Occasionally ditching the Docs to bring Birmingham some of its first ever speakeasy shindigs, we wanted to find out more about the lipstick lass behind events such as 'Blitz & Glitz', 'Shake The Shack', 'Madame Moonshine's Speakeasy' and more. Check out our interview with Madame Moonshine mistress and all-out dapper dame, Rachel Plant.
Tell us a little about yourself and Madame Moonshine. I’m a local girl born and bred in Birmingham. For the past 7 years I’ve worked in entertainment mostly promoting shows and venues across the city. I’m passionate about the Birmingham music scene, promoting the city and putting on nights to remember. Madame Moonshine is a brand I started in February hosting retro/vintage themed events. It all started at new venue Nextdoor and sister venue Spotlight in Digbeth. There seems to have been a revival of 1920s films, fashion and music at the moment so I’ve started a Speakeasy event complete with flappers, swing bands, gambling, moonshine cocktails, vintage stalls, American cuisine, local dancers & DJ’s. Madame Moonshine has gathered an nice little following so I’ve carried on the nights... so far so good!
Madame Moonshine is the first event of its kind in Birmingham, how did you come about with the idea? I've actually wanted to put on a night with a Speakeasy vibe for years but never quite found the right venue which already holds a lot of character and could look authentic enough once I've added decorations and acts to it. I was approached by the venue (Lee McDonald & James Swinburne) I'm glad they already had me in mind for this niche.I started the night because I wanted to put on an event that I would go to as a customer. I work at a lot of gigs and events so I rarely go to anything I'm not running for another promoter or a gig my friends are playing at.I know there are a lot of themed events in Birmingham but I wanted to create one which would appeal to people of any age and would stick in peoples memories, not just another night out in Birmingham.
Your next upcoming event is ‘Blitz and Glitz’ can you sum up in one sentence what party goers can expect from the night? Be-bop with the swinging bands, Jitter bug & Jive with some wonderful WAFs, have a grand old time with some dashing soldiers, swing with some American sailors or fraternise with the factory girls...It's going to be spiffing!
What outfit would you recommend for the dames and darbs coming to a party such as Madame Moonshine? Madame Moonshine events are ‘Dress to Impress’ and guests haven’t let me down yet. So far I’ve seen peaky blinders, suited gangsters, lots of brogues and braces from the chaps. The ladies have been equally as impressive with their Great Gatsby gowns, fringed flapper dresses, finger wave hairstyles and head dresses a plenty.For the Blitz & Glitz party in June I hope to see silk stockings, polka dot dresses, head scarves, victory waves, extravagant headpieces, braces, vintage shirts and hats.
I will be absolutely beside myself if anyone turns up in any type of vintage army uniform (sailors and WAFs!) it is the Blitz after all! The Custard factory is my dream location for rare and reasonably priced vintage finds as well as The Vintage Salon (for the all important vintage makeover) which a lot of guest visit before Madame Moonshine events.
If you could have one special guest at Madame Moonshine, who would it be and why? The Queen of course! I would give her a nice cup of tea… or maybe some of my famous Moonshine mix, after a few of those she’ll be in front of the Polka Dot Fox vintage booth and dancing with the La More Entertainments girls all night!
You’ve gone from speakeasy supping to war-time partying. Any sneak peaks when it comes to further upcoming themes? I’ll be teaming up with local promoter Maryam Snape (Chick Dig Jerks) aka Makeout Mazzy for a 1950s themed event in July, it’s going to be called ‘Shake The Shack’ … that’s all I can reveal for now but if you like a bit of Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly you will love this!
What has been the best part about Madame Moonshine’s break into the Birmingham nightlife scene so far? The feedback has just been so lovely. Someone told me that they had the best night of their life and another told me they had stopped going out completely until they discovered Madame Moonshine. All of the acts have been superb and I would have them back over and over again. I also work as a rep for national music companies and it’s been flattering when I’m working with bands and venues who have heard of the night.
If you had a Madame Moonshine alter ego, what would her name be and what would she be like? Daaaaarling… funnily enough people have starting calling me Madame Moonshine already. I do manage to keep up the persona at the events most of the time… double kisses, cigarette holder, long kimono, cocktail in hand and the occasional announcement to the guests. I like to welcome guests and make sure the night is as enjoyable as possible for the people and acts involved, Madame Moonshine is really just a fancy looking version of myself really which makes a change from skater dresses and Dr Martens.
Get your tickets now for Madame Moonshine's 'Blitz and Glitz' party this June in Birmingham.