Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Still recovering from last night's excursion to exotic West Norwood in South London. Me, my hubbie and a bunch of friends went to a bar/club called "Ego", billed as "South London's premier gay and lesbian nightspot." Judging by the experience I think the "premier" bit is stretching things a little. We all had a good time but I wouldn't call Ego the most, ahem, sophisticated of clubs and West Norwood doesn't appear to be the nicest part of London either, rather run down and dodgy and an odd location for a gay bar. But hey! Let's be fair, guys and gals. The provinces need their safe-havens for poofs and lezzers too. There is a world outside the fashion-conscious, looks-obsessed culture of Old Compton Street and Soho. It's just sometimes a bit of a naff and trashy one ... Ego being no exception. However I'm a good sport and always willing to embrace trashiness ...

As luck would have it, Saturday night at Ego is karaoke night and we ended up participating. Okay, confession time. I am a bit of a karaoke addict. That doesn't mean that I'm brilliant at it. I'd describe myself as having an above-average singing voice but my octave range is, shall we say, limited. However with the right crowd and atmosphere and a few drinks to bolster my courage, I will happily get up there to strut my stuff. It must be the performer and inner diva in me, dying to burst forth. I've got a few favourite numbers that I like to sing , such as "Physical" and "Material Girl", and I ended up doing these last night, as well as dueting on "You're The One That I Want" with a lady friend (and no I didn't sing the Olivia part). So yes, I'm no snob when it comes to karaoke.

As for the rest of the evening, we had a fun time hanging out in the front bar and then as the night progressed, we moved to the "dance area" at the back. Quite an impressive space actually, with a large stage at the end of the room that me and some of the girlies danced on. The music was a rather weird mismash though. House tunes followed by stuff like "Oh Carolina" by Shaggy and "Sorry" by Madonna, all thrown together in no particular order without much thought or decent mixing. That's another thing about provincial clubs. You don't get professional DJs as you would in clubs like "Heaven" and it can all be frighteningly amateurish and tacky. But if you're with friends who are up for a good time and boogie, and you've all had enough drinks, it probably doesn't matter too much. Certainly that's how we were last night, flinging ourselves around with wild abandon. Another nice aspect of the club was the fact that it wasn't crowded atall (unlike all the West End clubs) and there was plenty of room to express oneself on the dancefloor. I have a bit of a thing about personal space and don't really like being hemmed in by large crowds in clubs, so this was a welcome change.

As for Ego's patrons they were rather a mixed bunch. There was a fairly large number of trendy young men and women. Then there were the older gays, some of whom had rather "peculiar" dress sense. One fellow of advanced years who we witnessed in the bar was wearing a pair of tight cycling shorts that left very little to the imagination. Why is it wherever you go, you always see guys like this, desperate to remain young and show off their wares, even when they are clearly past it? Okay maybe that sounds cruel as we're all going to be old one day, but it's such a typical symptom of the gay scene. What about personal dignity, for gawd's sakes?? Mind you it's sights like this that make for a more entertaining evening and me and my friends couldn't resist a furtive giggle or two. There were also three transvestites (I counted them) in the establishment, which was nice to see. Quite decently dressed they were too, in contrast to some of the tawdry female impersonators one often sees on the scene. And then there were a bunch of very chavvy looking men and women who I assume were straight and locals. They'd probably come for a bit of a gawp at gay culture, and let's face it, this place was probably the hottest nightspot in the whole of West Norwood. Yes faggots and dykes really do have more fun.

We tumbled out of the club around 2am and made our way home. Today I have been nursing a slight hangover and taking it easy. However a good time was had by all. Not sure when we will next venture over to "Ego" though. I think I prefer "The Two Brewers" in Clapham which is the nearest equivalent to a gay local for us and somewhat more stylish. But when that karoeke urge grabs me again, who knows, Ego and West Norwood might just be calling...


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