Rascals Kiki & Meth's Apples and Pears 2 || Drag Show Review #5
It will come as a surprise to no-one at this point that I went to two drag shows over the weekend. I truly don’t spend my life doing anything else. But! They were fun, and really that’s all that matters. Having fun, and not going to bed at a sensible hour (Sunday’s lie in was the most delicious experience I have had all week, I will not tell a lie).
Anyway. This is going to be long so I best get on with it. Friday night I went to Rascals which is a delightful restaurant in Shoreditch with an interesting crowd. But when the lineup was as good as it was on Friday - Kitty Scott-Claus, Tayce, Glew - I couldn’t not go. Even though I ended up on the lonely table for the first two hours because the friend who was meant to be coming with me didn’t turn up. Love that! Turned out alright in the end though because some delicious queens came to support the gals and I ended up having the best of times with them.
I’ve never been to Rascals before but it’s a camp old venue with a large stage at the front and some delightful pink and silver foil tassles for decoration. The host - Ginger Phlappage - was a vision in a pink suit and animal print bodysuit and really got the crowd going. She’s a total delight, and the perfect host for the venue.
Kitty is one of my favourite drag performers in London, and whilst I love seeing her sing a little song or two, her lipsyncing skills are pretty ridiculous. I believe the two numbers she performed Friday night are new numbers, which is a rare treat - especially for someone like me, who goes to most of the gigs in London and has seen so many numbers time and time again that I can recite along with them (yes, it does say a lot about me as a person). The first number we were treated to was based around the iconic audition of Ariel the Holistic Vocal Coach from the X Factor. It’s one of my favourite videos in the world, and she is a terrifying lady - which made it the perfect number for Kitty to do. Her second number (and in the guise of being completely honest, I had forgotten what it was and had to ask Glew on Saturday night) was clips from the podcast ‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’ (which, if you’ve not listened to, I highly advise you do but don’t listen to it in public because you will snort laugh) mixed with a Britney Spears song I cannot recall. Absolutely hysterical. Ended with Kitty death-dropping three times (or well, doing a split and falling backwards, but it was basically a death drop and I nearly had a heart attack). I also completely forgot to get any photos, but she was dressed in a delightful black leotard and white cape duo, with some knee high boots and the classic Kitty blonde hair and looked like a right treat.
Tayce was up next, and was true to her usual fierce form. I don’t know popular culture, and therefore have no idea what the song she danced to first was - but it was bloody good. I don’t know how Tayce does it, but she’s genuinely one of the best dancers on the scene in London and watching her perform never gets old. I also got no pictures of Tayce, but she was clad in a shirt and trousers duo with her thong and fishnets peeking out over the top. She always looks so incredible and I have literally no idea how she does it but it does make me seethe with envy. Her second number - as Ophelia so graciously told me (am I getting a reputation?) - was to ‘Tens’ by Jennifer Lopez. And goddamn, was it a good performance. Jewellery flying everywhere, Tayce tearing up the stage - I loved every second.
Glew was the final performer, sandwiched in the middle, and she treated us to her Whitney Houston number which is always hilarious. It’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, but interspersed with the audio from that iconic video of the girl trying and failing to sing it, and just screaming instead. By her own admission she is ‘sexy and very talented’ and honestly? Her numbers might just prove that. Might being the operative word. If talent is being able to put together a mix that literally no-one else would think of, and then prance around the stage, she’s definitely got talent. Dressed in a camp brightly coloured shirt belted around the waist, turquoise knickers, and leopard print gloves, sexy wasn’t the word that came to mind. Camp, definitely. Clown? Probably. Nevertheless, I always enjoy seeing Glew perform. She knows how to command the stage, and her facial expressions are second to none. On the ridiculous scale? A solid 10/10. Love her.
Saturday night saw the return of Meth’s Apples and Pears at The Apple Tree in Clerkenwell. I love this show. Yes, it is only the second one, but the venue is so cute and the lineup is always incredible. This time saw the return of Tayce and Ophelia, with added Sister and the headliner Lolo Brow. However, I only saw about two thirds of the show because my anxiety was through the roof and I couldn’t cope with the music or the people or quite frankly how hot the room was. More on my recent bad MH here. But what I did see was incredible, and worth the fiver. Lets see if I can remember what actually happened.
It’s Meth’s show, and she looked fantastic. Dressed in her signature yellow and purple with a sheer tasseled gown and a sleek yellow bob, Meth put on a delightful show for the masses of displaced people who just sort of bounce around from venue to venue now Her Upstairs is no longer. Her first number was - and here my memory has already failed me and I didn’t record any of it for instagram - I believe a spooky number? That would make sense. Tis the season, etc etc. It was good though. All Meth’s numbers are good. That is why she is so well known on the London scene, across the UK, and internationally. I like to believe if I give people enough compliments it won’t matter that I forget what they actually did. Her second number I do remember, and got a little more serious than Meth usually gets. But I like that. It was clips from Peter Pan (specifically of Wendy talking about growing up), and mixed with Pink’s song ‘Barbies’. It got me right in the heart, and I very nearly started crying. Growing up, or not growing up, is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and this just. Got me. And that’s as serious as I will ever get in these reviews!
Tayce went full camp, which is honestly my favourite thing that she does. I love it when she turns out a fierce dance lipsync, but camp Tayce will just top it every time. Every single bloody time. Her first number is set to a song I don’t actually know the name of, and all the googling in the world isn’t telling me. It’s basically a woman, turning on a lamp, and things going wrong. It’s camp. Yes, I have overused that word. But if you’d been there, you’d completely agree. I also absolutely adored what she was wearing - pinstripe trousers that were halfway down her arse, thong and fishnets peeking out the top, and a little cropped pinstripe jacket, topped with a short, spiky wig. It was amazing. Her second number was the iconic supermarket sweep number that is quite frankly one of the best things any queen has done. My favourite bit: Sharon Osbourne and the ASDA advert. Keep putting those chipolatas in the trolley, La Toya.
Ophelia went from camp to fierce with her numbers and I enjoyed every second of it. Her first number was (shocker) a brand new one based around iconic clips from Summer Heights High - and if you’ve never seen it, change that immediately. Dressed in Glew’s green checked school girl dress, it was literally one of the funniest things I have ever seen. She’s such a tall woman that the fact there’s a school girl dress out there that even fits her is incredible. The soundbites were mixed with other songs, including ‘Shut Up and Drive’ and honestly? Who needs Cheryl Hole anymore when we have the dancing queen Ophelia Love. Would have paid good money to see her deathdrop though. Her second number was one I’ve seen in the past, but one that is probably my favourite lipsync that she does. Ariana’s ‘God Is A Woman’ interspersed with Madonna’s Billboard Woman of the Year speech. It’s a powerful number, and one that gives me chills everytime and reaffirms my need to keep writing and speaking my truth. She didn’t perform this in a school girl dress, thankfully: she’d changed into some delightful snakeskin trousers with a little furry pet hanging from them, a neon green bob, and a black corset and bra combo. And boy was she cinched. Absolutely jealous of her waist that evening.
Sister is one of the best performers I have ever seen, and that is no lie and no exaggeration. Her command of the stage and the crowd, even when barely doing anything, is something that all performers can learn from. And no matter what she does, it’s always hilarious. Eschewing stand up comedy for the evening, Sister did three lipsyncs (of which I only saw two). Her first? A number that was a disembodied voice taking Sister through the steps to being a ‘great big bitch’. Sidenote, I don’t know if this is a thing that comes from living in Devon for so many years, but the song in the background was one I don’t know the actual name of, but my brain will invariably sing the lyrics from the Trago Mills adverts. Sidenote over. This absolute display of physical comedy from the face and body was one of the best things I have seen on stage, ever. Sister’s second number was a Westlife one, with Sister in the recording booth with them including some - bloopers.
And finally, Lolo Brow. I only managed to see one of her numbers, but it was fantastic. Dressed in a red 50’s style polka dot dress and curly green wig, Lolo performed the backing track to ‘Mr Sandman’, getting sadder and sadder throughout the song as I assume she realised she was alone. Very, very relatable as I too am alone. It was camp, and it was hilarious, and there’s a reason Lolo is so established and so highly regarded. It’s because she’s amazing.
And so endeth my weekend of drag with a cancelled train home and an emergency trip to maccies. Stay tuned for more reviews when I inevitably follow the poor queens around to more venues in London. I wouldn’t blame them for throwing me out at this point.