A week on from the launch of Going Down Swinging No. 35, Program Coordinator Ali Macalister-Bills sums up the night that was.

It’s at about this time, when unexplained bruises darken and spread, that I look back on the launch that was Going Down Swinging No. 35. It’s my favourite part of the GDS year. A launch is everything we’re good at rolled into one. Publications, recordings and live events: GDS in a nut shell. Last Friday’s launch did not disappoint.

I don’t know when the exact moment was that I figured out this was going to be a good one. It could have been watching the space transform from the set of a crime show shoot-out to a cozy lounge room, or watching the GDS ladies fold CD sleeves quicker than my mum wrapping Santa presents at midnight on Christmas Eve. Maybe it was when the lucky black cat jumped down out of the ceiling or perhaps it was building the Aguila Table Tower Fairy Light Installation. Whatever it was, before the doors opened we knew this launch was going to be a truckload of swinger fun.

For those that missed the boat, here’s the low-down. Red-lipsticked ladies (one of those was me) greeted you with a goody bag of GDS No. 35 + album + drink tickets for a little Rekorderlig cider or Aguila beer. Our very own Chief Lemon kicked off the night reading a few of Nick Sun’s ‘The First Time I…’ poems from GDS No. 35. Ben Pobjie followed with funny words (lots of them) then Marty Donald toned it down a notch with the beginnings of thirteen unfinished stories. It was the perfect cliffhanger for a quick drinks interlude.

Resume positions. Cross-legged, couch perching, wall lounging, didn’t really matter so much as the audible hush that Benezra’s gravelly vocals commanded. We swooned Round 2 as he reworked last year’s commission, ‘Born Under a Big Brass Bell’ (you can swoon Round 3 by listening to it on the No. 35 album). Cabaret provocateur Yana Alana took us home tearing Tony Abbott and the mining industry to shreds from beneath glittering false eyelashes and hair to rival Amy Winehouse. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for next year’s commission but for now I’m content with the black and white beauty that is GDS No. 35.

A GDS event is never complete without dancing and DJ Lazer Ferrari already knew what we liked having subbed in at the last GDS warehouse extravaganza. I missed GDS anthem Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ (or maybe I didn’t, everything got a little too hazy) but made up for it with ‘Empire State of Mind’. Top tip: if you want to figure out who’s in the GDS team join the dance circle at the centre of these two songs – they’ll unite us like nothing else. We danced hard, crowded out the balcony of Fitzroy ILLEGAL and drank our way through a wall of booze.

And on Saturday when “my everything hurts” (quote Chief Lemon) we had No. 35 to curl up next to … oh, except for the clean up.

A very special thanks to our sponsors for the night, Aguila beer and Rekorderlig.