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London Astoria

[B]Gay Pride[/B], sorry [B]Pride[/B], sorry [B]Mardi Gras[/B], isn't political. At all. Is it?

London Astoria

So what exactly is this bash about? A fun-pop finale to Y2K's Gay Pride? Sorry, Pride? Sorry, Mardi Gras? Maybe the name changes are to help us forget that the event was originally inspired by the Stonewall Riots where, in 1969, a mob of frankly rather common rent boys and drag queens got so fucked off with police harassment and queer bashing that they went on the rampage and battered the NYPD black, blue and various nice shades of purple. Because we all know that 'gay' is NOT a political issue, right?

So on trotAll Saints(indie T-shirts and jeans), to mime 'Pure Shores', and the slightly debauched mob of sensibly dressed young men, scantily clad young women (plus a token smattering of pissed-up party dykes) go politely mental. But, unfortunately Melanie Blatt doesn't get her arse out to protest against the monarchy. Oh, when will she find this "rebellion" she's searching for? Well not tonight, that's for sure.

SHOLA AMA ups the sartorial stakes with her big soul-singer coat, but is immediately upstaged by the spectacularly raunchy HONEYZ who do the ooh err misssus classic 'Won't Take It Lying Down' wearing tasteful uniforms of red leather hot pants and high-heeled kinky boots.

There was no way DINA CARROLL's 'Ain't No Man' could compete with that, but the big shock of the evening is little BILLIE PIPER managing to make it to the end of 'Honey To The Bee' without collapsing. Well done, that crocodile-dentured dinky diva!

Eventually we have to sit through football-wife LOUISE NURDING's bog-awful '2 Faced', but before that we get BANANARAMA doing their 'rape' song, 'Robert De Niro's Waiting 2000'.

So what else happens? Well, an agitator takes the stage and points out that the closet-case Nazi shit currently doing six life terms for planting bombs in Brick Lane, Brixton and Old Compton Street isn't just the lone nutter he's been portrayed in the tabloid press, but he is in fact symptomatic of a more widespread reactionary malaise, aided and abetted not only by those self-same tabloids, but also by the Keep Clause 28 campaign and a certain political party led by a recently married man whose main leisure activity appears to be getting hot and sweaty on the judo mat with a (male) ex-Olympic athlete. This same troublemaker then goes on to berate the crowd for the way the gay "scene" ignores the aspirations of working-class homosexuals and calls for the re-radicalisation of the 'movement' along the lines of class struggle.

Or rather he doesn't. Because Gay Pride, sorry Pride, sorry Mardi Gras, isn't political. At all. Is it?

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