Martin Smith investigates an underground event – photos by Jen Dainer
I like whisky, though normally just neat. Which is no ice, no water and certainly no coke. So it was kind of strange to have an old jam jar with the Monkey Shoulder logo on it thrust into my hand upon entering. Just go with it, I thought. What was I was drinking was called an ‘uppercut’ which turned out to suit the night perfectly, mainly because of the giant inflatable boxing ring the middle of the room.
Thoughts of my last inflatable jumping experience came rushing back to me… A six year olds’ birthday party and me not being able to walk the next day due to searing back pain. So the boxing ring was out BUT the wall of arcade machines was totally my style. I made a bee line straight for a free pinball machine, which seemed like the place to be. About 3 meters from my target I was ‘intercepted’ by two waiters caring a large tray of white things… unsure of these strange appetisers might be I happily grabbed one. This put my pinball dominance on hold as I had one hand with a rapidly evaporating drink, and the other with the round white thing.
Best way to sort this out was to remove one from the equation. Round white thing it is. After taking a bite I realised that this isn’t an appetiser, it a marzipan covered cake. Strange way to start. Just as I was pondering this delicious predicament the M.C started. He thanked everyone for coming and hoped we had had a great time and to travel safe on the way home, and wasn’t there some great bouts in the ring.
The night was upside down, and underground. The Jam jar glasses, the back-to-front clocks and the M.C talking about the night in reverse; it all made sense, in a cool and awesome way.
With the cake polished off I went hunting for another drink. This wasn’t a problem as there were plenty of options to choose from. I made my way to the Cocktail Boot Camp, and started chatting to Owen, a whisky connoisseur. ‘You need to play with whisky have fun with it and experiment with it’ these words stuck with me and turned my thinking upside down. So my next drink was a Monkey shoulder, with orange and chocolate syrup. Jaffa Whisky!
While waiting for this incredible concoction to come to life the first fight started and I was handed a toothbrush and a tube of crème chocolate. Perfect way to watch a fight; drinking whisky and brushing your teeth. Starting with desert might seem like a great idea, but that much sugar is hard to take. Thankfully the mains started to come around, beautiful spring rolls and salt and pepper squid finished off with little hotdogs.
Now that the Jaffa Whisky had sadly some to an end I headed to what I like to refer to as the wall of awesome. Made from old pallets it contained three types of premixed whisky; the uppercut punch, round house punch and knockout punch.
Drinking whisky and being able to eat dessert first while watching people jump around an inflatable boxing ring with oversized gloves make for a very enjoyable evening. There are few things that I realised however which came as disappoint to me
1) I am not as good at street fighter, as I thought and years of not practicing hasn’t helped
2) This also applies to pinball
The event: Monkey Shoulder Underground
The client: William Grant & Sons
The venue: Lightspace, Fortitude Valley
Event produced by: Yakusan
Event producer: Sarah Philips