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This guide is for the heinously hopeless, the beautiful torn souls of London’s thrumming, dripping underbelly. Those who’ve been chewed up and spat out onto the damp cobbles of Soho’s side streets in a glissade of globulous high-top trainers, £1.75 drinks, Heaven wristbands and despair. The bears who are out of honey, the twinks who are barely even twunks anymore, the lesbians who just haven’t got it in them to blog about another fucking Tegan & Sara EP.
That substrata of salacious society who can’t even be bothered to Instagram pictures of their Balans burgers anymore. Who haven’t illegally downloaded Katy Perry for over three years. Who are sick of sneezing snorts of mephodrone all over the dancefloor at East Bloc. And who have a special place reserved in their taxidermy collection for Jeremy Joseph’s evil little hellhound Colin.
With this I offer you a sanctuary. Unshoulder those khaki Topman SS12 rucksacks. And step into the light.
Shake Yer Dix at Star of Bethnal Green
Let’s start with a safe bet – a nice little monthly night at a nice little pub in East London. The entry’s cheap, the music’s a pleasing blend of europop crap and obnoxious electro, and the men are huskily hairy. The drinks are insanely overpriced but come on, you’re in London. Down a few bottles of Echo Falls beforehand.
More info – www.facebook.com/shakeyerdix
Hampstead Heath Men’s Pond
Before you say anything NO it’s NOT where everyone goes to have sex in the bushes. Only some people. And that’s great fun, if you’re into it. If not, the men’s pond is a great place to splash off your hangover. The water is blue, the hummus is organic, and swimming shorts are Christopher Shannon.
More info – www.hampsteadheath.net/mens–bathing-pond.html
One of the London gay scene’s best kept secrets. It’s not even technically a gay club. That’s how edgy it is. A deliciously debauched melding of cybergoth chic and queerlesque leather realness, it kicks off every Saturday night at a disused metalworks in Angel. Dresscode-wise, think Faith from Buffy meets Slipknot. With strobe lights.
More info – www.facebook.com/SlimelightOfficial
British Film Institute
The BFI is always packed with preened media gays as it is, and this month it’s playing host to the LGBT Film Festival, so there’ll be more pink iPad covers than you can shake a stick at. The self-consciously intellectual South Bank venue makes for a pleasing melange of cosmopolitan conversation, alternative sensibility and overpriced coffee beans.
More info – www.bfi.org.uk/flare
The basement of a grocery shop in Dalston that plays Destiny’s Child remixes and has cartoon cocks drawn on the walls in felt tip pen. That’s all you need to know.
More info – www.voguefabricsdalston.com
Gay’s The Word
A gay bookshop! Charmingly dusty and charmingly seventies. A good go to for yer Alan Hollinghurst and yer Armistead Maupin and yer Augusten Burroughs and yer E.M. Forster. All yer fuckin’ favourites.
More info – freespace.virgin.net/gays.theword
Amateur Strip Contest at the White Swan
Every Wednesday the wonderfully filth-ridden White Swan puts on an amateur strip contest. Does what it says on the tin really. Lots of old men stand around in jeans and plaid shirts while people who have had a few too many ciders take their clothes off to Britney b-sides. If you enter you might win £100. It really is awful. Last week’s winner was wearing a prison tag on his ankle. That’s half the fun at the White Swan. You might get felt up in the toilets, or you might get stabbed on the way home. You just never know.
More info – www.bjswhiteswan.com
So that’s more than enough to be getting on with for now. Tear up those G-A-Y Late flyers. Go forth. Conquer.