I have a treat for you guys today! The following post is by a good friend of mine, Loz Turlington, and her adventures at this year’s Bizarre Ball which took place over the weekend. Loz is a great writer, and it’s great to have this up on the site. This won’t be the last your hear from our Loz, don’t worry about that!
I am a very nervous person, I have been different to most people for years but I have never allowed that side of me to come out. This was out of fear of prejudice. Well, last night I was absolutely shitting myself as I was about to leave The Glass House hotel in London. I had to walk past a pub load of "normal" people whilst being dressed up, talk about your worst nightmare.
I am not kidding when I say that I ran from the hotel to the taxi (which, when wearing 4 inch stilettos is not the easiest thing to do), I could feel the eyes following me. After what seemed like a fecking marathon I got into the taxi. Ten minutes later we were outside the Coronet theatre and instantly I began to relax. PVC leggings, lingerie, blood splattered doctors and (most unfortunately) a lot of clowns, it seemed that nothing was out of bounds.
No drugs or alcohol needed, I was buzzing. I gave my name to the bloodied man on the door and in we went, first stop was the bar (naturally). The show had just begun and we were treated to an absolutely brilliant set from Joe Black, who is one of the funniest people I have ever come across. His version of Britney Spears, hit me baby, far outclassed the original.
The whole show was amazing, comedians, magicians, bands (including a brilliant band called the clowns). Everyone in there was so friendly, I was walking around with my camera nervously asking people if I could take their photo, everyone I asked said yes and ended up talking to us for the next 20 odd minutes.
The most nerve-racking photo request was to a clown, I have a phobia of clowns and had for the most part managed to avoid any contact with anyone dressed as a clown all night, but being slightly merry I decided that I had to get my photo taken with one just to show my friend Mel. I got the photo and proceeded to have about 5 cigarettes just to calm myself down, all the while my husband was laughing at me for being such a wuss.
There were so many jaw droppingly gorgeous tattoos on show, there were of course a lot of shit ones as well, but I decided to ignore them for the most part. At midnight my feet killing me from the height of the 4 inches, so we headed off to the illamasque lounge, £1 to get in and all in aid of the charity Sophie, we also were able to sit down, which was needed.
After only 2 minutes we were joined by a couple of others, who sparked conversation with us and who we ended up talking to us for the next 3/4 hour. It was here that I discovered that Sophie was a girl who had been kicked to death for looking different, this horrified me, in an age where we should accept each other for who we are I couldn’t believe that a crime like this could still happen. The way these guys talked about her, it was as if they had lost their own sister, there was such a genuine closeness and sadness from them.
After a little while of this thoughtful discussion the conversation veered off to who was a newbie and who was an old hat with the Bizarre Ball, one lady was wearing and black and white PVC dress with a matching hat, which looked absolutely fantastic and shocked me when she informed me that she had made it herself just the week before!!! I wish I’d took a picture now, but by this point I was far too drunk to be taking photos.
After this we were joined by a man from the 40’s air forces, he was actually wearing a genuine uniform, I gather he was in the know or worked at the ball, he reached down behind where we were sitting and pulled out a bottle of wine and a bottle of gin. I did feel rather gutted that right behind us for the past hour had been alcohol!!!
Sorry if I’m starting to get a little vague, but I had most definitely had my fill of alcohol by this point and well, my memory is a little vague anyway.
At about half one-ish, we decided we were hungry and tired, the show was closing, so we called a taxi and headed off to the kebab shop next door. Our taxi driver must have been eager, after only a couple of minutes, there he was. Ten minutes later we are back at the hotel, after 20 minutes of drunken stress as I tried to remove my contact lenses, which were having none of it, I finally succeeded and sat down to eat.
Can’t say I thought much to the bed, it reminded me of a scene from one of the nightmare on elm street films, where that guy gets sucked into the bed. I actually ended up moving to the floor out of fear of suffocation. 6.30am and we decided to beat the London traffic and buggered off home. We got back at 8am to a rather excitable dog (seriously I was in no mood for a three month old Jasper to be pissing on my leg) I gave him some food and fucked off to bed for the next erm 7 hours :D.
I can’t remember the last time I had such a good night out, everyone would talk to anyone. Women weren’t glared at or oggled at for wearing next to nothing, no comments of "freaks" were shouted to anyone, if you told someone that you liked what they were wearing they actually said thank you and talked about where they got it from, rather than getting up in your face and threatening you ‘cos they think you’re hitting on them.
I only have a few thought running through my head………….. what am I going to wear next year? Why are the drinks so expensive (£4.50 for a pint!!!shocking)? and where the hell did I get the day of the dead t-shirt from (I have no memory of being given it/buying it/nicking it etc)?
Thanks again Loz, for a great piece about the Ball! And for taking a picture with that clown, haha! What a star!
One thing I’d like to point out, by the way: The S.O.P.H.I.E Charity for Sophie Lancaster, which Loz mentioned in this piece, has associations with Bizarre’s Proud to the Different campaign. Every penny Bizarre makes from it goes to Sophie’s family. It’s a fantastic campaign, and you can support it today for less than the price of a pint by buying their lovely Proud to be Different badges. I have about five, they’re awesome. Buy one here, it can be your good deed of the day!