Alexi Duggins is at your mercy: send him to a new weird London experience every week and he’ll do it. This week: a steamy night at Hot Tub Cinema…
Who’d’ve thunk it? All these years, I’ve written off rap videos’ frottagefilled hot-tub parties as weedaddled works of fiction. I dismissed the idea that adding frothy water to human skin made it magnetic to the opposite sex’s crotches. It seems I was wrong.
For two hours, Hot Tub Cinema is what you’d expect. Inflatable hot tubs huddle on the roof terrace of Hackney art space Netil House. ‘Zoolander’ fills a giant screen. Groups of swimwearclad attendees slug BYO booze, occasionally wiggling their bums in an attempt to get comfortable in the cosy baths. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Then the film ends, a DJ cranks up the deep house and all hell breaks loose. Foamy water erupts all over the roof terrace as moviegoers in one hot tub leap to their feet. Semi-naked male and female bodies grind against each other. With eight people in ’em, these tubs felt snug; now there are 16 jiggling revellers crammed into one like industrially canned pollocks. There’s not much room. A woman in a pink frilly bikini hops out, points her bum at a neighbouring all-male pool and screams ‘Spank me!’. They prove more than happy to oblige.
One of the organisers tries to see what’s going on. The hot tubbers grab him and he’s plunged underwater, fully clothed. Spank Me Girl is now flashing her boobs. The air is rent with frenzied whoops. This, one imagines, is what Sodom and Gomorrah were like. Although less bubbly.
The DJ ups the tempo, and the inevitable happens: some bright spark yells ‘Conga!’. After 30 skid-filled seconds, another genius shouts ‘Relay!’ and they begin leaping from tub to tub. The few seated attendees find themselves eyeball-to-buttock with a bunch of new friends. They also find themselves spluttering liquid as the water level leaps a foot. ‘Relay!’ scream the interlopers. ‘REEELLAAYYY!!!’
Action moves to the changing cubicles. In one, judging by the grunting noises, someone is wrestling a hog. In another a female voice giggles, ‘I’m not your boyfriend. Now take your finger out of my bum!’ Spank Me Girl is slumped in a hot tub as the organiser/dousing victim – now in a change of clothes – tries to lift her. He takes her hands. He heaves her to her feet. Job done. Until her knees buckle, she flops forward and for the second time that night the organiser is dumped fully clothed into the water. You know what? Scratch what I said about rap videos. They’re way too tame.
Hot Tub Cinema is back for seven nights of bubbly good times from Feb 27-March 5, with classic flicks including ‘Top Gun’, ‘Grease’ and ‘Labyrinth’. Feeling flush? Splash out on a private tub for you and you mates for £220, or get a regular ticket for £28. Book your hot spot now.
Suggest next week’s task at @alexiduggins.