Pretty much the only problem with mixing swing dancing and post-punk music – and Swing Goth founder Brian Gardner agrees – is knowing what kind of shoes to wear. Saturday night’s Steam Punktrick’s Day at 50 Mason Social House, a newcomer to the TL bar scene, saw all kinds: the heavy, thick-soled studded boots that are a staple for SF’s Goth crowd, the cute button-up Victorian high heels that are the trappings of steam punk-ettes, and the flat kicks that swing dancers wear to get a good mix of slide, support, and traction.
There were even a few tennis shoes looking like they wandered off the street to get some schoolin’: nearly all Swing Goth events include a quick guide for beginners before the dancing starts in earnest, and Saturday’s event was no different. Just a short session in the art of step-step-rock-step and newbies were off and running. One of the great things about social dancing (that’s social as in “partner dancing,” not as in “getting your grind on with the cutie in the corner”) is that swingers, even those who have their chops, all dance with everyone, including beginners. In addition to meeting new people, switching it up is the best way to swap slick moves.
That being said, Saturday’s crowd was all too happy to retreat to the sidelines when it came time for the real stars of the show. Sharing some sensuous maneuvers and showing a little skin were the lovely ladies of Standfire Collective. Heavy Sugar provided dulcet tunes laced with less-than-sweet undertones, and rockin’ out with some wild electric mandolin, to say nothing of the fiddle, was Nathaniel Johnstone of Abney Park.
If you missed Steam Punktrick’s Day, worry not. Swing Goth has a whole slew of upcoming shows and events, including first, third and fifth Tuesday nights at El Rio.