I'm quite surprised I haven't written a blog about this earlier, what really got me in to Burlesque, what got me so caught up in the Burlesque culture: music, costumes, the legends and the up and coming names!
The defining moment of falling down the rabbit hole in to Wonderland and the one place souly responsible for my passion and my active participation no within the Burlesque world was of course, The wonderful, the spectacular, the one and only ..... The Candy Box Burlesque!
The Candy Box opened it's doors in 2006, a completely new and different expirience for Birmingham and my gosh it didn't know what was coming! and for that matter neither did I!
not that anyone knew but I was 17 at the time going to my first Burlesque show and so far not another show has even come close to the wonders of The Candy Box.
Because of some of the people I knew at the time I'd managed to get a complimentary ticket off a friend and I am so glad I did.
My flyer and Programme from the First Ever Candy Box Show
The Candy Box opened with their St. Valentines Day Mascara in 2006! I still have my programme a flyer and poster, they used to be stuck to my wall at home and when I left and moved [many times now] I've always been careful to pick them up and bring them with me.
They definatly set the standad for any show I will ever go to again! Tey managed to get the BIG names from Dirty Martini to World Famous Bob to Anna Fur LAxis and of course the now legendary Imelda May!
Imelda May was the front singer at The Candy Box backed up by the world famous Palookaville Orchestra! with the wonderful Al on bass who of course was in the fabulous Buiscuit Boys all those years ago! Since of course Imelda and Al [as well as the other fabulous memebers] have made it big and travel world wide especially recently with Imelda's secpond albm [Mayhem] being released not too many months ago now!
Imelda May: Love Tattoo and Mayhem
The frst show blew my mind, I was totally taken a back and speechless! not only were the acts world class but it was better than I could have ever imagined! everything was perfect, pink organza coated the rails up the stairs and there were pink and black coverings on the tables with programmes for everyones [such a lovely touch and keepsake of the evening] the poster to initially advertise the event was up a bold black print on a neon pink bckground .... I managed to take one from the hall way on my way out of the show! I knew this was really something and straight away I got bitten by the burly bug and haven't been able to shrug off the burly itch since!
Saffron and Al together made the night a real event, the vene: The Glee club was perfection! The artist names written on card and put up, a live band and singer and of course everyones favourite..... The Candid Heels!!
The Candid Heels
No one could match the atomosphere, the world class talents and acts The Candy x were bringing in, the attention to detail and all the hard work! It's a show I dearly miss still! Sadly The Candy Box closed its doors in 2009 but that was 3 amazing years of bump n gring, shimmy and shake, cheescake and quake!
This is THE show to measure all future shows by! those who were lucky enough to attend a Candy Box Burlesque show will know what I mean and al of us will never forget those wonderful times!
I'm so happy t have found as well that on Vimeo there is now a channel to watch all the old Candy Box videos which I have spent countless hours watching!
Cherry DeVille and I
Millie Dollar! ... when this was taken I never dreamd of being a performer let alone performing in the same line up as Millie since then I have!
The bulesque scene would not have had such a big revival in the UK [or at least Birmingham] without the wonders of Saffron and Al! without these two we would not have had all of these spin off Burlesque Shows, got to have seen and meet many of the original legends or had this shift in outlets around Birmingham finally bringing pin up and rockabilly style at more affordable prices!
I was lucky enough to meet Saffron when I was very little when she came round to look after my brother and I on evening! we thought she was amazing, from her pink hair to her Pink ladies jacket to her stories of buying a Frenchy doll from a memorabilia fare even though they wanted to sell them as a set she just wanted Frenchy! She's one fabulous doll!
My Candy Box Badge
I'd like to think that The Candy Box was the biggest inspiration for me to finally decide to become a performer, that it opened up a whole new world of striptease and sass, it was a truely wonderful show and it will be remembered forever!