After a bit of ineptness, I was the last one to arrive on the Friday evening.
There was no practice pub this year, so we did a practice in the backpackers hostel, where we were staying before heading over to the main competition.
The first pub was the Cumberland Arms, a true rapper pub (it's even got a bit of wooden flooring fitted outside especially). Unfortunately, the pub wasn't even serving when we arrived, so the audience were all a bit dead (then again, they always are in the first pub in the morning). We were first on, so we got them at their coldest. Very tight space, but the dance went ok.
After that we moved onto the Tanners. Everything just seemed to gel in this second pub and the audience were there, loud and with us (I think it was mainly the group from Durham Uni that we had to thank for that). Clive tried the "prick us do we not bleed line" and it felt quite amazing to have the whole pub calling us "bleeding pricks" in unison. It was here that Clive first came out with the 2 lines he used during the introduction for most of the rest of the day, that we were from "London-upon-Thames" and that we were "Your favourite cockney wankers". I don't think I've ever been someone's favourite cockney wanker before.
After lunch we moved onto the Eye of the Tyne. Would have been generally a good dance, had I not gone completely the wrong way right at the start. Seemed to have plenty of buzz though, but then we had Goarsach cheering us on here (as we did for most of last year).
Then it was onto the Egypt Castle. Bit of an odd space to dance, as they put the competition around the corner, where only the judges could really see it. Shame, because it's surely the audience we should be dancing to rather than the judges themselves.
Finally we went down to the ship. Another tight space, but the dance generally went well, apart from losing a sword at one point.
Before going to the evening showcase, we performed the Beadnell in the traditional competition back at the Cumberland again. It was one of the best Beadnells I've known us to do (the other being at last year's DERT - must be something about doing it in competition). The stepping went off the music a bit at times, but it wasn't that noticable and looking at the video now, the thing that really impressed me was that you can hear us walking in time with the music. Looking at the results, we were officially the most stylish in the competition.
Overall, the dancing we did during the day was good, but not great. Other than the Beadnell, I don't think we were on par with how we performed last year and the results show that. However, talking with Jon during the evening showcase, we both decided we would be disappointed if we hadn't come in the top 5.
Joint 4th, so I suppose that means we shouldn't be disappointed really, so a fair result for us.
I'm not sure the same is true for some of the other teams, however. In the past few DERTs I've been to the organising team (who pick all the venues and judges) haven't competed (this includes top teams like Black Swan). Kingsmen and Sallyport were organising this year and both are good teams capable of sweeping the board. It just seems a little cheeky when they organised it all.
The Admiral Duncan in the Eye of the Tyne (our worst dance of the day according to the scores. Note Alan editted out some of the language before putting this on Youtube, so we're just favourite cockney ...):
On the Sunday, I had a wonder around the Baltic and met up with coldclimatefeed while I was in the area, but that can wait for another post.