Respect... James Baillie

Realised I haven't done one of these for a while. Others in the 'Respect' series are David Hoyle, Peter Tatchell and Scottee.
This one is about a man who has created something queer Londoners can be proud of...Mr James Baillie.

For three years now, James has been the organiser of 'Out and Out Fierce!' Sundays at Lovebox Festival which celebrates queerness and diversity without having to bang on about it. He is the man behind legendary 90s club Venus and has worked with some of the greatest musicians and DJs the UK has to offer. This year was another stellar day with music legends across the board (to name but a few; Grace Jones, Chaka Khan, Nile Rodgers, Tiga, Felix Da Housecat, Andrew Weatherall and and and and) but unfortunately didn't get to see anyone myself. (Was on the main stage with Jonny Woo before hosting and singing at the worlds best nightclub, the NYC Downlow...hark at me.)

I feel proud to be queer performing at Lovebox. It shys away from gay club cliches (as commented on in my blog The dull face of the 'generic gay') and focuses on quality music. This is its strength. It doesn't need muscles in pants, pink cowboy hats and rainbow flags to celebrate who we are; people who want a good time who just happen to be queer. It was a brilliant, very well attended day and I hope some of the gays who don't usually come east saw something different to what they are usually served on the commercial gay scene.

James deserves super props for bringing something so positive, accessible and of top quality to the capital.  He had a lot to deal with this year and could still be seen walking around with a smile on his face. He knows good music and isn't afraid to show it.

I'm out and proud but shan't be showing it off at London Gay Pride on 7th July. With London hosting World Pride this year, I would have thought there would be a stellar production it being post Jubilee and pre Olympics. Unfortunately Pride disappeared down the lavatory some time ago and is crumbling with fall outs, money issues and a lack of knowing what people want. With Deborah Cox headlining (guessing Hazel Dean and Heather Small were unavailable),  HustlaBall (porn stars galore) hosting the official after party and the usual predictable dross, it's not going to be an event that showcases the diversity gay London has to offer. Pride could learn a lot from James Baillie.

x


P.S. A London gay event later this year worth noting is Summer Rites. I might be performing, yet to be confirmed.

Paris Hilton dies onstage





Since it was announced, it was inevitable that Paris Hilton getting paid thousands to throw bricks into a washing machine in the name of DJing was going to be bad.

Poor Paris...her fame has waned considerably due to fellow succubus Kim Kardashian. She's tried everything (party girl, music, film, TV, lame sex tape) and earned millions in the process yet refuses to give up. What's left to do? She's got a DJ/producer boyfriend, surely she should cash in on her name and become a DJ herself? That's hot...

Money is the only currency here, not an interest in good music or happy punters. The kind of music she tried to play is aimed at popping bottles and naff VIP crowd, a celeb name generates bums on seats. Celebrity DJs aren't a new phenomena, look at any fashion launch or hipster party and you'll see someone being hired because of their so-called cool factor or fame, at every level. It just means rubbish music.

Most lady DJs love music. Yes a minority get gigs by taking their tops off and dancing around to a premix CD, sucking dick or flirting with the right people but on the whole, we love and respect music. We have a background knowledge of it. We learn it's history. As much as I think she's an air thief, I want other women to do well in this industry. A part of me hoped Paris would have hired a fleet of experienced DJs to teach her how to mix properly instead of driving the car off the cliff so publicly. I have a smug sense of 'I told you so' but a sadness that women DJing continues to be looked upon as something lesser.

Female DJs work hard to be taken seriously as it is without people assuming we don't know anything (the sexism I've encountered from male DJs is staggering). Yes I'm aware that I've been booked on my novelty Tranny with a Fanny factor but I've been re-booked because I'm a DJ with passion and have a narcissism that loves a happy dance floor.

Promoters. Get a clue. Celeb names might get them in initially but people spending their money want something on return, not a crap soundtrack to their fun times.

Paris. We know this is just another of your many fads so please go away and stop dragging down Disc Jockeys and women down into your pit of nothingness. Go and spend your millions on something worth while, swaying around the mixer pretending to use the filters isn't a skill or talent.
Or just take your top off..that'd be far more entertaining.

x

Calling yourself 'tranny' is the new club kid...


Thanks to Ma Butcher for this
Me and my big mouth..... I posted the above subject line on Facebook last night and hilarity ensued. 


(Things is, others have said the same, yet as I moan publicly, the bitcherati get a fall girl. 
And to clarify...this comment has nothing do to with transgender people but those on the alternative drag scene (myself included) who refer to themselves as trannies.)


Tranny....the word is prefixed with TRANS...transform, translate, transport, transmutate ...to change or go from one thing to another. When someone refers themselves as a tranny, I'd like to think they start out one thing and end up something completely different.

Now this can take form in various ways...some spend vast amounts of money on couture, others go the local pound shop or rifle through bins to source their look. Some craft their makeup like sculpture, others throw some glitter on and hope for the best. It's all good.  I don't believe in label snobbery and anyone who transforms with a smile and challenges mainstream dross deserves applause and love.

However....

This weekend, I worked and performed at the worlds best club, NYC Downlow at the Lovebox Festival. On Saturday, the girls pulled some great looks, worked their butts off and were rather marvelous.
Sunday, some turned up, shoved a nasty wig on their heads, didn't contribute to the Downlow in any way, expected special attention, bitched, complained and moaned . These are the people I have a problem with.
They sat backstage being louche, pouty, did sod all and drank all the booze meant for those who were working. Honey...why sit back there? If you're dressing for attention, get out there and take it to the people because that's where the party is.

I've worked at the Downlow from it's first outing at Glastonbury in 2007. Maybe I shouldn't, but I care about it being fabulous and successful. When you book an actor, DJ, comedian, acrobat or anyone from the field of entertainment, you expect them to have knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for their craft. I blindly hope trannies, regardless of experience, to have the same. I'm really not arsed if they're polished or not, just that they bring something instead of taking.

This isn't a dig at club kids or trannies..just a moan about the lazy. I shouldn't care but I do. So there.

Holestar and Jonny Woo Photo by Tony Wood
On a lighter note....overall, was a great weekend and we were relativity unscathed by the weather. I missed Chic, Chaka and Grace but performed a new Warboy track, Dressed as a Girl with Jonny Woo on the main stage, introduced legends Optimo, Andrew Weatherall and Penny Arcade at the Downlow before dragging myself home (had planned for after party but the bones said no.)



I'm going all establishment tomorrow evening (Thurs 21st June) and DJing at the National Portrait Gallery for their Queen exhibition where I'll be playing 60 years of pop queens. Well jiggle my tits!

x

The dull face of the 'generic gay'


Really should be rehearsing for tonight’s shows but I'm annoyed....(gets out soap box).

Gaydar (whose radio show I have appeared on and am never likely to again after this) placed a vending machine of men in Soho. So far, so good PR stunt.
Now I have nothing against those who spend every waking hour worrying about their perfect abs and buns or those who lust after them but where is the diversity here? It'd be like walking up to a sweet machine and find they only provide one type of candy. Something I'd always admired about gay males is the range of diversity on offer (unlike lady lovers who still have the populist clich├ęs of femme and butch). 

Gays, queers, trans and other have always been outsiders from the majority. I'd hope that by being an outsider, we'd know what it is to be different and able to embrace and celebrate that diversity. It appears that we've been through so much liberation that what used to make us unique has been reduced down to everything looking and being the same...in a pair of pants.

I'm first to fight for my queer siblings against homophobia but I find myself drifting further and further away from what mainstream gay culture is offering me. Soho makes me wince with embarrassment and Vauxhall (except the RVT and Eagle) make me cringe. I love the idea of doing one of my events at a big gay super club but with the same old stuff being pumped out again and again, it's looking very unlikely.

Using my fathers fruit analogy of when I came out to him (“Well...I always thought you were a bit fruity”), queers, we're a bunch of fruits. Fruit comes in a wide selection of sizes, shapes, colours and tastes and we should be represented as the wonderful variations we are. Give me a fruit salad, not just a pair of plums.

From the reaction on my Facebook after posting this image, I am not the only one, so wake up Gaydar....not all gay men lust after hunks in trunks, give us a fruit salad.

While you're at it, can you sort out your music policy? That's all rather one dimensional too. Thanks.

x

P.S. Self loathing is eating people up. Be who you want to be. No matter what your body shape, build, lack of this or too much of that, love yourself first and fore mostly. You know I'm right ;-)

UPDATE Received this on my Twitter from Gaydar

 Thanks for your feedback! This was the vending machine's first outing, so watch this space for a variety of new 'stock' in future.


Which is rather odd. Still treating gays as commodities..sigh......

Queens in Time Out Magazine

Varda her eek!
The others were The Queen (who was considered London's best with 28 Corgies out of 30), Maisie Trollete, Titi La Camp, Myra Dubois and Son of a Tutu, all well established on the gay cabaret circuit.
I'm somewhat of an outsider here but its still nice to get a nod in mainstream press and that my gender isn't relevant here.

For Jubilee weekend, I'll be DJing disco and Hi-NRG on Saturday at QUEEN. Then premiering new work on the cabaret stage at The Apple Cart Festival on Sunday.

x