The western suburb of Melbourne, Airport West found itself a new party central on Saturday night when the Big Bad Wolf brought its Rats, Tatts n Pinups party crew to the ALH’s venue, Skyways Hotel situated on Matthews Avenue next to the Westfield Shopping complex.
While all who attended were greeted with the typical Melbourne chilly winter air, it didn’t deter the many custom car, rat rods and bike owners who, along with the ever growing rockabilly crowd were hell bent on having a great time regardless! “We’ll make our own heat as we always have!”
The Kingpin Kuztums traveling exhibition continues to go from strength to strength with every event they run. The wide variety of ALH Group venues that cater for entertainment are struggling to find enough room for this expanding variety spectacular as Rob Bellio, the owner of Kingpin Kuztums and the conceptual designer of this rockabilly gala along with his hyperactive team of volunteers show no signs of backing off!
Packed into the two storey venue and carpark was an abundance of entertainment for folks of all ages and interests! A multitude of dazzlingly lit carnival rides along with a petting zoo kept the littlies entertained while the big kids took in the live demonstration pin striping and air brush display, the tradestand alley covering all aspects of rockabilly wares and automotive paraphernalia, a V8 Supercar simulator and a carpark full of wild custom creations covering all manner of machines! From high end hot rods and custom cars through to the growing low rider scene of classic American cruisers thanks to Freshstyles Lowrider club and Twisted Kustoms Lowriders’ bicycles as an art form in themselves! All this could be taken in while enjoying a coffee from Betty & Ruby, the coffee van as DJ Dingo, the host of 106.7FM’s “It’s a Gas” amplified the atmosphere with his vast collection of Rockabilly music.
Perusing inside, those attending the social occasion were greeted with a visual overload! Flanked by the bustle of Fabian’s Barbershop and more trade stands along with Barbara’s Beauty and the Brow Bar, one could be excused for being distracted by the three beauties in black at the base of the staircase! Kingpin Kuztums’ long serving pinup dolls, Miss Dahlia Black and Miss Katarina Sin have been joined by the Big Bad Wolf’s newest family member, the stunning Miss Vienne Rose! This bevy of beauties spent the afternoon signing people up to the next big thing to come out of the ALH Group and Kingpin Kuztum partnership, The Big Bad Wolf social club, giving members further discounts on all the many venues’ meals and drinks prices! Get on it if you’re not! (A great excuse to meet the girls too!)
The palpitating beat of rockabilly music drew your attention to the top of the carpeted stairway as you took in the framed visual artwork. In a side room, a tattoo studio had been set up with a number of tattoo artists working intently on their living canvases. Chrisoula Angelopoulou from Siouxi Tattoo and the team from Phat Ink demonstrated to eager onlookers what it takes to create this style of art. They were also responsible for the tattoo competition on the night in front of the audience as competitors stripped up and down to showcase their ink masterpieces!
Hitting the elongated band room, it was standing room only as a variety of high octane bands took to the stage throughout the afternoon and in to the night! Rockabilly rockers and dancers were treated to an opening set from Hellivs & the Hubcaps, a number of sets from the newly formed band, The Strays, the strong lineup of Rosie and the mighty kings, the ever popular Elvis Presley show with Louis King and the Liars Klub closing out the event with their unique style of rockabilly blues! A brief interlude with a burlesque show helped folks catch their breath……….while racing their hearts!
While most might think an event of this magnitude could only happen once or twice a year, for Rob and the crew, it’s almost a monthly occurrence! If you’re not up with these shindigs and would like to find out when the next one is, jump on the Kingpin Kuztums Facebook site and stay tuned, it’s not too far away!
An astonished man once said to me, “and to think all this came from a simple t-shirt design!” You build it and they will come!