Scotland's most bendy guide to the whole lesbian, gay and bisexual scene. All the bits and some of the pieces from up there and down here, plus the list of everywhere to go, and the list of everyone that's available in the infamous Meet Market.
Pic: Everybody's Cup of Tea at Nexus
Venues - what and where
Dun Eideann - a scene-challenged guide
Glaschu - the lippy hippy
Dun-Dèagh - bush-free zone
Obair Dheadhain - shorts city
Inbhir Nis - height of fashion
Boxes - the Meet Market!
When scribbling notes about our gay scene, the reviewer can get a little anxious about where to start. Are you, dear reader, a new punter who needs to know what's there, and where, and how much? If the answer's "no" then you may want to skip this bit... Juice for the already enlightened will flow in later instalments. This month I'll give a quick run down for the scene-challenged. All addresses, opening times and phone numbers are elsewhere in this organ.
Route 66 is Edinburgh's premier gay bar. Comfortable with clean air - the beer's not too pricey and the staff are friendly. The toilet walls can be amusing, so do take a stick of chalk... The New Town Bar is well priced, well decorated, and well friendly. Discos happen downstairs Thursday through Sunday and are men only on Friday and Saturday. Occasionally they even have a stripper on Sundays... The Stag and Turret feels like any local pub. Cheap drinks in a small space - it's neglected by many - but well worth a visit. It's about time they sorted the toilets out though...
CC Blooms has a dance floor! It's free entry! The decor's crap and the bar's expensive! With a late licence it's the place to go when everywhere else is shut... French Connection is the capital's forgotten gay venue - time you remembered it! The drink prices are reasonable and the bar staff are lovely... The Blue Moon is an excellent place to meet and eat - especially if you're one of the younger clubbing set. Also home to Ian, the cutest, most efficient guy in any cafe, any where...
Café Kudos is far too expensive. This is a shame because the food is excellent and the bar staff are great. Many have also complained about the seats being uncomfortable - dirtying and even tearing punters' clothes. This is ironic since it's owned by sharp suited councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh's recreation convenor, who partly submitted, and then withdrew a claim for £150 from the council as he tore his trousers on the side of his desk! I'm sure Steve is accepting compensation claims for all your damaged stuff.
On a more positive note those excellent folks at Lothian Lesbian and Gay Switchboard are holding twice monthly Icebreakers at Café Kudos for all those coming out. They meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month and you can phone Switchboard for more info.
Nexus is the café in the oldest lesbian, gay and bisexual community centre in Britain. If you're out and about during the day begin here. The centre is a great place to discover what's going on, For drinks, food and friendship it offers excellent value. Also in the centre you'll find PJ's gift shop, Pride Scotland office (put June 13th in your diary), Massage for Health, and the phenomenally successful Edinburgh Bisexual Group, which meets every Thursday from 8pm. Phone the Bisexual Line for more details.
Don't drink? Nothing to do? Need to spend some money? You could get a Sauna at Number 18, Edinburgh's only gay male venue of its kind. It's actually a very good source of safer sex material... Need a haircut? Go see George the Barber, based just up the road from LGB Centre. He cuts, styles and gossips like the best of 'em... for all stuff porn go to Fantasies Sex Shop which has such a large range of sex toys, magazines and videos it's quite incredible.
Waterstones at the west end of Princess Street has a great lesbian and gay book section, with enough erotica to compete with Fantasies, as well as some more general gay stuff. Things haven't been the same since the lovely Alistair left mind you. Also Virgin Megastore a few doors along stocks a massive range of gay movies and videos.
If you fancy a flick, then Edinburgh's independent cinemas are excellent. The Cameo Cinema at 38 Home Street often shows queer material, call 0131-228 2800. Also showing good stuff is the Filmhouse, which has an excellent gay friendly and reasonably priced café/bar. Call the box office on 0131-228 2688 to find out what's on.
I seem to have got back to alcohol again so it's probably worth mentioning clubnight Bent 100%. No straight folks here, so leave 'em at 'ome and practice homo-apartheid. Joy, on the other hand, is distinctly mixed with ever present DJ's Maggie and Alan doing their funky, bleepy stuff. Tackno at Club Mercado is well worth a vada. Go say hi to DJ Trendy Wendy and fab ginger barman Tom, who is drop dead gorgeous.
I'll see you out and about, any comments, suggestions, or info should be sent to me at ScotsGay or e-mail the address below. Cheers!
Hi, folks. And a big warm wet welcome to all you girls and boys all over the world dying for your latest dose of Minerva's galactically famous pile of shite!
Well, the scene's back to its usual busy self after the last few months, when some of the clubs were looking quieter than the last LibDem Conference. Who cares if your plastic dosh is still recovering from Xmas? Get your arse out into Clubland even if it means blagging your way onto the guest list and having to drink water all night!
Penelope's has started a gay night again on Tuesdays, and the opening night was certainly well attended, with a good few faces who seem to have been hibernating for the past few months. DJ Boff was back on form with his usual mix of Handbag, 80's and other poofy old stuff which some of those younger than I consider so trendy despite having been released when they were still in school uniform. Nice change from the clubby dancey stuff that the clubs usually churn out night in night out. Quite a few Sharons and Trevs seem to have found their way in without realising that it was a Janet night, and it was amusing to watch their expressions as they slowly realised what was going on. However, I had to feel sorry for the poor girlie who was giving ME the eye, `cos it takes more than a pelmet frock and a sunbed tan to get ME on the turn. (What does it take? I think we should be told! - Ed) Hopefully, acts and stuff will be a regular thing, but the opening night was kicked off by Chris doing his Elaine Paige bit, followed by May Miller doing a few of her own tunes. But what about THOSE comments about Dorothy Squires snuffing it - obviously the Twinks had never heard of her, and the rest of the audience weren't admitting to be old enough!
Anyway, hopefully the Tuesday sesh will run smoothly this time round and seeing as how Stella over at Tin Pan's has moved his camp night over to Monday, the two should co-exist quite nicely. It's only £2 to get in with flyer and the grog's cheap. So, it should be a good club night this time around if the first night is anything to go by. Just a pity that the prettiest bit of trade was one of the bar staff.
On the subject of Tin Pan's, they were a bit pissed off with me for daring to criticise what they consider to be perfectly acceptable treatment of the gay scene. I've always tried to give this place a good right up in the past but it's getting a bit difficult when I keep on hearing the same complaints every week with no sign of improvement. Numbers have been steadily falling, and it's a great shame that the club is only attracting about half the punters it was getting a year ago. Boss Manny Paul moaned about my comments that soft drinks were almost as expensive as the hard stuff. A bit academic really, as, last time I was in, they'd run out of soft drinks by half past one - AGAIN! (Or should I say, as usual). Unless Tin Pan's intend to just sit back and watch their Tuesday customers desert in droves to Penelope's, they'd better get their shit together PRONTO! And I don't take too kindly to being fobbed off with crap excuses about the difficulties of running a club. I've had fourteen bloody years of pub management, and learned a long time ago that pissed off customers vote with their feet and go elsewhere.
Now then, what's all this about me being barred from some of the pubs according to my fellow scribbler Liquid Silk? I think some sad little malicious queen has been telling porkies. I've never been thrown out of anywhere (except Canada, but that's another story). It's amazing some of the shite that gets said about me, stuff I'm supposed to have said and done and people I'm supposed to have slept with (fat chance). But I suppose fame has its price. No doubt there are some venue owners who are a bit pissed off about stuff I've written, but nobody has ever turfed me out (Yet - Ed). At least I've got the balls and the ego to have my piccy at the top of this column so you all know who actually writes this crap, rather than staying anonymous like some I could mention. Or only writing nice safe sanitised crap that won't offend ANYONE! Not that I'm suggesting that Liquid Silk is frightened of offending anyone - far from it.
DJ Wendy has asked me to give a plug for his Saturday night stint down at the Waterloo, when he's pandering to all you Handbag and other poofy music fans. It's nice to see that some of the Twinks from the Merchant City are making the short trip along Argyle Street to find out what a Real pub is, with decent music, Real customers and efficient service (But sadly, no Real Ale! - Ed). Who knows, some of you might actually ditch all your fashion/image/attitude ego trips and learn to let your hair down! (Well as much as you lot with your No 1 crops can). But please, could some of you LabelJanets stop poncing around with your "look at me aren't I so cool" bollocks. The Waterloo is well loved for it's down to earth attitude and some of the crusties don't take too kindly to a bunch of pansies from the Pink Ghetto mincing around the place. The pub's entertainment's changed a bit recently, but Sundays are still a scream with Granny Spice shrieking her tits off and taking the piss out of anybody brave (or daft) enough to take part in the Hutton Karaoke Cavalcade.
I couldn't help but overhear a bunch of PooJanets discussing the list of the Top Fifty Gay Albums in Boyz. The girlies seemed to be having a bit of a competition to decide who was the biggest sissy according to the number of albums on the list the actually owned. You poor sad bastards! It goes without saying, that your's truly doesn't actually own a single one of those CDs that the Boyz readership have declared to be classic poof music - in fact, I don't even have a pornograph!
Right then, I wrote last month that the shrub cutting exercise over at Queens Park which has played havoc with my sex life seems to have stopped. But, NO, the foliage up around the flagpole, scene of many a furtive frolic, has also disappeared under the Parkies' chain saw. As if this wasn't bad enough, the same thing has been happening over at Kelvingrope, with the bushes between the Duck Pond and the river being replaced by a flower bed! Yeah, very nice and pretty, but not very good for hiding a couple of dozen fairies when PC Plod comes round on patrol. And don't bother running for cover up the side of the Stewart Fountain, cause all the shrubbery up there has gone too! Fucking marvellous, ain't it? I suppose all those married guys are going to have to go home and shag the wife, or go out clubbing for a change.
See ya next month - if it doesn't fall off first.
Dundee Outreach Team's 3rd Birthday Party was held at Liberty Nightclub one Sunday recently. Their spectacular cabaret was watched by almost a hundred of us. These numbers for a Sunday night in Dundee must be something of a record! The various acts culminated in the show-stopping "Not So Full Monty" with team members Steve and Doug stripping and hilarious Jim as compere demonstrating it takes a big bit of cloth to keep his packet in check. Ask to see the video - I believe it may be available "under the counter" in some notorious establishments. Show producer Donna Taylor of D.O.T. was honoured with a bottle of plonk for her efforts. The nightclub staff also got into the mood with all in drag except Angus the doorman - maybe next time...
The City planners seem hell-bent on destroying our cruising fun at Riverside by building a bloody hotel on the very site of our infamous cottage - the gates of which are closed more often than open. I hear the new location is causing our well known nightclub owner some consternation as his castle overlooks the proposed building site. Feathers look set to fly from his boa as he attempts to "save the view not the cottage" - oh really!
Plod and Co. say they are not concentrating on cruising areas just now but will act upon complaints from the public. Their recent attention caused two gentlemen to change to a different set of bushes which unknown to them were less than 50 yards in front of a Police Inspector's house - oh dear!
The scene has been a bit quieter this April and everybody seems skint. The poll tax bills have perhaps not helped. Saturday seems to be the only big night out causing both venue owners to lament that their bills come in seven days a week. Horizontal sleet showers have kept me indoors despite the temptations of a band at Devas, karaoke in both venues on Wednesday, etc., etc.
The next couple of months sees Liberty open to 3:30 (an extra hour) on some Saturdays so hopefully that may attract you from Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgay! The music is really good on Saturdays but I have heard one or two dissenting voices about Fridays. Still the music must have been good for Devas owner and staff to dance on the tables much to the displeasure of Liberty staff. Thank god Shirley wasn't there that night!
Following Bitchboard's latest newsletter, I treble-checked the details of my last month's column. The ambulance service was at Blundertek and took a female to hospital with a suspected broken ankle. Dance promoters Worm have confirmed to Liberty's owner that their techno nights are definitely straight. Pride Scotland would like the main event to be held in Dundee sometime next century. So if you want the facts, read ScotsGay, otherwise see the newsletter of the Ministry of Misinformation.
As we go to press there are rumours of a prominent member of the scene being caught with a thousand E's on his way back from London. When I get the facts I'll let you know - if I'm still in Dundee.
Hello, I'm back, after my short break last month. Did you miss me then? No, I suppose you didn't really! Well, I'm pleased to see the improvements in the weather that we've seen over the last few days. (By the time you read this it'll probably be pissing with rain again, but it is Aberdeen!) I've already seen a few brave guys walking down Union Street in shorts, and long may it continue! I'm going to have to sort out some kind of tan before I dare to show mine in public. Ooh, roll on summer, that's all I can say. No doubt those of you who frequent the greener areas of our city will be welcoming the change in the weather too.
I have been out and about rather a lot in recent weeks, including a well needed visit to Joy last Friday. Alan Sadler is still banging out a good mix of happy/hard housey techno-ish stuff (oh, I dunno what to call it, but it's bloody good anyway), and fairly has the crowd bouncing every Friday. As I've said before, it's a predominantly straight crowd, but it has a small gay following too. So, if you like it hard and fast on a Friday, that's yer venue!
Keep an eye out for posters advertising other club nights too. This evening I'm hoping to go along to Lovechild at the Palace on Bridge Place, where Tony de Vit and Malcolm Duffy will be thumping out the harder side of the music spectrum. TdV has become quite a regular in Aberdeen, and since I heard him play at Joy (Edinburgh) last year, I've been hooked. Well worth a visit the next time he comes up to Aberdeen. I realise that this is also a straight club too, but as the gay scene doesn't really cater for those musical tastes, and combined with the fact that people do seem to be a little more open minded, I thought it was worth a mention. Venue of the week for me this week was Castro, where Jacqui Morrison played an excellent set last Saturday night. I'd forgotten the last time that I really enjoyed myself there, and hopefully I'll be having a few more good nights like that. I was actually sober(ish) too! I sometimes feel guilty because I don't spend as much time in Castro as I used to, but hopefully things will change. Actually, sometimes I like going there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, as it's usually fairly quiet, and poor Faye is usually on her own for most of the afternoon!
Club 2000 is still seeing its attendance increasing, which is a good sign as always. A lot of new faces seem to be appearing too, so either there has been a mass exodus of queerfolk to our part of the world, or they're all crawling out of the woodwork (and don't you wish some would return?!). Jet Black saw the return of the cabaret to our weekends, although apparently she was downright insulting to a few people. Luke Wilde, a local stripper has put in a couple of appearances too. All I keep hearing is "ooh, I don't like him", but it doesn't keep you away, does it, so he must be doing something right! Well, before I go, can I send a message to all of you who aspire to running a new gay venue in Aberdeen? Don't. 'Cos if we have any more advertisers from Aberdeen, I'll be wiped off the page completely, and we wouldn't want that, would we? Don't answer that!! Right, I suppose I'd better go and get ready to go out now. Be good and all that, and I'll talk to you next month. Cheerio!
Hi there readers, unless I can think up some stuff quick to write about then this is gonna be a pretty short column this month.
Nico's has been steady recently and the crowd generally getting on, Inverness Pub of the year, Johnny Fotes, is becoming a popular haunt with local queens both out and in the closet, especially after Nico's shuts on a Wednesday. So far there has been no hassle or homophobia (unlike Mr G's Nightclub), staff are friendly, doorstaff friendly too, the bogs are an experience with the whole of the wall in front of the urinals covered in cartoons (so all the straight ladz are too busy looking at them to worry about us beside them!). I suppose it could be described as slightly cruisy as I've heard a few folk have picked up some previously unknown trade there (including one young queen who picked up one of the band who happened to be playing that night!)
Other news: two local well-known and loved (used?) queens were recently asked to leave Bo Bangles - a high quality ladies fashion store in the town - after the staff had had enough of them literally mincing round the small store screaming their tits off and trying out handbags, and multi-coloured scarves and stoles, I personally thought this was AbFab, and full marks to this pair who would not let Inverness inhibit them. Well Done Girlz!
Reach Out Highland are hopefully going to be holding a fashion show later this year, from what I can see so far this promises to be a professionally done and high profile show - more news when I have it.
There seems to be an increase in sexual health services in the Highlands, it seems every time I look in a paper up here they are looking for various staff for various groups; still, can't be a bad thing I suppose.
Anyway, that's about it for this issue, fill up the rest of the space up with pictures please Mr Typesetter!
Take care folks,
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