With London quiz nights pushing their bingo boundaries, we thought it only right to get to know one of its front runners. More Legs Eleven than elevensies, we chat to creator Jess Indeedy of Indeedy Musical Bingo fame to find out what is bringing this boisterous bingo game to the forefront of London's most popular events. A chatty bingo bean with more inflatable toys than an afternoon at your local party shop, here's what Jess had to say:
- Tell us a little about yourself and Indeedy Musical Bingo.
My name is Jess Indeedy and I was born to put on my game-show-meets-dance-party, Indeedy Musical Bingo! It's like regular bingo, but with awesome songs on your bingo card instead of numbers. My hubby Charles (DJ Helix) and I started it as a laugh eight years ago and had no idea it would be so popular! We now put on our show in London, New York, at festivals, and at lots of private parties. We put our hearts into every aspect of the night, and we have so much fun with it. We'll be doing this until we're geriatric.
I'm a multi-passionate person: I'm a presenter, DJ, singer, and I love planning parties. I have a lot of fun running our business, Indeedy Inc. which is an event design/party time/fun factory. We plan parties with our 'Indeedy vibe' - fun, colourful, thoughtful, a bit wild, and always with really good music. So alongside my bingo events you'll also find me planning event concepts for private clients like games days, kitsch Christmas parties, and lunchtime discos. I think having fun is as important to your health as eating vegetables so I'm trying to make more opportunities for fun in the world!
Work and play often overlap for me, but my downtime is spent binge-watching Netflix, eating pizza, crafternoons, and mincing around London with my wonderful Charles and my adorbs cocker spaniel Marlowe.
Indeedy Musical Bingo's creative and colourful curator, Jess Indeedy.
Everybody is familiar with the concept of bingo, and music bridges all gaps. When you combine the two, it's magical - it seems that world peace might be possible. Charles is a graphic designer and DJ so creating our bingo card concept was his work of genius. I'm a singer and I love performing so it was natural for me to take the role of bingo caller and to develop the structure of the show. I've got some dear friends that dress up as bingo-loving grannies and we perform crazy dance routines together on stage. It's about way more than bingo, it's a place for people to let go, be silly, have fun with their friends and make some memories.
- Interactive and unique, quiz/bingo nights have been storming London as of recent, what do you think makes them so popular in the city?
The Brits have always been obsessed with quizzes, so this recent boom in creative quizzing and adding in show elements is really keeping the quiz culture alive. I personally adore a quiz, the more interactive and creative the better. I used to run a quiz myself before Indeedy Bingo exploded! The bingo thing has been crazy popular in my homeland, the USA for years - I snuck out to an excellent drag bingo night in New York when I was a teenager and won a crappy keyboard. And actually we used to play musical bingo in school when I was 10 - we'd listen to Mozart and you'd have to mark off the instrument when you heard it come in. You see, I've been preparing my entire life for this career :)
No stone is left unturned in the search for giant inflatable prizes.
- You play a lot of games at your ‘silly shows’, what do these normally include, and should people bring a change of clothes?
Ha ha it's not that messy! Unless we do a hot dog-eating competition, that gets pretty gross. We do a lot of side competitions like dance-offs, air guitar battles, lip synching. Maybe a bit of beer pong. But it's all about the bingo and the music really - our fans are so competitive they get pretty focused on winning bingo prizes. There's a lot of dancing on chairs and tables. We dance nonstop on stage for about three hours every show so it's a real workout for me and my granny dancers. Booty drops are my cardio.
Our fans go cuckoo-crazy for our Pop round - it's undeniable. It features Taylor Swift, Hanson, Katy Perry, Beyonce... It basically turns the room from a really awesome party to THE AWESOMEST PARTY EVER!!!
We always carefully consider the music we put in each bingo round, so we totally adjusted things for our New Yorkers. For instance, in our 90s round we swapped out some Britpop songs (which didn't really happen out there) for hip hop and R&B tracks. Our New York show is pretty similar to what we do in London, it just happens a lot later in the evening because New Yorkers like to party late night! I feel so lucky that I get to work in both of my favourite cities, they are both so wonderful and so different in many ways.
I'm proud to say that most of our prizes are ridiculous. Sourcing prizes is one of the best parts of my job! We love to give away fancy dress stuff like wigs and hot dog costumes, and silly stuff like glow in the dark bunnies and Coolio's cookbook. We're famous for giving out giant inflatable bananas and donuts, but our biggest, craziest prize is our T-Rex, he's 6 feet tall!
- If you were a bingo number, what would you be?
Numbers don't feature in our musical version of the game, but I guess I'd have to say Legs Eleven. I've been told I've got nice pins.