"You want me to stand at the top of the stairs and do what?"
So, to recap, it's 1986, and the seventeen year old Misssy M and similarly fresh-faced and clinically naive room-mate are being sent unwittingly to a gay club in deepest Glasgow by said room mate’s evil sister. (Read my last post now if you haven’t already or else I’ll come off as being even more stupid than this post already implies).
Armed with directions to “Glasgow’s best club”, excited about promises of “loads of fit blokes” and smelling winningly of Cacharel’s premier seller, Anaiis, Anaiis ( since scientifically proven to be Kryptonite to the homosexual male) we set off.
We were already apprehensive about “going into town”, anyway. Up until this point, we’ve been drinking Cider and Black in the University Union, comforted by the fact that every other person in there was a young idiot, just like us. Town- actual town- is a different matter. Both of us are still underage. Both of us are from the kind of towns where the highlight of the month is the Friday night they turn over the local hotel’s function suite into a “Rugby Club disco”. And, crucially, both of us look about thirteen years old.
Off we head to Bennett’s Night Club excitedly. When I look back now, there were signs that two overly Be-Elnetted lassies with badly applied eyeliner and a Michael Hutchence fixation were going to be disappointed. Notice I said disappointed, not unwelcome. For we were never unwelcome at Bennett’s. After all, we weren’t the only ones there with badly applied eyeliner, too much Elnette hairspray and a Michael Hutchence fixation. We just didn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi.....that certain...that...erm, ....a penis.
So, as we walked up the stairs, we noticed a bizarre amount of Coronation Street stars have been there before us and left framed autographed portraits on the walls. Weird....
"Thanks to all at Bennett’s...lots of love Liz Dawn*”
And there's photos from quite few Hi -Energy popstrels, like the late Divine, Hazel Dean, and Sinitta (“So Macho” anyone? Jeez, how many more bloody clues do these two kids need? Marc Almond standing at the top of the stairs in leather chaps and nipple clamps shouting, “There’s nothing for you two here!!” whilst quaffing the pint of legend??**)
But up the stairs we went into the club and I tell you, there’s nothing I’d like more than to see a video of us over the next sixty minutes as we get drinks, practically high five each other on not getting ID’d, and slowly suss out that there are no other women there. No other women, and crucially, the blokes DON’T SEEM BOTHERED about that fact.
And what makes me laugh most is that had there at least been a token few lesbians in the club that night then we wouldn’t have twigged for the whole night (The girls must have had Fridays,or something, that’s my guess; it was purely gay men on the Saturday Night that we went). We would have just thought we’d lost whatever little pulling Mojo we had, and been a little miffed. Unless of course we’d pulled and that would be a whole other Sapphic brand can of worms.
But there weren’t any reality-cloaking lesbians there that night. Just two wee lassies with the realisation dawning VERY SLOWLY on us that, whilst Abba is fine to dance to in your living room when no-one else is in, it’s a bloody long time since you’ve heard it play in a nightclub. And seen it so enthusiastically received
And then, just as two little girls are getting a little bit into Taylor Dayne’s “Searchin (Lookin’ for Love)” than is normal for a seventeen year old with Cure records in her collection, one of them spots something that she has never seen before. And a penny is falling with such an enormous vigour, that all the other pennies are leaping off the cliff like lemmings trying to catch up with their fallen friend.
And worst of all, we’re such a couple of gayblivious (yes, I’m using the word again because I invented it two days ago and it’s now my favourite word ever) muppets that we don’t/can’t hide the utter shock we feel at the very sight of moustache on moustache and our jaws drop to the deck. My memory on this is hazy, but we may even have pointed. The shame of it. Don’t judge me; all I’m saying is that shock can do weird things to a person.
At this point, looking back, we now know that a group of blokes have been watching us from the bar, sniggering and probably laying bets on how long it will take before we suss out that we are IN THE WRONG PLACE.
And we’re in such catatonic shock, that we’re probably open mouthed for a good five minutes before this very nice man comes over and says,
“Girls, have a drink on us and we’ll tell you where you’d probably have a better night. Bennets maybe isn't for you.”
Aaah, the kindness of strangers.
I have NEVER been so embarrassed in my entire life. And for the record, if a silly wee girl with crimped hair and oversized earrings sniggered and pointed at you whilst you were making your move, in Bennett’s Nightclub one Saturday, I am truly sorry and can report that I have since grown up.
*Liz Dawn: Along with fellow cast mate, Lynne Perrie (Ivy Tilsley), Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth), formerly of top rating British Soap, Coronation Street, was well known for her cabaret act a particular draw in gay clubs up and down the country.
** If you don’t know the Marc Almond urban myth then click here, but if you are repelled or offended easily, then DO NOT (and then ask yourselves why you are reading the Misssives.)