SWEETHEARTS: The First Night

SWEETHEARTS opened on Sunday March the 1st despite the fact that the dance club was unable to dance. Just the week before the club opened, Miss Melissa Jo Smith, the hostess of Sweethearts was notified that the premises had no license for dancing and that girls dancing, or even slightly swaying to the 1920s, '30s and '40s music would place the owners in the position of commiting an offence, and a rather heavy-handed visit from the police underlined the point.

But the danceless dance club was a swinging success. Girls arrived in unexpected numbers, wearing a dazzling array of beautiful clothes. Perhaps never in the history of London clubs has there been such a stunning turn-out of lesbians resplendent in feminine dress. Jeans and casual clothes were nowhere to be seen, though there were some very handsome suits and ties ranging from evening dress to the Chicago gangster look. After decades of drabness, feminine lesbians are Coming Out.

The absence of dancing, far from putting a damper on the evening,helped to put a greater emphasis on

conversation. Unlike other clubs, where excessively amplified music makes all but the most rudimentary conversation impossible, the charming rhythms of the Real World made a pleasant background to feminine talk and laughter. The 1930s dance band leader Ambrose once said to his players - "If you can't hear the shuffle of the dancers' feet, you're playing too loud." The present generation is in a position to appreciate fully what civilised advice that was.

As well as a delightfully wide selection of up-to-date music on record, Miss Elizabeth Travis sang a selection of songs, including Begin the Beguine, Night and Day, and Unchaned Melody in an accomplished cabaret style.

Cocktail cigarettes, at present hard to get in London, were brought in from Paris and New York, and were sold to customers by the delightful Cigarette Girl, along with a stylish selection of cigarette holders. The Champagne Girl, dressed in white-beaded flapper style was Miss Bubbles Kashmiri.

Miss marianne Martindale was present with several Aristasian girls


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