Rebel night NYC

We love a speakeasy style bar, the effort required to find it, vague feeling of going somewhere off the beaten track (although it's been reviewed by Time Out), cocktails in teacups, what's not to like?

On our recent trip to NYC we were told about a rockabilly night at a bar called the Back Room in the Lower East Side. The bar ticked all the speakeasy boxes, a red herring sign post for a toy shop, beer in paper bags and the rumour of another hidden room behind the bookcase, full of art nouveau knick knacks. But on this particular night, the main event was the Rebel night rockabilly crew. A group of fabulously dressed, vintage aficionados who jived the night away and encouraged those delicately sipping a Dirty Rascal, to down their tea cup and join them. We met Katie Bickert, featured below, who organises the night and asked her more about it...


What's your background? You can obviously all dance!

Myself and all of rebel night crew have a strong passion for the music, we learned how to jive because of that connection to the original music. There were no classes to learn how to dance at that time so we all learned though friends at the record hops and practicing little by little every month. Sei and I teach classes weekly now because of the demand for learning jive in NYC, it's exciting to see people really get into the music and want to learn.

What do you love about the rockabilly look and scene in New York?

I love that its very open and welcoming. There's not as many strictly rockabilly people in NYC so it is not as intimidating for people who are just curious to come to the parties and listen to the records. People always tell us that they are shy to get up and dance because they are concerned that they are not going to do it correctly we always tell them; if you're having fun you're doing it right.

Tell us more about the Rebel nights...

We have three host DJs, DJ Sei, Jun and Hiromu all japanese rockabilly boys who spin only 45s. We typically have a guest DJ at our parties at Otto's Shrunken Head. We even have top DJs from the UK sometimes like Cosmic Keith and Johnny Hoodoo

Any plans to start  Rebel nights in London?

That would be a dream of ours, we know London has many top parties and DJs already. Just to go over and have a guest spot sometime would be a blast.

Find out more about Rebel nights

Thanks for Jeff Crespi for the pictures:


PS We're fairly sure we saw a poodle jiving on the dance floor.   Never seen that before.




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