Sooooooooooooooo many of you will know that over the past 3 months I have been working my leopard-print ass to the bone putting together an EXTRAVAGANZA now known as X-RAY SPEKZ. An evening of burlesque celebrating B-Movie and sci-fi culture in association with Nice ‘n’ Naughty Bristol, Psycho:Drama and Alias-X MUA with proceeds from the door going to the SAFE foundation.
Producing pop-up nights to fit with a specific theme needs a great deal of planning and the perfect team. Luckily I have worked with a number of performers, Dj’s, photographers and very supportive friends over the years who I could count on to help me bring this idea from inception to completion. This was also the case when we put together our first event earlier this year, Speakeasy in February.
Let’s talk performers. Initially, we had 8 performers (1 of which would not be revealed until the show started) Screaming Keating, Lou Leigh Blue (both veterans of Speakeasy) Ruby Roseblade, Tiger Tiger, Penny Bizarre, Pariah Circus and Venus Noir and a wonderful fire breather; Janey Hayes. Due to circumstances beyond their control, unfortunately Pariah Circus and Ruby Roseblade were unable to perform but still came along to support the event.
Before I go further, it is worth note that Ruby Roseblade is the reason this event truly came together – she was the inspiration for the whole thing! Ruby, AKA Sophie Mangham, earlier this year did something amazing – she flew all the way out to India with the SAFE Foundation to support their wonderful work as a volunteer. When she arrived back we talked for a long time about her experiences and decided then and there that our beneficiaries for any future event would have to be SAFE.
I have worked for the past three years with two amazing men, DeadPunkBoy and Dj ANT who run Psycho:Drama. Tini Von Doom; alt. model extraordinaire, MUA (Alias-X) and now Dj also recently joined their ranks after the departure of the wonderful DJ STR8 who is having a little’un! It was a natural choice to work with them all on X-RAY SPEKZ. DeadPunkBoy is not only a fantastic DJ, he is also an incredible photographer and it was his shots of Ruby Roseblade used for the all the promotional material; flyers, posters and FB/Venue event listings. These guys are great – professional, wonderful to work with and partners in toxic crime! They were with me every step of the way, re-blogging the event, flyering and of course playing the music that kept our patrons dancing all night. ANT even drove my colleague and I down to the venue on the night with our stock and decorating materials and Tini, whilst also DJ’ing, was beating face for the performers. Not at the same time I should point out, that could lead to some unusual accidents :p Bristol resident and DJ for the now sadly passed Dystopia, Frozen Napalm also joined our DJ line-up. Fantastic! He even played an old favourite of mine, Olive’s ‘You’re not Alone’. He and his lovely partner Bridge were instrumental in the set-up of the night, lending a hand to decoration and balloon preparation along with the wonderful Michael Hill and Rich Barakat (who were AMAZING!!!! I couldn’t have done this without you guys!!!!!)
Dirty Filthy Sexy, Nottinghams legendary gay alt. night were also booked to travel down and work with us on X-RAY SPEKZ, but due to factors beyond their control, were unable to make the journey – personally I blame Kathy Griffin, I don’t know why, I just do!
Camrakaze AKA Chris Banfield AKA Daddy Dis-Charge played paparazzo for the evening, he took all the shots for Speakeasy and did a wonderful job – this time around was no exception (look at the bottom of this post for links). The lovely Michael also took some incredible shots during the course of the evening whilst running around to help me out (seriously I may rename the guy super Michael especially after he dashed out into town with Barakat to find drawing pins… which I already had but misplaced only to be found shortly after they arrived back at the venue… my bad! Sorry!)
Now, let’s talk about Machete Rose! The girl kicks ass, she’s got pins for days, is an amazing performer and one hell of a compere – she did all the emcee’ing for Speakeasy. This time around she took up duties with myself introducing the acts and was a bit of a rock for me up there (if I haven’t thanked you properly yet I send you massive hugs and lipstick kisses!!!!) She’s also going to be performing with Screaming Keating for a bloody halloween performance in the coming weeks. We were even accessorised accordingly – black and silver, so hot I was gushing, I nearly flooded the top floor!!!!
And now to the performances…. Kicking off with Screaming Keating’s Bela Lugosi’s Not Dead a macabre, sexy and sizzling strip-tease featuring church bells and Bauhaus, the house… fell… DOWN!!!! It was AMAZING!!!! Last time, he performed this incredible tap routine to Putting on the Ritz, it was so good – if you missed it, where were you??? Lou Leigh Blue was next up, unfortunately she had died in the backstage area so we had to rely on the power of crowd sourced voodoo to resurrect her from the grave! SHE’S A MUMMY!!!! Bandages everywhere, dust and dervish spins, hip movements that no corpse should perform and gyrations that its said, woke further creatures from the dead. Blue NAILED IT! What else could you expect though, she’s a bit of a legend in these parts, recently she was event part of an exhibition, rendered in oils for People Like Us on Park street. Tiger Tiger, curator of Burning Brightly events is an ANIMAL! I had recently run a stall at her Jungle Fever event in Trinity, she’s such a doll to work with and hell, can the girl rock a trench coat monkey mouth ensemble!!!! I’ve never seen a planet of the apes strip-tease before, HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! The show was nuts, it had everything, Banana pasties, pictures of apes, prosthetics!!! Seriously, if you missed this I bet you’re kicking yourself now, better get yourself down to her BB show in November then. Penny Bizarre graced our stage next and after a problem with our decks (handled expertly by ANT) and handled like a pro by Miss Bizarre, we were set to go with her homage to Blaxploitation – referencing Coffy, Cleopatra Jones and all those phenomenal films from the seventies where flares were stylish and ‘fros were big enough to count as cloud cover! OUTSTANDING! Our headliner, Venus Noir, is a knock-out! (BTW: Turn this post into a drinking game – each time I use an exclaimation mark or capital letters have a drink – you may need a stomach pump by the end of this) A fetish model, and runner up in the Burlesque games earlier this year, she represented a dark glamour this evening – a true MISTRESS OF THE DARK (Drink up now). That’s right, Venus performed a soon to be legendary Elvira routine, I COULD HAVE DIED!!!! So amazing!
Once the stage was cleared we did our curtain call and a tearful Miss Roseblade was brought up for a tearful bow for inspiring the event. I couldn’t have been happier, such an amazing evening, despite little technical hitches. We had torrential rain to contend with as well, still managing to raise a nice chunk of money for SAFE – I still need to count through it but if I remember correctly by our lovely doorman, Psycho-Andy’s count, it came to just over £180! It was now announced that our lovely fire performer Janey Hayes would be breathing fire outside – ready to light your cigarettes and set fire to the unnattractive!
The night was fantastic, and my head-dress was GORGEOUS! You know it!! After we danced and drank for a couple of hours with our performers and patrons at the Hatchet, it was time for the after-party so we headed over to the Queenshilling. Time to unwind, dance around to songs from Grease with Sharon and talk taking over the world!
Thank you guys for doing such an amazing job on X-RAY SPEKZ and for all your support!
Here’s an excellent teaser video my gorgeous partner Luke made of the performances:
Open sores and gutter mouthes