Lauren Bacall: My Sunday afternoon saviour

Lauren Bacall + To Have and Have Not 5Sunday afternoons. The Mid Seventies. Frinton On Sea. Not the  greatest way to spend a childhood. No video games, no box sets, no distraction from the grey rain and mind blowing bad taste wallpaper that surrounded me.  Just me, my sis and a rented TV. Which it turns out was all I needed. Those grainy black and white or glorious technicolour cinemascope cinematic distractions saved me. And today as we say farewell to one of the stars of those Sunday afternoons, the captivating beauty and sassy style icon that was Lauren Bacall I’m grateful for a childhood before games on thrones or endless Simpsons re-runs. I didn’t need an invite to come dine with me or the desire to play heartless hammering landlords, I had a world of glamour, intrigue, style and grace. I had Bacall. And Bogart and Mills and Munroe and Olivier and Hepburn and Streisand and Howard and Gable and Day and Welles and Douglas and Perkins and Peck and Leigh and Swanson and Davis and O’Toole and Guinness and Kerr. And they in turn had my childhood imagination. And now, although the dressing up box and the dodgy accents and strange ‘playing in the shed’ re-imaginings are long gone, they still have my heart. So rest in peace Ms Bacall. Your were one of my first perfect distractions. Here’s to many more Sunday afternoons fuelled with the imagination you gave me.

 

Robin Williams: There but for the grace go I

600full-robin-williamsTonight another family is numb. Numb from the pain of losing a beloved one. A beloved one who could not numb the pain he felt. And tonight I’m angry.  Angry and afraid. If you can’t get a handle on the black dog at the age of 63 where does it leave those of us coming up behind? If money and fame and success can’t steam the tide of loneliness, fear and sadness what can?

Just like Gary Speed before him, the news of Robin Williams untimely death reminds me there is so much more we need to do to combat this most common of illnesses. One in four, yes one in four of us will experience a mental health problem within their lifetime. Add the many who love those one in four and you have travesty in health care provision that we must address. Not with endless waiting lists, quick pharma fixes, heartless benefit re-assessments or stigma but with care, compassion and fair funding. Support me in living with depression and I can be the person I really can be. Support me and I find my way through life without stumbling. I can work, live, contribute and be me.

I live daily with my depression thanks to luck, love and meds. Occasionally I fall through the cracks. I don’t have access to regular care and talking therapies is a pipe dream with a waiting list longer than an Arsenal Season Ticket. When I require help I have to beg the NHS mental health services, such as they are, or and lean upon the kindness of others – usually funded by charities such as MindOut. (Hence my support of Brighton Pride & The Rainbow Fund – who continuing support enables such groups to carry out their vital work within our community).

And there’s the meds. Oh the meds. Each coming with a list of side effects to make one, well really fucking depressed. Weight gain, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, blinding headaches, insomnia, low sex drive and even suicidal thoughts are apparently the acceptable price to pay to be ‘normal’ as your mood is stablised to the delightful stage of “fuck it, who cares!”. So you have to make decisions – off or on meds. You or not you. A chemically adjusted and oh so acceptable soul that Ian Duncan Smith would heartily approve of but with the lights off inside. No wonder so many of us recalibrate this adjustment with self medication – the balance has to be made somehow.

At my lowest, and I’m not proud of this, I wish for cancer or heart disease, for anything visible, funded and taken seriously. I know there are those who live with conditions who also have to fight for the right for care and the world is an harsh and expensive place at the mercy of budget cuts and privatisation but something has to be done. As a society we need to acknowledge that this most insipid and invisible of illnesses is a very real threat. To society, to our families and to ourselves. Because when the Twitter tributes are done and the headlines are forgotten, the stories of the destruction caused by depression will remain, will continue to be told.  For Robin’s sake, for our sakes we need to change this story’s ending.

To join Mind’s Access To Talking Therapy Campaign – the basic right to access help within 28 days please go to www.mind.org.uk

Why Brighton Pride really matters to me

Pride2014_MasterLogoSo here we go, Pride Brighton & Hove 2014. That time of the year where you can’t buy glitter for love nor money, your to do list is the most random its ever been (beer, gay paper fans, Forde hairdo, fresh peas, Donna Summer mask?) and your just days away from the finest love fuelled moments you’ve had since, erm last Pride. Yep my glorious city is getting gay, gay, gay in a big, big way.

So stand by your sequined beds, its time for my annual loved up Wildblood words. Because I do feel loved up. Brighton Pride always does that to me. And this year more than ever. Since March I’ve been spending my days writing about and for Brighton Pride and its truly amazing the amount of diverse content I’ve written. From disco divas to drag queens, alt cabaret, queer rock, fair disabled access, Pride Village Party, DJs, singers, bears, club nights, politicians, orange jumpsuits, mods & rockers, Divine filmstars, theatre, queer artists, comedy, nightclub history, generous sponsors, Pride Ambassadors, fun runs, fundraising, pampered pooches, literature, Baby Chillax, Rainbow Rooms – I’ve written it all. And each and everyone has done one thing for me, apart from the occasional bout of RSI, they’ve spelt out the importance of this thing we call Pride. Its something for all of us, however we take our Pride.

My harddrive is filled with stories of community, of diversity and support.  And I’m so chuffed that together as a city we can all make that so. Because we are amazing and together we can achieve so much. Pride Brighton & Hove 2014 is set to smash last years fundraising total, raising even more money for The Rainbow Fund ensuring they can support the LGBTQ organisations that we all rely on, the Brighton bedrock we all need.

But for me its also been so much more than just local. Together with The Kaleidoscope Trust, ILGA, Paul Kemp, Chris Jepson and James Brooks I’ve been a part of Brighton Pride’s 78 Countries Freedom To Live campaign. And boy is it needed. Spend a few hours in the company of some of the world’s state sponsored homophobic laws and you begin to understand the urgency.  Pride is so much more than a local concern,  this community of ours is global and we need to stand together with the world’s LGBTQ community and state loud and proud, no more, not in our name. Yes it may seem like a placard in the ocean, but by highlighting the inequalities and persecution so many of our fellow queers live with on a daily basis we can make a difference.

So that is why Brighton Pride Matters to me. When the glitter is swept away, the hangovers drowned in Berocca and the party is over, Pride will still deliver. Campaigning, fundraising and connecting. This weekend, somewhere, some soul will see a placard with their countries name on it. And they’ll know they are not alone. That we are here, working for their Freedom To Live, to love, to be. Just like you and me.

Have a safe and wonderful Brighton Pride. See you at the front.

Queenie gets some Golden Handbag action with Claire Fuller

2Queenie catches up with the fabulous Golden Handbag winning, ever busy DJ Claire Fuller to hear all about her Pride plans and beyond……

Congratulations on winning the Golden Handbag for being Brighton’s favourite DJ – how did it feel when your name was called out? Thank you (blushes)! I went into a trance, my girlfriend Natalie was shouting “you won, you won” and I was just sitting there stunned! I can honestly say it was one of the proudest moments of my life and such an honour. And to be awarded it on stage by Miss Jason and the huge hug I received from David Raven made it extra special. So thanks to everyone who voted for me!

Do you have a favourite Pride tune? It is such an obvious choice but for me it has to be We Found Love Calvin Harris ft Rihanna. When I dropped it in the Girls Dance Tent last year and the whole tent erupted….. It was a feeling only a DJ would truly understand!

Which tune will you definitely be playing this Pride? I have a mash up of Alex Gaudino’s Destination Calabria that transitions into Dr Dre’s Next Episode that gives me massive goose bumps. I can’t wait to see the crowd’s reaction!

What are you most looking forward to this Pride? There is so much…Katy B is going to be amazing, and the street party sounds like it’s going to be awesome! I’m also looking forward to seeing Collabro perform on the main stage because I know Richard (one of the lads) and I know how hard those boys have worked to get where they are.

What is your best Pride memory? Where do I start? I’m just so grateful to be a part of it! But I think it has to be the main stage last year, looking out and seeing 1000’s of people in front of the decks was just mind blowing.

What’s been your favourite ever gig? Girls Dance Tent last year!!!!!

Go on…..tell us a secret! I like to sing at karaoke… You have been warned!

Claire’s August Top Five

Sigma ft Paloma Faith Changing (Original mix) 3 Beat More

Ella Henderson Ghost (Dan Dalys sunshine Remix) Syco

Oliver Heldens ft Becky Hill Gecko (Overdrive) Parlaphone

Marvin Gaye Sexual healing (Freemasons vocal mix) Last.fm

Idina Menzel Let It Go (Dave Aude club remix) Warner Brothers

Catch Claire over Brighton Pride at Audio for Girls, Girls, Girls: Pride Lesbian Terrace Party on Friday 1st August, The Girls Dance Tent and Main Stage at Preston Park, Legends and Koochy at Concorde2 on Saturday 2nd August and POP CANDY Closing Party at Legends on Sunday 3rd.  Residencies at Pop Candy!, Legends and Yates Bar. Claire is also launching her own ‘girls who like girls’ night at Club Envy on Thursday 7th August.

Claire Fuller on Facebook

 

Wildblood + Queenie’s August Wonders

08_Gscene_Aug14Here we go then. Brighton’s finest day is almost upon us and we are a tad bit overexcited. Yes its time to get a wiggle on at Brighton Pride and get proud with the ones we love in the city we love for a cause fuelled by love. Is that enough love for ya? If not here comes some more, sound style.

First up is the glorious twisted electronica of Mason’s Zoa on Animal Language. A joyous journey of jammed electronica, this is an essential adventure in quirky beats. As is the oasis of deep basslines that is Boutique Hostal Salinas Ibiza Compiled by David Phillips & PBR Streetgang on Seamless. Always a must-go for the decent, PRS Streetgang and David Phillips deliver a magical ride filled with disco, deep groove house and techy beats. One for your beach loving days. Also worth your attention are the downtempo wonders of Tecs Evergreen’s
 Overtone on Dusty Records and the techno goodness of Collection of Retrospective on Loose Records.

Finally our must-haves. First up is the funk-fuelled, kooky, bleeping house of Freaks Psych on Rebirth – never have two lasses got their wiggle on quite like we did to this one! Second is the dirty smooth of Minimal Kid Enzo Siffredi’s Raw on Wired. A local wonder this assured debut will keep you hot till dawn, just how Enzo likes it. And finally there’s the breathtaking Mating Call by Nick Monaco on Soul Clap Records. Oh our days. This has us smitten and easily one of 2014’s finest with its utterly unique and enchanting soulful deep beats and hip-hop tendencies. Adored.

Enjoy your Pride celebrations. Freedom to dance. Freedom to love. Freedom to live.

Wildblood and Queenie’s August Top Ten

Andreas Saag In The Box Local talk  Sometime the beauty is in the simplicity. Fall for Andreas today.

Kahwe Deeper Love Anjunadeep Find your deeper love inside with Kahwe this Pride.

No Artificial Colours The Menace Madtech 6am grooves from house music colour wonders.

Bambook Humble Hearts (Finnebassen Remix) Culprit Top tune. Top remix. Top of the day to ya.

Huxley Callin Aus Music  He does it again. We are not worthy.

Hot Natured Benediction (Nic Fanciulli Mix) Hot Creations / FFRR  One for the festival heads as Nik stars in the sunshine.

LTMDTW x Jesse Boykins III The Rain (illyus & Barrientos Rmx) Madtech  Joyous deep tech vibe house that will keep you screaming for more.

Phil Weeks It’s The Inside That Counts Robsoul  Sample heaven from the master         .

Carl Hanaghan Feat. Beth Illuminate Me Discopolis Recordings  Joyous stuff to ensure a loved up summer

Diana Ross The Boss (Dimitri from Paris Remix) Defected  With this on the terrace of love Sunday Sundae is gonna blow!

Catch Wildblood and Queenie at HAW (With Fashion), Wild Fruit Dance Tent, Calabash, DSD, Wild Fruit at Audio and Sunday Sundae. For more info go to www.brighton-pride.org

 

Queen Josephine’s Brighton Pride 2014 Weather Forecast

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Queen Josephine’s Brighton Pride Weather Forecast 2014. Brought to you by that Wildblood, Queenie, Pritt Stick, gaffa, Mandi’s golden lamé, poster paints, glitter and some shite what we got off eBay. Filmed in Campicolor.

 

Catch Queenie and Wildblood doing their proud thing at HAW (With Fashion), DSD, Wild Fruit & Calabash tent @ Brighton Pride Festival, Wild Fruit at Audio, BPLW Secret Garden Party and Sunday Sundae. For tickets and more info here.

We get to do this camp nonsense because we don’t live in one of the 82 countries where homosexuality is criminalised. There but for the grace of location go we. #freedomtolive

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