It’s not your usual bingo night, that’s for sure.
Wow, mixing gin and tonic with neon lights and an intense game of bingo really doesn’t make for the best photos – eh?
I am, admittedly, not a fan of going “out-out”. I got over nightclubs very soon after turning eighteen and in the five years since then, I’ve grown to prefer a good meal over cheap drinks and loud music. I’m a bit of a granny in many respects, particularly my love of an early night and peace and quiet. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that my 93-year-old gran stays up later than me, which should have been a wake-up call, but it wasn’t. I’m a creature of habit, what can I say? Every so often, however, I buck my own trends and head out for a night on the town that involves returning home past midnight. Shock horror. It only happens about once a year, as I tend to prefer “day drinking” and touring around Glasgow’s cocktail bars in time for the last train home. This year, my annual night out was spurred on by the return of Bongo’s Bingo to Glasgow’s SWG3.
I’d seen Bongo’s Bingo doing the rounds on social media before, and had never managed to make it along to see the chaos for myself, but when the most recent date coincided with one of my biggest submission deadlines, I felt like it was meant to be. So, Lis and I rounded up a gang of merry bloggers, including the babes that are Lindsey, Kat, Jen, Natalie and Roisin – as well as meeting Kirsty on the night – and headed over to Finnieston to see what the fuss was all about.
What’s so special about Bongo’s Bingo?
The games work like your typical bingo, or at least what I assume a game of bingo is like – having never been myself. There are six games overall and each has three chances to win: first to get a full line, first to two lines and then the first full house. The numbers come in thick and fast so concentration is key, but there’s plenty of dance breaks too.
The prizes on offer range from a box of Coco Pops to a bottle of gin (as won by Kirsty), cash prizes up to £500, a week in Ibiza, a Henry Hoover or – my most coveted prizes – a space hopper and a Philip Schofield cardboard cut out. I was very disappointed not to win the space hopper, with photographic evidence below.
Bongo’s Bingo is intense, with numbers called in quick succession requiring a level of concentration that becomes slightly harder as the night goes on and more gin is consumed. The best part, for me at least, had to be the regular intervals for dance breaks, a conga line to The Proclaimers around the room, S Club 7’s greatest hits whenever the number seven was called and a Fairytale of New York singalong… in May. Even when a game wasn’t in play, the music was impeccable throughout. Think Greatest Showman medleys, classic Glasgow favourites from DJ Badboy and the moment I’d been hoping for all night long – a selection of Abba’s greatest hits.
The jokes were inappropriate, the dancing was even worse, and Bongo’s Bingo provided me with the slightly peculiar combination of Coco Pops in G&T for the first time. Whilst that combination isn’t something I’ll be repeating any time soon, the night itself will be.
Bongo’s Bingo tours the country (and the world) with regular dates popping up around the UK. They’ve got a summer residency in Ibiza this year, and have a couple of Glasgow dates in the calendar too, returning to SWG3 on the 16th of June and 20th of July. In the next couple of months, you’ll also find them at Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal on the 6th of July as well as various locations up and down the country.
I went into the night not knowing what to expect, and I absolutely loved it. I was worried it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea but it was absolutely brilliant. It had the cheesy music, a bit of friendly competition and a chance for a boogie – it ticks my boxes. I’m already making plans to go back again for more, and maybe this time I’ll win that space hopper.