Udderbelly Festival Launch

Photo by Pauline Eyre

by Haresh Patel

The Big Purple Cow is back on her back, legs in the air!

It’s now an established marker of the arrival of summer days when the Southbank cultural quarter has her slightly less dignified, more raucous inflatable sister park herself on the lawn next to the more sensible Royal Festival Hall.

As always there’s an eclectic mixture of family orientated entertainment and the kind of stuff your kids ought not know about till they have their own disposable income.

Regulars like Shlomo, Lee Nelson, Austentatious (yep, even Jane Austen has her own improv group) are joined by big comedy hitters Richard Herring, Katherine Ryan, Nina Conti, Luisa Omielan, as well as circus acts, magic shows and all sorts of loud and colourful acts.

The opening party event was a vibrant crowd of the urban beautiful, wobbly wasters, happy go lucky progressives, and me and my friend, like crashers who don’t know anyone, but heard there was free Pimms. There were many comedy and burlesque performers milling around enjoying the very happy festive evening spirit, all helped along by the awesome house band for the night Old Dirty Brassterds, who rocked the night with quality covers of Prince, Whitney, Prince (‘Purple Rain’! Good Choice!), Taylor Swift, and got the place jumping to their version of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy Right Now’.

Londoners are little feral peacocks, really, and we certainly got down to business when the canapes came round. The poor staff were surrounded with cheeky little hands, just like local pigeons, I suppose. I’m sure it was the lovely free beverages on tap that helped loosen us all up.

It’s going to be a fabulous festival, so get down there to one of London’s loveliest, purpliest, fun-filled summer features.

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