Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Carnaby Street

Weird thing about YouTube is that things suddenly appear as suggestions for no discernible reason.  Most recently it was Go-Go Dancers of Carnaby Street, about 20 seconds worth. No, I am not linking.

It's not from the 60s, it's modern.

I don't recall that Carnaby Street was known for Go-Go Dancers.

The music is wrong.

The hairstyles are somewhat wrong.

The makeup is wrong.

The dances are wrong.

They are wearing very short dresses with geometric designs and it is filmed in London, so I think they are riding that as the whole authenticity plus the suggestion that you might see a flash of knickers.

I feel vaguely insulted.  I'm not sure why.


james said...

I thought Carnaby Street was all about clothing. Is somebody hawking a 60's retro line of dresses?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ooh, I hadn't thought of that possibility. Let me check.

It doesn't seem to be. It is copyright peftaproductions2014, but nothing comes up for that but various versions of this dance.

Sam L. said...

I don't watch much You Tube. Don't care enough.

Douglas2 said...

So I've learned a bunch from a wikiwander about Whiskey-a-go-go and about nightclubs in Europe hiring trained dancers to help keep the energy up. It kind of turned out differently in the USA. All well before my time.

W.R.T. the ersatz "60's Go-Go Dancers" here, from perusing Youtube and stock photo sites I've gleaned a few pieces of information:

• The dance group appeared at a street festival "Swinging Carnaby Street" in 2009. The "Swinging Carnaby Street" festival seems to have happened only that year

• The same dance group (some of the same personnel, and certainly the same dresses, even if on different women) appeared at a "Summer of Love" street festival on Carnaby St. in 2014. This festival seems to repeat annually both before and after that year over several years.

• Both festivals were sponsored by the Shaftsbury property group (who are owners/lessors of a substantial proportion of the retail and office properties on Carnaby St.) and by the nearby London College of Fashion. The interest of the property group is to keep Carnaby St in the public's mind as an exciting place, to support the price of their leases and keep shopfronts filled. So they've hired "mod bands" to perform, and dancers, and probably took whatever entertainment was 'close enough' to represent the origin of Carnaby-Street's fame, which was as a center of teen fashion in the 60's. (Somewhat ironic, as the street's retail storefronts are now filled with international chains and cafes to serve the tourists, all of the independent fashionistas have moved away to lower-rent places.)

• the dance group is called "The Beau Belles", at least in the Alamy stock photos. There are photos of them at both events all over Flickr and every stock photo site, so I'm thinking that the performing groups were contracted by Shaftsbury and therefore it was easy for stock-photographers to get lots of pics all day under a single 'release' form.

• I don't see any sign of this dance group having an online presence as hire-able entertainment, but haven't tried all iterations.
As Carnaby St. is "within the sound of the Bow bells" (by tradition one is a 'true Cockney' if one's birthplace is within earshot of the bells of the church St Mary-le-Bow), it may have been misheard, and at any rate it was a play-on-words. The name is possibly a name put on an ad-hoc group from a local dance-exercise studio?

(My late sister-in-law was an independent fashion designer with a successful storefront shop in East-London, so these [recent] places and times are familiar to me.)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Excellent information, Douglas. The readers of this blog now likely know more than 99.99% of all Americans about the phenomenon.