Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Din dins and drag queens

It's been a bit of a karaoke weekend actually. The last few days I've had more than one opportunity to vent my inner diva via the mike and as I'm sure I said before, I do have a penchant for getting up and singing my favourite toons. Not that I'm the world's greatest singer or anything. No sirree. And it usually takes a few bevvies and a supportive crowd of mates to get my courage up. But I think I pull it off with a certain panache. If one knows the song and words one can blag it quite successfully.

On Friday night I went out for an ex workmate's birthday bash in Farringdon/Clerkenwell - a fun bar called Murphis with a karaoke bar in the basement. It's one of those places you walk past without actually releasing what it's like inside - a hidden "treasure" I suppose. I just love the naff background projections they come up with on the karaoke screens - picturesque mountains, shots of the countryside and lakes etc - that bear no relevance whatsoever to the song. Anyway I did my best rendition of "Material Girl" by Madonna (actually pretty brave seeing as most of the clientele were straight) and "Copacabana" by Big Nose Manilow. Music and fashion were ALWAYS the passion.

Then last night we were out again for a mate's birthday in Gipsy Hill near Crystal Palace. We went to a lovely tapas restaurant called Los Toreros which is a favourite of my friend's and a great choice - really nice, relaxed atmosphere, not to mention great food with a delicious assortment of dishes to choose from (I sound like an advertisement). We all ordered various dishes and then stuck all our plates together so we could sample each other's bits (I'm talking about the food). It was totally yummy.

And afterwards, well the night was still relatively young and because we were in the vicinity we decided to head over to the local gay nightspot, Ego. Yay!! I've been there before and my previous experience was "interesting" to say the least. A "premiere" club it ain't. It's provincial in the real sense of the word. The decor inside is cheap, tacky and totally weird. The front bar looks like a working man's club and really does need a lick of paint (or lick of something), it's so dingy and tawdry-looking. The dance area at the back resembles Prisoner Cell Block H - brick walls and a very "industrial" feel - not exactly intimate. There's also a "lovely" garden area at the back with shrubbery and stone benches, that I ventured out into at various points (along with the now banished smokers). The Blue Peter garden can't hold a candle (or shrub) to it. As for the clientele - a mixture of stately homos, dykes with 80s mullets and teenage queens. And that's just the bar staff. God I'm being cruel. If any regular Ego customers read this they'll probably shop me.

However, returning to the opening topic of this post, there was karaoke to keep everyone amused and again I seized my chance and jumped up on the stage for a couple of renditions. Yehaa! Fun fun fun. After which we all attempted to go "out the back" for a dance - but were then told we couldn't, because a cabaret act was due to come on in the front bar, and because there weren't enough people in the dance area, we had to stay out front and wait for it to finish before we were permitted to come back. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Of course it might have something to do with the fact that there was only about 30-40 people in the entire club (I kid you not) hence not enough people to fill the dance floor. Hilarious!! So we had to troop back into the main bar and endure a drag queen double act for the next hour or so. Yikes. And in the honoured provincial gay bar tradition they were pretty gruesome. Two flamboyant "gals" with OTT outfits, hair and make-up who actually had quite good singing voices, but bloody awful material - songs about farting and finding sh*t in Victoria Beckham's fanny - you get the picture. About as progressive and funny as Margaret Thatcher getting up on stage and flashing her M&S knickers to the audience whilst reciting Clause 28 to a disco beat (actually that might just have comic mileage if done in an ironic way so maybe it's not the best comparison). I haven't posted any photos of the aforementioned drag queens as they might sue me for libel. Still I guess anyone clever enough would be able to work out who I'm talking about.

When the trannie travesty was over (actually I've been told by a mate that transvestites and drag queens are totally different things and risk causing offence by suggesting they're the same!) we at last were released onto the dancefloor and were finally able to strut our funky stuff. In spite of the fact that the place is severely underpopulated (how does the club make a profit?) the plus side is there's plenty of room to dance, unlike most crowded West End clubs. The DJ was actually playing some good old skool 1990s stuff that took me back - "Free" by Ultra Nate, "Let Love Lives" - Alison Limerick - and lots of other banging toons. It was only when it turned into trance music later that it got crap. Anyway at approximately 3.30am we decided to call it a night and cleared off. Ego is good fun on an occasional basis. Not somewhere I'd want to visit every weekend though! There's only so much provincial gayness I can deal with. Even a tacky old Cheeser like me. Suprising, eh?

5 Comments:

  • At 12:24 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    i thought trannies and drag queens were the same thing?

     
  • At 7:14 am , Blogger matty said...

    You go, girrrrrl!

    That is awesome!!! I don't think I could do karoke. but, I've never tried!

    I can't believe that they MADE you watch a show before you could do what you came to the club to do -- have fun! ...that is terrible, but you got thru it and had fun!

    Rock on!

    ...oh, and the term "trannie" or "tranny" is slowly changing or altering in meaning. But, I think a "trannie" is an individual in transition from one sex to another or who is simply trans-sexual. But, a drag queen is just a male entertainer who dresses as a woman as a part of his show. ...and a drag king is a female entertainer who dresses as a male when performing. ...However, I've noticed (in SF, anyway) ...that the folks are getting all mixed (and I think by choice)

    Viva la revolution!!!!

    kisses from GayTown,
    matty

     
  • At 1:24 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Salty Man - apparently not - see Matty's comments below. I also have a friend who is a tranvestite (who shall remain anonymous) who has informed me that there IS a difference...

    Matty - I can't believe you're never done karaoke - with your Babs fixation and all I can just see you on the mike, belting out "The Way We Were" or somesuch. Still it's not for everyone, and it takes guts to get up there in front of people, I can tell you. I certainly feel nervous sometimes and I haven't got the world's greatest voice by any means. At the end of the day it's about having fun and relishing the moment!

    Yes, it was unbelievably cr*p that we had to sit in the bar and endure that show...you're right though, we made it "through" in the end...

    And thanks for the definition/clarification, babes!

    The OC xxx

     
  • At 12:07 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    Well, perhaps I'm just an example of how gay men are the latest group of people who are allowed to discriminate and get away with it. It's actually a bit shocking how we demand equality yet don't let other people have it (lesbians, transvestites, drag queens, transexuals, swingers, eunuchs... erm, straights etc).

    Or is that a bit too deep for this time of night?

     
  • At 1:43 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    I know what you mean, Alan.

     

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