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.


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

No comments:

Post a Comment