S.L.A.G.S BY THE DOZEN

The South London Action Girls Society – Or S.L.A.G.S/Chill Out to its many fans and friends – celebrates an amazing twelve years of Sunday shenanigans this weekend. We sent Lee Dalloway to speak to the people who make it pop!

THE D.E. EXPERIENCE

She’s been the grand dame of S.L.A.G.S/Chill Out for years now, so we asked the fabulous D.E. Experience to tell us more about her fondest memories of the Sunday shindig…

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Your best, most-heartwarming moment: It cannot be equalled and is so easy to remember. My Mum went blind quite some years back, and is really quite disabled, but she came to the RVT to see the show. She’d always seen shows of mine before she lost her sight and had often driven me to gigs as we’ve always been so close. But to introduce her to my other family at S.L.A.G.S. and to see the reception she got, I was truly amazed and so proud, both of Mum and the boys and gals at the RVT.

Your worst, most sphincter-closing, hideous moment: Well, frankly, you’d have to go some to close that! But I’ve often wondered what happened to the straight woman who, after taking her first ever recreationals in some other venue, flipped out, dropped her knickers, peed in a glass at the front of the stage and drank the lot down as if it were a Budweiser. I was in the middle of my Karen Carpenter and suddenly my desire to vomit was just as strong.

Your funniest moment: I always laugh when I recall the gentleman who appeared one Sunday after the show at the then dressing room door, which was nothing more than a curtain. He asked me for my autograph and when I said, “Sure, love, of course”, he took out his erect penis. Suffice to say…I initialed it.

Your best heckle/comeback: I don’t really get heckled; they know they take their life in their hands! I think I can be self-deprecating on stage and the crowd are so friendly, there seems little need to shout out. But if someone heckles it’s generally badly executed and they’re often Welsh… you know who you are!

 

ANDY ALMIGHTY

Along with Simon Le Vans and Sean Sirrs, Andy Almighty has been one of the main driving forces behind S.L.A.G.S/Chill Out since it began. Here he explains how the party originated…

During ‘97/’98, the Fridge kept culling their weekly Love Muscle Saturday night, and there was a fair amount of public anger from their customer base with each closing. It was being such a devoted fan of Love Muscle that led me to set about making an alternative for all those clubbers left without their weekly fix of big room vocal anthems.

Uncertain that Love Muscle might return (which it did, sporadically), I settled for a Sunday afternoon, albeit a very low budget affair with zero backing and no advertising spend. I figured it would be a fairly clever move to take the post-Saturday night chill-out’s out of people’s living rooms and put them into a small venue.

In those days, at the Red Cap, we used to open from midday and run through ‘til 8pm! It was a dingy horrible venue with tatty sofas and tables and chairs surrounding the dance floor, yet it seemed the perfect space to hold these parties.

Similarly, when we switched to the RVT, the venue was the perfect size and in exactly the right location. Then, Crash (now Union) was the only Vauxhall based nightclub; there was just DTPM and us on a Sunday. Orange came some months later to a run-down pub in Rotherhithe. Now, of course, Sunday is the preferred day by many to go clubbing!

I think the secret of the success of our Sundays is that we’ve created something totally unique – and our customers love it for being so. Many think of S.L.A.G.S/Chill-Out as a weekly gathering of friends – it really does feel like one big family in there every Sunday! It’s the friendly local with the no attitude and no bullshit policy.

There’s absolutely no doubt though that the D. E. Experience is the RVT’s real star! We’re so lucky to have him exclusively at the RVT. Jonathan is by far the best cabaret artist on the gay scene – probably the best ever

 


Don’t miss the S.L.A.G.S/Chill out 12th birthday at RVT, (372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY) on Sunday 24th July.


 

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