XXL Saint Patrick’s Day

XXL are celebrating St Paddy’s in style!

As big beary club night XXL celebrate the luck of the Irish this Saturday, they’ll also be celebrating the birthday party of their inimitable head honcho, Mark Ames! We asked him about this year’s plans, and raucous birthday parties from years gone by.

1) What’s the maddest thing that’s happened at one of your birthday parties?

Everything has happened at my birthday bashes! Especially in the early days, things were far more risqué. From impromptu mad naked dancing, to simulated little people sex! I guess me and the Irish are connected in having a mad time on the 17th – but the craziest thing I’ve ever seen was 5 bears dressed like the village people who knew all the moves to Tragedy by Steps!

2) What’s been your favourite one?


My 50th a few years ago was special without a doubt. From the food, to the drag with Maisie Trollette, to the night itself, which was a mad hedonistic event with a good dose of Irish craic!

3) Who would be your dream party guest?

Quentin Crisp! He paved the way for us and paid for what we now take for granted. He may not be a bear but he was a gay hero in my book, and one hell of an entertaining old gent! Then again there’s also my old pal George Michael. I wish I could invite him back just one more time.

4) What’s been the most embarrassing moment at one of your parties?

Ooh easy! It was way back when I used work both the door and DJ in the old club’s third arch. So early on in the evening I’m on the door exchanging banter and Milly Mop comes in; a 6’3 drag queen who had just finished the night and was still in full regalia and 2ft blond wig.

A customer walks in and pays and says ‘I hope you’re not letting that type in. I’m a man that does only men not bitches!’ I say sorry to Milly, she looks and says ‘no worries I’m not fazed Mark’ and winks at me when I say she can go in to the loos and change…a few or more hours pass and I’m in the middle of my set (now my set was always tech trance oriented so lots of breakdowns and long low dreamy moments) picture if you can; a 6’3 skinhead in the middle of the dancefloor, with an obnoxious customer bent over and being royally abused, I hear ‘how do you like me now and who’s the bitch baby’…well that was Milly in her skin drag lol.

5) What’s been the most awkward moment?

A well-known club promoter friend of mine being spit roasted as I walked into a toilet at closing time I’ve never spun around so fast in my life! 

6) What are your plans for this year? 

We’ve Moto Blanco playing for my birthday and there will be lots of treats – go on go on go on go on we’ve got potato cocktails, potato beer, potato vodka we’re all going potato mad!

• XXL St Patrick’s Day is on Saturday 18th March. Pulse, 1 Invicta Plaza, SE1 9UF. 10pm – 7am. Members £10, non-members £15.