THE guide to the whole gay, lesbian and bisexual scene in Scotland.
Edinburgh Festivals Special
Inside you'll find an intro to some of the must-see shows, along with gossip,
venues and our incredible Meet Market!
Edinburgh Festivals Special
Inside you'll find an intro to some of the must-see shows, along with gossip, venues and our incredible Meet Market!
Pic: Heady stuff: ONCE - Devero, Pleasance (v33)
Festivals Round-up - the invasion begins
Dun-Dèagh - more fun thatn a wet weekend
Dun Eideann - birthday bonanza
Glaschu - goldilocks gives it to you
Inbhir Nis - sinister and sick
Moireibh - catching breath
Obair Dheadhain - the wanderer returns
Boxes - the Meet Market!
Venues - what and where
Waders have been recommended if you're out on the Dundee scene recently. Firstly Bar Xs had water pissing in the roof which started a big clean up operation; customers were oblivious when partying that evening, A week later Devas had a basement resembling a swimming pool as a deluge of rain caused the sewers to overflow in the Seagate. No change was noticed in the taste of the beer. However as the fire brigade pumped out the cellar a customer decided to throw a panic attack, refusing to go with the ambulance, PC. Plod and chums arrived to witness a scene of farce in the sinking hostelry.
La Deva perfomed in usual style at the recent Birthday of scene barmaid Stephany Rooky. With customers ducking and diving to avoid her wrath it was the staff who temporarily left. The less than happy crowd made their way to Liberty where instigators got a warning about conduct from La Liberty. The rest of the evening passed with a little harmony.
Bouncers at Liberty and Bar Xs have been punted and the firm that does CC Blooms in Edinburgh have taken over. Some have commented on the loss of Angus and chums but as usual with the scene forgot their names five minutes later.
The local holidays appear to have brought a few more out to the pubs and club and not before time. The atmosphere had been a bit subdued and seems to be better now. Liberty's 70s 80s 90s night proved a big draw and they will possibly make it a regular feature the last Friday of the month.
Dockyard Doris brought good quality drag back to Dundee. Her less than new material was enjoyed by more than a few from Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Apparently no other shows are planned for the near future with the venue concentrating on drinks promos under the banner 'Summer in the City' which title should surely be taken to the Trades Description.
Are wedding invitations imminent from Brenda and Dockyard Darren - watch this space!!!!!
From the City of Discovergay, love and kisses,
Edinburgh is now getting busy as the festival begins. Late licenses have been issued and the scene has really come alive. If you've never been out on the town in Scotland's capital - go out in August... you'll have a fab time.
Those who remember the days of Chapps, The Laughing Duck and The Blue Oyster will recall days before CC Blooms and JOY!, both of which celebrated birthdays recently. Some celebrated, some coughed, some stayed at home, although not many judging by this packed midweek night at CC's... regular hostess Karen Dunbar and drag queen Lola Lasagne (who was actually bloody good) provided the entertainment as I wondered around, drank some free bubbles and talked to some revellers, and got some honest opinions...
"The air conditioning is still not working (if it exists) and those that don't like smoke should not go downstairs when it gets busy..." (Laura). "The bar's decor has changed constantly over the last four years - currently bright and breezy - it's been a lot worse"... (Crispin). "You either liked or hated Karen Dunbar - the karaoke nights she hosted whilst telling Roy Chubby Brown jokes are now over - she's off to spend more time with her family..." (un-named member of the bar staff). "The boys are better looking in CC's than anywhere else..." (Neil). "Where else can you go for a beer and a cruise at 3am?"... (Ruth).
So happy 4th birthday CC Bloom's.
JOY!, of course very quickly became an institution, not just of the Edinburgh gay scene, but Scotland's wider club scene as well. The extremely famous Queen Maxine provided music at the mobile clubs best venue so far - Wilkie House. Most clubbers don't have a bad word to say about JOY!, and no wonder - it's always a very happy crowd. Others have criticised JOY! in the past for being too straight or too dingy, criticisms promoters and resident DJs Alan and Maggie have acknowledged. It still does attract a mixed crowd - but if you haven't been for a while give it another go. It's changed.
Happy 5th birthday to JOY! Here's to five more years!
Busier and busier gets the much praised Route 66, which has held its own even without CC's ridiculously late license. Much more mixed than anywhere else, with smiley bar staff that seem to cheer up every one in the place. It's a good space to sit and chat or to flaunt it and pick up, but get there early at the weekends if you want a seat. Oh... and much action happens at the pool table I hear... (?)
Suffering a bit lately as been Café Kudos, which doesn't seem to know where it fits into the Edinburgh gay scene scheme of things. Not sure if it wants to be a sit and eat, stop and chat eatery - like the excellent Nexus or Blue Moon where one can relax over a meal, or a loud and pumpin', fast moving crusin' pub like CC's or 66. It fails at both. Punters can be subjected to loud rock music as they sit in uncomfortable chairs trying to have a meal. Punters can frequent the same establishment the next day, when it will be busy and boozy but playing classical music, or even no music at all. Sort it out people.
Dunfermline now has a gay venue once again with Jamie finding new premises for Xs. They're opposite the Fire Station and consist of a Lounge and Club. I hear that they're already busy through word of mouth.
Next issue... Edinburgh Festival time... Watch this space...
Well, it's been a pretty eventful time for stories, rumours and gossip since my last scribblings and I could fill this whole bloody column with the latest goings-on if I didn't have to worry about the Small Bald Ginger One getting sued for my reporting the regrettably unsubstantiable allegations that have been reaching my lugs over the past few weeks. The phone's been ringing off the hook recently, with Minerva's Chosen Few turning up some amazing stuff, and loads of juicy gossip coming my way from the pubs and clubs. Unfortunately, I can't print most of it due to a lack of proof, being the responsible, respectable pillar of the community that I am! We've had premises being broken in to, embezzlement, destruction of fixtures and fittings, theft, staff being threatened, a couple of high speed car chases through the city, staff dismissed for being stoned out of their heads while at work, more threats against staff, threats against a DJ's life, not to mention certain venues getting their knickers in a twist 'cos the Small Bald Ginger One has asked them to kindly pay their bills in future! Just remember, this is the column that gets the stories first - just a pity I can't print some of them!
The RumourJanets had a field day recently due to The Lane being closed for a week due to the sauna heater breaking down. We had the usual crap stories circulating about the place going bust, somebody running off with all the money, the Health and Safety had closed it down and all the other predictable shite that the scene just loves to spread around! Anyway, the equipment has now been fixed and the sauna is now fully operational again. The owners tell me that they have plans to expand in the future, the long-awaited official go-ahead for the steam-room has now been received, and should proceed as soon as the plans are finalised. It took a week or so for things to get back to normal after the closure, but it's been reasonably busy recently, and I've enjoyed a few relaxing afternoons over the past few weeks (It's not just the clubs that have guest lists, you know!). Some of you clubbier lot should give it a try as you really feel a lot better after sweating it out for a couple of hours, and it's a good excuse for ogling the talent wandering around in a skimpy towel!
Right then, the weather has been really crap for the past few Sundays, absolutely pishing it down, so those of you who like a good cruise up Kelvingrove on Sunday afternoon have been finding the trade a bit thin on the ground, if you can find any at all. On these sort of days, I usually ended up in Austins, but for a change recently I've been in the Waterloo. An afternoon of laid-back music, Cappuccino Queens and sophisticated conversation? Duh - I don't think so! It's bender bingo with Francine's Full House. A couple of hours of silliness, and a bloody good laugh with Ms Fishpaw well on form, taking the piss out of everything and every one (even I'm not safe), and all the money raised goes to charity. O.K., so I know that all of you Merchant Cissy queens think that this sort of entertainment is way too tacky for you lot with your fake designer frocks and piss-elegant attitudes, but the Waterloo has been fairly packed out over the past few weeks with the BingoJanets. There's a cash rollover jackpot, T-shirts, beer, fruit(?), and CDs as prizes, including some really naff consolation discs: The Nolans, Showaddywaddy, Mud and the Bay City Rollers - just the sort of crap to wrap up and sent to your ex-boyfriend at Christmas! Mind you, it was a bit worrying to hear the shrieks of delight when some sad nutters actually win this stuff. At the time of writing the Sunday sessions have raised over £1000 in six weeks - not bad at all. Even if you don't like bingo, it's well worth taking a swing in past, just to catch up on the scene gossip according to Ms Fishpaw - his recent description of Betty Hutton being refused entry at Bennets for turning up with only one stiletto and half a pair of tights was absolutely priceless! I actually managed to win a T-shirt a couple of weeks ago, but I think Tennants Taverns must have this idea that all the Waterloo punters are Francine-shaped - not even a week on boil wash could shrink this to fit my scrawny body. And what's with the music? ZZ Top and Guns 'n' Roses? Watch out or you'll end up with a bar full of scruffy, long-haired, denim and leather Minerva lookalikes headbanging around the place! Anyway, the fun starts at 3-ish which actually means about 4-ish by the time Ms Fishpaw's explained all the rules and taken the piss out of everyone who turns up late - don't say you weren't warned!
DJ Stella has been keeping himself busy with his nights playing to the breeders, but I can reveal, in yet another exclusive for ScotsGay magazine, that he will shortly be launching a gay night on Mondays at a city centre club. I'm sworn to secrecy on the actual venue, but I can reveal that it's very close to the Gay Ghetto, and there's going to be some novel entertainment in the form of fire-eaters and stuff. This club night should be kicking off in mid-August, so watch out for the flyers in the clubs.
Tin Pan Alley has now reached the point where I can't see them continuing with their Tuesday gay night for much longer. Same old complaints about change, no stock, etc., and now it seems that they keep running out of glasses. And this is a place that's lucky to get forty people through the door on a Tuesday! I warned them months ago to get their shit together or they'd have no customers left, and I was right, wasn't I? Despite giving out free passes, the scene has now deserted TPA in favour of Penelope's, leaving what used to be a brilliant Tuesday club night dead in the water. Penelope's numbers are still steadily increasing as the last remaining customers make their way from Mitchell Street over to Jamaica Street, and Tin Pan's had actually offered to drop the Tuesday night if DJ Boff could be persuaded to take over their Monday night. However, after failing to make enough door money to pay Boff, he decided to follow in Stella's footsteps, deciding enough was enough and severing all links with the club. Will I be correct in predicting that Monday nights will go the same way as Tuesday nights unless things improve when Stella starts up his Monday club night? Wait and See!
No doubt a lot of you were wondering what was going on at Penelope's a few weeks ago, when Boff disappeared halfway through his set, to be replaced by Stella, and then Tasty Tom. I can reveal that a threat has been made against Boff by someone who was waiting for him to leave the club, requiring him to be escorted to the Boffmobile and away to safety. Anyway, I've been asked to pass on thanks to Tasty Tom for saving the day and to point out that the Penelope's Tuesday night will be continuing as usual.
Well, I suppose I'd better round off this month's column with the usual snippets of gossip, 'cos the Great Bald One wants me to keep the column down to half a page like everybody else (and I thought the Liberal Party believed in proportional representation!). The state of the bogs in the GGLC is getting bloody awful these days, with all the graffiti and mess. If you've got to leave your phone number on the cottage walls, stick it on a Post-It note first, and don't expect the centre staff to clear up your mess all the time. Remember, they don't actually get paid for putting up with all this vandalism.
Anybody else notice a truly brilliant typesetter's fuck-up in Boyz magazine recently, advertising karaoke with Karen Dumber? I'll bet CC Blooms want a bit knocked off their bill for that one!
Hot on the heels of Del's Friday 13th and Austins' Christmas parties came Sadie's Independence Day bash. And of you're into 1980s RetroFunPubThemeNights. You'll probably be looking forward to autumn, when you can dig out the kiddies' masks, dress up in a sheet, cover yourself in tomato ketchup and enjoy not only Hallowe'en, but Friday the 13th Part Three. Yawn.
Penelope's will shortly be celebrating their first birthday on August 18th. Watch out for guest DJs, including Stella, and a couple of PAs. Names mentioned include Kelly Marie or Hazell Dean but nothing's definite at the moment, so watch out for flyers.
Seems to be quite a lot of new staff in the pubs and clubs, but don't some of them seem absolutely terrified of the public? Lighten up a bit and enjoy yourselves, guys!
Clone Zone have now opened up a barber's shop in their Virginia Street premises and are currently looking for staff. Don't know what the place is like myself, 'cos my trademark locks are halfway down to my arse and staying that way!
Watch out for a new music review column next month with DJ Stella, who'll be telling all you disco dollies what's going on in the dance charts.
Looks like I was right about the students nicking the picture frames from the Poo Bogs as souvenirs. Not a lot left. Better make sure Road Runner's bolted down to the fag machine (that's cigarette machine for those of you in the U.S.) 'cos college starts soon!
If you fancy a trip down the Clyde, the gay trip down the waters is coming up soon. Somewhere on my floor there's a bit of paper with the date on it. But I'm buggered if I can find it, so watch out for the posters.
And finally, the latest figures for HIV infection now show that more breeders than benders are contracting the virus through shagging. Hopefully this shows that the message has got through to the scene so, next time you're out on the prowl for a shag, remember to visit the sweetie jars in most of the pubs, or the pick 'n' mix dispensers in the Poo and GGLC.
Well, that's about it for this month. As usual, if you've got any stories, gossip or scandal, you can write , e-mail, fax, phone or buy me a drink and bend my ear if you catch up with me out in clubland.
Hello once again from the happening North. The weather may not be especially wonderful right now, but around here the Summer Season is in full swing - in fact, there's so much going on that one hardly has time to catch breath before the next event is up and away (and we're not just talking about our sex lives!). A quick roundup of the last weeks' events will give you all some idea of what we're getting up to in these parts (and how often those parts are getting up!).
Friday, 17th July saw Pride of Moray Firth Social Group hosting their first Fancy Dress Disco at the Park House Hotel in Elgin. Although the turnout was a little disappointing, those who made the effort were well rewarded with an evening of wild entertainment and hilarity. The disco was run by the ever-popular Dr. Kenniff, who gave us a good dose (musically speaking!) of all the campness that is required at such whoop-ups - Barbie Girl, YMCA, Abba, etc. People arrived from as far afield as Aviemore, Inverness and Buckie, and the revellers included a Redskin (oor Charlie as the self-styled Chief Shagging Bull, although we reckoned Princess 'Poke-ma-haunches' was the more apt name!), Camp Cow(boy) Scott, Glenn, home from the Falkland Islands and rigged out as King Rat, complete with full face paint, the ever-gorgeous Sugar Plumm, who claimed to be The Crow, but who reminded the Matron of a youthful Alice Cooper (who?!), Xena, Warrior Princes (Marjory from Highland Lesbian Group Core Collective, complete with sharp sword and even sharper tongue), and Paul, who arrived as Cat Woman but, having misplaced the mask, masqueraded under various guises including Bet Lynch, Lily Savage and Polly Hardon - sorry, Dolly Parton! (Lily Savage was subsequently seen in the ladies loo with Myra from Switchboard, struggling to escape from an over-tight leotard and causing Myra to throw up violently, since she'd never before realised that Lily is actually a cock in a frock!!) The Matron, in her usual style, was later seen disappearing into the night with the only supposedly straight guy there - she's going to get herself a reputation if she's not careful!
Wednesday 22nd saw the fortnightly meet at the Cat's Whiskers in New Elgin, where a record 55 punters were counted, including visitors from Fife and Edinburgh. The place was buzzing, bodies were queuing to join the Social Group and also to buy tickets for the Rothes Glen Summer Party, and we're kinda hoping that it will continue this way, as we're starting to see a load of local new faces appearing on the scene now, so somebody, somewhere must be telling tales about this neck of the woods!
Friday 24th, and a goodly number of our gang headed for Inverness to the Highland Youth Gay Group's 2nd Birthday Disco where, yet again, Dr. Kenniff was in charge of the sounds (you do get around, young man!). There was a good crowd in attendance, and young Steven auctioned himself off to the highest bidder, who turned out to be oor Charlie. Quelle Surprise - NOT!!!! The Matron was even seen jigging with Calmac but, being in a chicken run, came over all broody and just had to escort one of the little 'birdies' back to the coop where, rumour has it, feathers were preened and eggs rolled (Easter apparently being very late this year!).
Saturday 25th was the date of the monthly ho-down at Jollity Farm, and a scrumptious buffet was laid on by the hostess with the mostest (oor Simon), prepared by that most exquisite of chefs, Paul (what he does to pulses is a revelation!). The whole evening passed in it's usual 'intimate evening with Joan Rivers' style, made all the more enjoyable by the presence of La Doyenne Tanya and her sparring partner, Jungle Jane. For those who were not in attendance, you missed a bloody good stuffing!
We hear that Sugar Plumm has become the latest editor of the Moray Gayzette, with a big helping hand (?!) from Jack-in-the-Box (you never know where I'll pop up next!), so it will be very interesting to see what that bizarre pairing will manage to produce! By the time you read this, our Rothes Glen shindig will have taken place (1st August), so we can promise you loads of gossip in next month's article, as we know that there are bodies queuing up from Edinburgh and beyond to attend. Whatever next, we ask? Now take care and lots of gooey lurve to you all, dahlings!
Dr. Kenniff & 'Matron' Hattie,
PS. Calmac has been such a dear lately that we just couldn't say anything risqué about him this month, except to refer to his comment in last month's Inside Out where he was wondering why it needed two of us for one column. Isn't it always better with two, sweetie?!
Greetings to you all, tis time again for my usual monthly ramblings on things "gay" north.
Several things been happening recently which will be touched upon in due course, couldn't help laughing ever so cynically at wot oor Minerva said in the last issue about complaints, moans, death threats etc. However much in jest he wrote that, it has got to be said that there is a definite sinister and sick element to what can be connected to the scene these days. You may think nasty and cruel things only happen on the large scenes, ie. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen et al, but it's happening within out own scene here up North. Others have noticed a distinct nastiness also, so I know it's not just me. Take (for example) the recent Nico's incident, where this columnist basically told the dancer Wayne Sleep to fuck off (which I admit was not particularly big or clever, especially as I ended up barred). However, it was my own personal letdown, and not for every Tom, Dick or Harry to go speculating and adding their own versions of the story, along the lines that everyone was barred from Nico's because of me. This was completely untrue and I'm glad to say that the unknown smartarses were shut up when the owner Nicol Manson was contacted (and I mean really contacted and not just dreamed up in someone's imagination) and the rumours denied strenuously. Okay, so Nico's is still pissing folk about on a Wednesday but Fridays are still OK, and as a result of this incident another venue has been sourced and it looks like we may have two venues to frequent in Inverness (more later).
I suppose that now our scene is getting stronger and questionably bigger and better, we must have the bitter with the sweet, by way of "inheriting" some of the more distasteful elements of scene life. So if that means this columnist becoming a target and (for true examples) receiving sarcastic nasty phone calls, voluntary groups he works for receiving anonymous, malicious and filthy calls trying (and not succeeding) to get him booted out, comments made on how he chooses to live his life, and childish bitching acts aimed at trying to hurt feelings, then fine, so be it, cos if it stops some poor, unprepared and defenceless gay man getting it, then that makes it somewhat more bearable for me. Also, whilst (yet again) on my soap box, can I just re-iterate to those who didn't get the plain and simple message before, I do not act for, represent, nor speak for the organisation Reach Out Highland in any way. Gottit? I may report on things they do, frequent their meetings and support them to the hilt, but nothing more than any other who is not employed by them in whatever capacity, and they have no say on what, how or why I write about anything. I have a "gentlemen's" agreement that I will let them proof read anything about them I write which I am unsure of, or if it could be thought to be harmful to them. OK Fine Ya?
Other news North: glad to see that our local wonderkid Steven was on the front cover of the last issue as well as inside it as he also appeared way back in this column in issue 18, albeit looking somewhat fresher faced; all I can say in her defence is that she id in popular demand in these parts, and has a social life extending from Inverness through Moray and Buckie to Aberdeen, and can I just say - heh - Steven, you bought that kilt, you WORK that kilt! (Anyone who knows Steven will be familiar with his famous saying of "You whatever - you work that whatever!" which can range from driving mini-buses to chewing a sweet!)
The Highland Gay Men's Group had a recent Picnic in the Park at the Islands, attended by only six or so local "gents", however craic was good and so was the weather, and by the way Joerg, next time remember to bring a fork!
As mentioned earlier a new venue may be going soon; as we all know the Station Hotel has always welcomed us, but more and more folk are now going there on a Wednesday rather than Nico's, and Fridays seem split between the two. Up to 15 of the local "ladies" are to be seen there on a regular basis, and hopefully something more official will be announced soon. The staff are excellent, efficient and very friendly - good to see. Well done Station Hotel.
Friday 24th July saw the YGG celebrate their 2nd birthday with a highly successful night organised by Steven & Kerr - well done ladz. Around 40 folk boogied away to a disco, done by Giles from Elgin, and our coverboy from last month, Steven, was auctioned off to the highest bidder - and we all know who that was, don't we? So no surprises there then, eh? Bidding was started by Oor Gusset of Aberdeen at 5p (cheap cow!) and finished at £28 - I believe the winner would have went all the way to £50 for the specimen up for grabs, but then again I've heard our bidder goes all the way anyway - oooer missus!
Folk from T-Group, HGMG and ROH staff all attended and weel-kent faces from Nairn, Forres, Elgin, Buckie and Aberdeen were spotted in the melee, and I believe the YGG pocketed a handsome amount for their funds. A resounding success and well done again to the steering group.
That's about it for now, by the way, was it just me or could anyone else not make sense of the Edinburgh column by Nigel in the last issue? And excuse my ignorance, but I'm intrigued to know what the hell is mongoose watch? Nigel???
Evenin' all. Well, I'm back after a wee break, much to the disgust of all of you, I can tell! Actually, the other night when I was out in Club 2000 I was reliably informed that people had been asking about me - and to think, no one knew... Not even her editorship, unfortunately, so I'm in the dog-house just ever so slightly, and it's here that I offer my humblest, most grovelling apologies. (Can I get up now, my knees are getting sore!)
Although I haven't really been out much recently, I did manage to get out a couple of weeks ago, and I tell you, it's a refreshing change to hit the scene after so long. It makes a change from the pubs in Elgin where I'm liable to get a certain amount of homophobic abuse shouted at me! Anyway, I was quite disappointed to note that Castro still wasn't as busy as it could be, especially on a Friday. Perhaps it was just a bad night, but I have noticed a similar turn-out on previous visits. It's a shame really when Club 2000 seems to be a little too busy these days. I'm pleased to see that the numbers have increased so much there, considering what it was like in the early days, but when you can't move away from the bar without spilling your pint, or even light a fag without burning someone's precious LaCroix or D&G clothing, it's definitely too busy. Surely something could be done on Castro's part to bring back some of the punters?
On the down side, I noticed that all the beer prices are up again. Castro is now charging £2 a pint, and C2000 has put their prices up to £2.10. I know that there's tax to pay on this, but surely that's just a wee bit steep, especially when old Archie Simpson round the corner manages to charge £1.49 for a pint of decent real beer. Aye, long gone are the days when I could go out with a tenner, get reasonably drunk and still have change for a poke of chips and a taxi home! On the subject of prices Club 2000 has re-introduced its door charges, although at a much more reasonable £2 after 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to leave and come back, there's no re-entry fee. You just get your hand stamped (a-la Caberfeidh) so you can come and go as you please.
I was saddened to hear about the recent death of Tony de Vit, who was one of the most well know and respected DJs in the country, if not the world. I was lucky to have heard him play in Joy in Edinburgh last October, and he had the place going absolutely mental. It's not only Clubland in general, but the gay community up and down the country who will miss him dearly.
Well, I think it's about time I wound things up for this month. I will be back with you in Aberdeen very shortly, although I have all the rigmarole of a major flit to go through first! I've already invited people to the housewarming, but I'm still looking for bedwarming candidates! Cheerio the noo.
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