London Burlesque Festival – Big Burlesque Day Out
Camden Dingwalls, 14th May 2016

The Big Burlesque Day Out was a beautiful place to be on a humid Saturday afternoon in the middle of May. The ladies did themselves proud with some terrific couture and some incredibly devious performances.

Everywhere we looked there was a sea of bottoms, corsets, and curves. Big lips, swinging hips, tassels, nipple rings and tattoos. Oh, and lingerie, lingerie, lingerie…

As an old landlord of mine used to say…

“IT WAS DIVINE!”

But all jokes aside, it was a fun show; great acts, joyful crowd, a wonderful representation of burlesque and the incredible industry that surrounds it.

With so many acts on display it’s tricky to cover every single one of them and do them all justice, so here’s a little sip of burlesque absinthe to make everything go warm and just a little bit fuzzy.

Speaking of warm and fuzzy (and absinthe)…the compere for day, Miss Cherry Bomb made a great entrance…

“Flesh! In the middle of the day! That’s what you’re all here for isn’t it?”

Ahem…

…and so onto the performances.

Dressed elegantly as Frida Kahlo, IsaBO slipped out in front of the crowd with deviousness and elegance. IsaBo’s slender frame dancing pointedly, eerily and mysteriously. Twisting and turning, IsaBO and her long fingers began pulling a beating heart from her chest, displaying it to the front row of the crowd. WOW! Dark and atmospheric and macabre, I really enjoyed this performance.

Kitty Petite tittered onto the stage with massive fairy tale malevolence – tiny footsteps, sneaky looks, an absolute rascal in hiding within a voluminous, sweeping cape. With her mischievous face, slender body, and all round naughtiness, Kitty was a fun-fun-fun performer to watch. The feisty girl even threw in a cheeky glitter cumshot. Fabulous!

“We can’t have a threesome today, but we can have one on Monday!”
Miss Cherry Bomb

Queenie was a slightly different act to the rest of the line up. If anyone hasn’t seen her, Queenie’s a more ‘Life Experienced’ member of the burlesque fraternity, but what magnificence she is. She’s one of those performers that you can’t help but love. Romping through a handful of songs, Queenie had the crowd singing every word with her. Including a thunderous rendition of ‘Do you think I’m sexy’, which drew waves of loving laughter from the audience, giving everyone a good hit of the warm and fuzzies. So thanks Queenie!

After that, I believe we indulged ourselves in some incredibly ravishing couture…

Hosted by the gorgeous Betty Royal, the LBF fashion show featured the talents of Lady May Den-Voyage, Markee de Saw, Whisky Falls, Brandy Montmartre, Tigress, and Kitty Petite. The clothing was by Jed Phoenix, Madame Pinup, Chameleon couture, Ava Corsetry, Marquissas Boutique, Nipplecious, (apologies if we’ve left someone out…us men are useless!). All in all, the couture was excellent and fun. I may not often wear these items, but the handiwork that goes into them is always incredibly impressive and of a really high standard. The ladies modelling the clothing looked equally wild and beautiful.

“Is that a ladder in your tights or just a stairway to heaven?”
Man in crowd to Laurie Black

The final set of the show began with the badass Laurie Black. Despite a couple of gremlins, Laurie conquered the crowd like a turbo-militant Joan of Arc. And we loved her for it! Laurie’s act revolved around chat up lines and drinking songs and anything else that gets you up to party during the night. All in all, Laurie’s an awesome, rocking lady with a righteous black and white barnet.

After those drinking songs we needed a dose of the gym – EIGHTIES style! And for this we got a feel good hit of the decade that hairdressers abused via Soup DeJour and her huge perm! Soup rampaged (good word for this act) through a bundle of 80s classics…’Jump’ ‘I need a hero’ and anything else that required big hair and an even bigger warehouse of hairspray. You can’t beat a bit of the gym in the afternoon, especially if someone else is doing all the working out!

With all energy spent (at least mentally) it was time to calm down and relax into the comforting arms of Lady May Den-Voyage…or at least that’s what we thought…

Performing Lady May’s Ride, Lady May Den-Voyage strode onto the stage looking every inch the powerhouse glamazon. Armed with a sultry expression, an elegant hat and veil, and tooled up with a riding crop for a symphonic degree of bottom slapping, Lady May went quickly to work by moving gracefully to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Nasty Naughty Boy’.

But then…what is this? Bottom spanking! Miss Cherry Bomb caught a booty load of it! To finish off her show, Lady May bent over and smoothed her long dress with her riding crop, before removing her attire and giving us all an elegant and devious striptease. An absolute (or should that be absolut?) showgirl.

So there we go. That. Is. That.

BA-BEE.

I think it was Mary Poppins that said ‘a spoonful of burlesque makes the medicine go down’.

Or maybe that was Dorian Gray…

Either way it’s a good piece of advice!

Fin.

We only managed to catch two shows at the festival, but it was quite cool covering two completely different events – this and the Tattoo Revue. The Tattoo Revue, as you’d expect, was more about the acts, the Big Day Out just as much about the clothing, attire, jewellery and industry surrounding burlesque. Maybe next year we’ll get to more LBF events, but on the basis of only these two shows, burlesque/cabaret and the industry that surrounds it is in very rude and healthy shape!

xx

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