Friday Night's A Drag || Drag Show Review #8
Disclaimer: I meant to write this review yesterday, but I didn’t get into bed until 6am after the night took a turn. And by that nothing really happened, but I had a camp time and ended up feeling rough as tits after a short sleep. So it didn’t happen. But what can you do? Not a lot.
Anyway. Friday Night’s A Drag with Glew, Flynn Rideher, and Chanel No 5. These shouldn’t be new names to you at this point, and you should know that any show containing those three is going to end up being both completely camp and completely ridiculous. I have genuinely not laughed so much in a very long time, and it is mostly down to Glew and her ‘ideas’. God, she is brilliant. They all are, in fairness.
In the style of my last Tuckshop review, I’m not going to go through the night in chronological order (mainly because I don’t remember the order in which it happened. But I did write down every number for once, so I do actually remember what happened (that’s a lie, I don’t actually really remember and am relying heavily on my notes (I will never make it as a legitimate reviewer))).
We’ll start with the king among peasants, Flynn Rideher, take a journey through Chanel’s numbers, and end on the bundle of ridiculousness that is Glew the queen. On we go!
Flynn is not only one of my favourite kings on the scene, but also one of the genuinely loveliest and best people. That is not great English, but you get my gist. He’s fab. He’s also going on a break, so you’ll have to keep eyes and ears on his social media to see when he’ll be making his triumphant return after the next couple gigs. Dressed as a pumpkin of sorts (I mean, when do you see white pumpkins dressed in itchy black tinsel leotards and ginger wigs? Only at West 5 Bar apparently), he took to the stage and sang four camp numbers, with a sort of loose Halloween theme. Which, by the way, has ended now. It’s Christmas, and you can take it from my cold dead hands.
Back to Flynn. We all love a spot of Rocky Horror (which is great, because it seems to be a staple around this time of year), and Flynn treated us to a camp version of ‘Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul’ which is one of the best songs from the whole soundtrack if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But it is. Camp and upbeat, Flynn delivered an excellent rendition which the man at the bar who sang along to every number going definitely enjoyed. Next came a spot of Meatloaf. And thank god it was ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ because I’m 90% sure that’s the only Meatloaf song I know. Sorry Flynn. It was good though! He donned a lovely headpiece with bats (out of hell) on it for the number, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Love a good headpiece.
Third, a Miley Cyrus piece. 7 Things. One of her best, and one that should be played more often. It is a tune and I’d completely forgotten about it until Flynn sang it. Very relatable, to be honest, although I often hate more than 7 things about most people. Not Flynn though. Nothing to hate about him. I don’t know what I’m saying at this point. Flynn was good. The song was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and his final number. A good old ABBA song - and this where I really expose myself as a bad person - that I don’t actually know the name of. I prided myself on knowing ABBA, and loving ABBA, but turns out I don’t. Nevertheless, a wonderful performance by anyone’s standards, and we all had a great time listening to Flynn the pumpkin sing the little ditty.
Next up, the singing songbird Chanel No 5. Clad in a stunning black fishtail gown and blonde hair, Chanel treated us to some right classics and sung them beautifully. First up: more Rocky Horror. Although she actually opened the show with this song, so technically it was Flynn who brought more Rocky Horror but came first in this review. Still with me? Anyway. Sweet Transvestite. I’ve heard Chanel sing this before, and it’s always totally gorgeous. I love the song anyway, despite any accidental lyric forgetting (it’s really not a drag show if someone doesn’t forget some of the words), and Friday night was no exception.
What Chanel does best though is taking popular songs and setting them to a more jazzy track. She knows her brand and her character and sticks to it, and I love that about her. Anyway. ‘Mr Brightside’ came second, and it took me a second to place the song because I wasn’t expecting that arrangement. But when it clicked, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It suits Chanel’s voice perfectly, and it was camp as you like. She also treated us to a version of ‘I Will Survive’ (I think?) which is an excellent song by anyone’s standards but I won’t bang on about it just in case I got it wrong. Whatever it was, it was good. As per.
She also did that classic ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, which I had never really heard played anywhere until I started going to drag shows. Is there any queen out there who doesn’t do a version of that song? The jury is still out, science cannot confirm. Good job it is a bloody good song, and suits Chanel down to the ground. And of course, it contains the classic audience participation in which you get to sing (yell) at the performer to turn around. Absolutely excellent fun, thoroughly enjoyed myself, Chanel is an excellent queen and you should all get out and see one of her shows. She will not disappoint.
And finally, Glew. I genuinely do not have the words to describe my reaction to Glew walking into the bar before the show started, when we got to see her costume. And I use costume here in the loosest sense of the word. What she had actually done was stack three coral tutus on top of each other (one around her shoulders, one above the tit area, one around her waist) in the manner of some kind of jellyfish in white knee high socks and platform shoes. Or like a giant blacmange. Or like a fancy wedding cake topper. Or, as is probably more accurate, like a toilet roll cosy. Whatever image you choose, it was camp and if she never wears anything else again I would be happy as a clam. Absolutely loved it.
Anyway. Glew did two classic Glew numbers and treated us to two new tracks, one of which was a special one off. And god was I glad that I was there to witness the carnage in action. The two classic were two of my favourites (who am I kidding, everything Glew does is a favourite) in the form of ‘Push The Button’ and Whitney’s ‘I Will Always Love You’. I’ve written about these multiple times before so I won’t bang on about them, but needless to say they were brilliant. I doubt I’ll ever get bored of Glew interspersing appliances into The Sugababes, or cutting the girl trying to sing Whitney with actual Whitney. What we’re all here for is her new numbers.
And one of them, I’m not going to say much about because I’m pretty sure she’s performing it again soon and I couldn’t spoil it for the people who will see it, because you need to get the full effect when she’s on stage. All I will say is that it is that classic Girls Aloud track ‘Can’t Speak French’, which is camp enough on it’s own and should be performed more often. I will also say that I howled during this number, and thoroughly enjoyed every second. And also that anyone who will see it should be terrified.
The special one off number, however, is possibly the number I have laughed the most at, ever, with any drag performer. Monroe, Becca, Chloe, and I all just about died laughing, with the other patrons of the bar looking confused as to why we were laughing so hard. We were laughing so hard because Glew had taken Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ and lulled us in with a false sense of security before switching to Chanel’s vocals singing her jazzy version of it. I honestly was not expecting to hear Chanel singing with Glew lipsyncing. Looking back, I don’t even know why it was so funny because Chanel sings ‘Toxic’ so damned well, but it was just completely unexpected and came totally out of the blue. Judging by Chanel’s face, she wasn’t expecting it either. Glew also dropped in a foghorn sound, which is when I thought I was in danger of snapping in half because of laughing so much. It was, it has to be said, a beautiful tribute to a gorgeous queen. But also funny as fuck.
So that was Friday Night’s A Drag. We won’t go into what happened after the show, because quite frankly no-one cares and/or needs to know. But it was fun, and I had the absolute best time, and you should come out to the next show. First Friday of December, from 8:30pm at West 5 Bar. Free entry. Just come. You won’t regret a thing.