cinema.  No band worked, played or rocked as hard as Tap.  No band flew so high or fell so far.  This is Spinal Tap is their story…

We all know Spinal Tap, we all love Spinal Tap (and above all we understand the awesome significance of Stonehenge to their tale) – well clearly so do Jameson Cult Film Club.  Our welcome drinks in the J Bar on the upper deck of the Jameson tour bus set the tone for the rest of the evening.  There was an overwhelming sense of humour and affection to the night from the outset.  The Clapham Grand is a damn funky venue and the contrast of walking from high tech VIP vehicle through IMG_1796her historic doors and smack into three icons of rock history was…genius.  Inside the venue a DJ span metal so retro it hurled us back in time.  The music forced our toes to tap and heads to nod and the crowd bowed down as one before him – the songs of Tap mingling with ACDC, Alice, GNR and Ozzy.  Three familiar gentlemen wandered the room, stealing the eyes of all the pretty girls and sporting the tightest trousers in England.  And all around tributes to the excesses of rock – mixed drinks lining every surface in the room, a stage dominated by a mighty bar lined with mules and whiskey sours presided over by a glowing green sign that bore their name.  This was Spinal Tap.

Excited before the screening even began, we loved every minute of the film.  As with An American Werewolf in London before, Jameson Cult Film Club seem to unequivocally understand how to take an event and elevate it to something truly unique ““ a once in a lifetime experience.  In the same way that you develop new appreciation for100_0378 the things you treasure when you share them with the people you love, it is a delight to share a film with a crowd of fans who adore it just as much as you.  There is camaraderie in cult film, an involuntary membership in a worldwide club of other fans ““ you may never meet but you occupy the same state of mind every time you tune in.  I realise we may not always have the opportunity to see them in such convivial surroundings but the night served as a reminder that I should make more effort to watch films with people.  Some cinema should be social, some experiences should be shared.  If This is Spinal Tap demands such attention ““ who am I to deny it?

Our grateful thanks to Jameson and to Mauricio at We Are Social ““ you were an utter star on the night!  For London-proximate folk the next Jameson Cult Film Club screening takes place on 17th March 2010. The picture will be a readers’ choice and has yet to be announced.  Perhaps we’ll see some of you there…

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Emily Breen
Emily Breen began writing for HeyUGuys in 2009. She favours pretzels over popcorn and rarely watches trailers as she is working hard to overcome a compulsion to ‘solve’ plots. Her trusty top five films are: Betty Blue, The Red Shoes, The Princess Bride, The Age of Innocence and The Philadelphia Story. She is troubled by people who think Tom Hanks was in The Philadelphia Story and by other human beings existing when she is at the cinema.