QX Cabaret reporter Jason Reid checked out not one, not two, but SIX of the USA’s biggest drag/cabaret stars as they perform an exclusive run at Pulse for XXL’s Bear Pride week. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Kinsey Sicks, Peppermint and Sherry Vine!
Pulse London, usually the home to one of London’s top club nights, XXL welcomed an array of America’s finest drag performers as an alluring hors d’oeuvre leading up to their mammoth Bear Pride celebrations.
Dragapella group, The Kinsey Sicks, were the first to take to the stage of the vast club with their show, ‘America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild’.
Looking like they’d just stepped out of a saccharine-infused 50’s sitcom, the Kinsey’s proved that looks can be very deceptive as they sardonically satirised the jaded culture of reality TV and that vacuous modern day need that some people have, to achieve five minutes of ‘fame’ at any cost. We joined them in the jungle and followed their own reality hell, trying to succeed at challenges that involve singing, dancing, dating, dieting and large insects.
Wonderfully crude and exceptionally clever parodies with intricate wordplay and performance style were served up as a capella four part harmonies that dazzled.
The girls work together expertly, with fluid dialogue and seamless delivery. At times I found myself wondering if any of the vocal gymnastics were actually coming from another backing source, such was the standard of quality. And if that wasn’t enough of showing off their talents, they even shoehorned a Yiddish song in!
Some of the best parody material you’ll see around delighted the audience, with ‘Sisters, Sisters’ changed to ‘Fisters, Fisters’ and ‘Mein Herr’ changed to ‘Beaver Hair’ being two of my personal favourites.
Miss Peppermint and Sherry Vine took the baton for the second part of the evening, and couldn’t have been more different, promising an authentic New York City drag show. They opened their set by paying tribute to those greats of British musical history (raises eyebrow) the Spice Girls, with costumes emblazoned with glorious Union Jack flags.
These two gel together like a duo that have been at it for decades! And the onstage chemistry is obvious for all to see. Peppermint strutted and werked the stage (and audience) like a demented, fierce, snake-hipped diva, oozing attitude from every pore, shaking her weave and ass simultaneously like a young Tina Turner on speed. And it does, at times, feel like you’re watching a diva show, with a ping-pong set of uptempo pop hits, parody numbers and more costume changes than on Oscar night.
Sherry’s parodies, that have been huge YouTube hits – especially ‘Let’s Have a Pee Pee’ – will also have you roaring and singing along. These sassy bitches work hard for their money. I loved them.
The evening was one of those rare treats in which we got to see some really class cabaret performers from across the pond that are at the top of their game. Superb dear!
• Catch the The Kinsey Sicks, Peppermint and Sherry Vine at Pulse (1 Invicta Plaza, South Bank, SE1 9UF) every night until Friday 24th May. Kinsey Sicks start at 7.30pm, followed by Miss Peppermint and Sherry Vine at 9.30pm.
• Tickets £20 in advance from www.clubtickets.com
By Jason Reid
Photos by joel-ryder.com