I have been to Farr’s once before, soon after it opened its chipped painted wooden doors in December 2013. Situated in East London it came as no surprise to me that its decor was full of vintage knick-knacks and scattered with mis-matched chairs.
But my next visit was one to remember.
I was undergoing my usual Sunday night routine of going out ‘for a couple’ of drinks and ending up walking arm-in-arm with a friend 4 hours later half-heartedly trying to find a pub or bar still open for ‘just one more’.
As we stumbled into Farr’s at 10pm on a Sunday night, we were greeted with the sepia-fog and sweet-sweat of what I now know to be ‘Uptown Swing”s event: Rags to Riches.
The night, which comes along on the last Sunday of every month ‘celebrates the roots and shoots of early jazz music – perfect for itchy-footed, hopping mad dancers.’
The room was filled with the uplifting brass sounds of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, with couples dancing through the air, the wooden floorboards creaking and bouncing along with them.
Some couples were slightly more skilled than others, but this didn’t seem to faze anyone. I was taken aback by the lack of pretence in the room.
A pub in East London and nobody’s judging each other for getting up and throwing a partner from side to side in true swing-fashion?! It was refreshing.
Farr’s takes its name from the school of dancing which occupied the building in the late ’30s. It prides itself on fun and unpretentious nights spanning many genres; such as Soul, Ska, Reggae, Jazz and Swing.
My short encounter with Farr’s School of Dancing was surprisingly inspirational and made me feel very at ease amongst the dancing and boogieing.
From someone that doesn’t dance, and doesn’t particularly enjoy watching others drunkenly throwing their bodies around in front of me, this was one of the most laid-back yet energetic nights I have encountered.
Farr’s are opening two more venues in Peckham: The Hope and John the Unicorn
Farr’s School of Dancing:
17 – 19 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF
Images courtesy of Loukia Photography