13/10/10: 2009’s Golden Boy, X Factor winner Joe McElderry, was back as man of the moment last week – at his new single’s G-A-Y signing. A solid crowd of guys were out in force to share it with him – forming a queue that looped around the ground floor, leading everybody in an orderly fashion past the ‘Ambition’ single stands that claimed one corner of the bar. CDs in hand, the crowd slipped coolly upstairs, increasing the pace considerably on the last few steps, and bolting in amongst the tight body of fans steadily taking up one side of the upper floor. There, amongst all the fit, upstanding young men, sat McElderry behind the velvet rope, pen at the ready. In the two hours or so Joe catered to the crowds, his brilliant white smile shone steadily – brightening at the times the crowd belted out his tracks as they beamed across the TV screens. Comments and sneaky kisses flowed, camera phones captured his light chatter and cuddles from every angle – and when the night culminated, the two women who’d held court at the front the whole time (no mean feat), delightedly handed over a handful of parting gifts amidst a resurgence of shrieks and snaps. Joe was led away, smiling, through the side door, whilst we, and hundreds of others, were left doing a ‘McElderry grin’ from ear to ear too.

    G-A-Y Bar, 30 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4TQ
    Words by Yafeu-Khamisi Rodway Brown
    Photos by Chris Jepson