Happy Birthday to meeeee!
A few years ago, after having a particularly uneventful day, I made a vow to myself to never to have a lame-o birthday ever again.
What transpired was a few years of chaos:
A road trip across the Midwest (Saskatchewan – North Dakota – Minnesota – Wisconsin – Illinois – Indiana – Ohio – Pennsylvania – New York – Ontario) with my mom.
A pub-crawl in San Francisco that I’m STILL talking about.
And now, to kick-start year twenty-four, a night of bands and drag queens in London, England with a couple of my best friends, Alyssa and Cailee.
During the day, we went to Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine, grabbed some Cheeky Nando’s, went shopping in Camden, and drank alcoholic milk-shakes at a rooftop restaurant.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? It gets better.
A few of my London-based colleagues were kind enough to get the three of us tickets to go and see Greg Holden with them at The Borderline.
Apologies for the blurry photo, but I think it accurately depicts the state of my mind.
The Borderline is an underground 300-person capacity venue in the heart of Soho. As you descend the stairs leading into the venue, music history will scream at you and show just how LEGENDARY of a place you are walking into. Photos of all the great artists who walked these stairs before you line the walls. Inside, Greg Holden wasn’t too shabby either.
The tiny venue was crammed to the brim with patrons, and Greg had each and every one of them wrapped around his little finger. The crowd was going absolutely wild during his performance – until he played a more recent composition of his,”Boys In The Street”. Greg demanded absolute silence before he began the song; which is a number about a father learning to accept the fact that his son is gay. The crowd obliged – absolute silence transpired until the line in the song where the father tells his son to “keep kissing boys in the street”. Cheering. A room so full of love and acceptance, I saw many pairs of eyes in the crowd tear up. It made me incredibly proud to have spent time on my birthday with such an incredible room full of strangers.
Check out the music video for “Boys In The Street” here:
After the show, I bid adieu to my colleagues and Alyssa, Cailee, and I went on a mission to continue our party. Not too far from The Borderline, we found an Irish-looking pub called Maggie Mays that was absolutely wild with people drinking and singing. “Rod Stewart”, I thought, and we went in.
It didn’t take long for us to notice that something was…. fabulous.
I went to the bar, ordered myself a Guinness, and then smiled at the lovely man in pink lipstick at the bar beside me. I looked around some more and noticed that the three of us were, in fact the only females in the room. Upon some chats with the patrons, I had discovered that we stumbled upon Maggie May’s Drag Queen Karaoke night!
Notice Cailee’s eyes in the bottom right hand corner.
The highlight of the night was when the pictured singer in pink sang “I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra. Everyone was on their feet yelling out the lyrics, beer was flying, it was a grand ol’ time.
They became new BFF’s.
After the Frank tune, however, we were told by the bar staff that it was last call (12 AM, London? Really?) and that we had to gear up to go. Interestingly enough, when we ordered our last round of drinks for the night, we were pounced upon by a group of men in town for an AC/DC concert that were only “sort-of” gay. I found this out by talking to the older man of the group who said that his buddy beside him was his “last resort”. Frankly I felt bad for his friend.
And here is Alyssa having an exorbitant amount of fun.
Sadly, after very interesting conversations with these AC/DC fans, the bar staff became serious about making us leave, and we were forced out on our drunken asses into the streets of London.
10/10 stars, birthday. You did me well.