Gay Pub Special: Rose Garden, Dalston Superstore, The Griffin & The Eagle

A few photos and notes from the weekend:

Above we can see Jaki Graham performing at Carpet Burn in The Eagle, Vauxhall (I didn't know who she was either, but a quicky Wiki on the iPhone told me she was quite a big deal in 1994).


The crowd of Muscle Marys and Piercing Brosnans applauded (screamed) so vigorously (it was 1am) that Jaki had to fight back tears of joy - "Oh my! Oh my God! You boys gonna give me a big head!" she delighted, "And some of you were just babies when I was doin' ma thing!" (they weren't).


Despite looking like Kelly Rowland on Fat Booth there was something compelling and very likeable about Jaki, she was clearly a born-performer. Whilst waiting at the bar I downloaded some of Jaki's hits off iTunes for the nightbus - 'Step Right Up' and 'Could It Be I'm Falling In Love' are firm favourites, YouTube this fine lady.

The Eagle is a pretty smoking venue in Vauxhall with an even prettier smoking area, although you CAN'T PAY FOR DRINKS ON CARDS, which I struggle to understand in 2011AD (with the exclusion of rural pubs and pop-up shops). If you're paying £8 entry and £1.50 per item in the cloakroom then you're obviously going to run out of metal quite quickly.

Everyone in The Vauxhall Griffin was given a female pop alter ego on Saturday, part of their alternative pop quiz night 'Push The Button'. I was given Joan Osborne, but complained and so the host took Joan away and angrily stamped Lady Gaga on my chest as if to say 'Oh, grow up you tart!'.


I took a photo above of one man's two-sticker title of Tampera Feat. Maya - brilliant. I wanted to bin his shirt for him, but at least it wasn't chequered.


A collection of 1980s figurines, mainly Thundercats characters, chilling on the picture rail in The Vauxhall Griffin. I loved my hand-me-down He-Man toys as a child. In fact, they have a lot to account for, along with Dolph. Has anyone done research into the ties betwen gay culture and the colourful highly eroticised and utterly camp boys toys of the 1980s?


Bob Chicalors, deputy features editor at Gay Times, danced to all your favourite hits in a Camilla Parker-Bowles mask (part of the quiz). We clocked in at 6th place, winning a box of runners-up Maltesers (mainly for bonus points incurred by our creation of a Lisa Left-Eye Lopes mausaleum in one of the wing's of Mel C's house (long story)).


Breakfast at Dalston Superstore. It's weird being there when it's not rammed with gay-electro teens, gay-friendly girls in Aldo heels and Will Young. This fresh mint tea came beautifully presented with a napkin-tied heat protection grip, and some little slices of lemon. The food there is exquisite and the atmosphere is perfect for nursing a hangover, well worth a hop on the overground. Being healthy I ordered granola with yoghurt, only to sit there in emerald-faced envy as my fashion PR pal Rob tucked into a giant smoked salmon bagel breakfast.


Rose Garden without her wig, a wonderful performer - great legs too!


Rose invites some cross-dressing punters onstage. Mistake. Hilarious.


Rose tries to hold herself together whilst everything goes ungracefully wrong!


Rose attempts to teach the boys a dance routine. Not many can walk in heels like our Rose can.


Rose Garden is a sophisticated and visionary drag persona, do go and see her. I regular at The Black Cap, she has regular slots all over London and indeed the world. Visit her Myspace page here.


And that was my gay weekend! Elements of it anyhow. Jack xx

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