I went along to Great Kentspectations Pre-Halloween Party in Maidstone last night. This was a trip arranged to get some more photographs for Project Steampunk, I’ve been talking to the organisers for a few weeks and I was really looking forward to the event.

I’d hoped to get some nice portrait photographs but really had no idea what to expect as the party was being held in a shopping centre! I was a bit puzzled at that… But I needn’t have worried. The shopping centre is actually a Victorian Arcade which after closing time became the venue for the party. And what a party it was!

Everyone was really friendly – something I’m finding common with all Steampunk Societies – and I was made to feel welcome and part of the group. I started taking photographs of the various characters, group shots, scene setters and basically some reportage to try and capture the atmosphere of the party. All the people I approached to take a portrait photograph of for the Project were incredibly helpful and happy to pose and then complete the ‘model release form’ that I have to use for the Project.

During the evening there was great music from the Brides of Rain and then… Professor Elemental took to the stage. I’ve seen some of his performances on YouTube, but nothing can prepare you for the explosive antics, lyrical rapping, comedic quips and all-round madness that is the Professor. I suggest, nay, implore you to take a trip to his website. You really won’t regret it!

After the music, the serious art of Tea Duelling took place*. The tension grew as we reached the final… A final that may have been a record breaking event in itself… Not two finalists, but THREE finalists sat around the table to battle it out. And to add to that, the contest went in to a second round as in the first one two of the combatants still had their biscuits in one piece after five minutes had passed! The second round took nearly as long until there was one winner who got the Nom and she was crowned the Champion.

The night continued with more music, a raffle – with something called a Gin Cake (must get the recipe) – and drinks till it was closing time and we all had to go our weary ways in the rain.

It just leaves me to say a huge Thank You to the people of Great Kentspectations – especially Tamsin and Louise – for such a great time and hopefully I shall see you all in November.

* For the rules of Tea Duelling take a look at MookieChicks website.

I took just over 700 photographs during the evening which I will be editing over the next few days and adding to the galleries. In the meantime… Here is a sneak-peak of some of them.