Hepcats turn clock back 70 years as Zoot Suits ‘rip it up’ in Poplar market
PUBLISHED: 17:58 11 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:39 15 July 2016
The clocks were turned back 70 years when the post-war Swing era of the 1940s jived its way back to London’s East End for a Sunday shindig.
The Swing East festival attracted 2,000 hepcats in their gladrags yesterday to Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market.
There were guys in zoot suits and gals in flared cotton dresses with stockings, all jiving and jitterbugging to Big Band swing.
The 1940s Blues and Swing and 1950s Rock’n’Roll was staged in the market square on Sunday by Poplar Harca Housing organisation with live music, dancing, vintage cars and a vintage street market.
The market square was transformed into a 1950s’ dance hall with dance lessons from Shag Pile and music from Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm, Sugar Ray’s Lucky Stripes and Ding Dong Daddio’s.
Hot vinyl disc-jockey Nel Raiser kept the pace going and the joint swinging in between the live acts—there was no rest for the wicked 40s.
Market stalls sold vintage and retro clothes, accessories, music and homeware, along with 1940s cocktails and real ales.
Swing East gives a nod to the marketplace itself, created in 1951 at the height of the Swing movement, built as a ‘living architecture’ element of the Festival of Britain as the country’s first pedestrian shopping precinct of its kind.
But it was the music the hepcats came for—a shindig your Jiving Granny would be well proud of.