Interview: The founders of Edinburgh LGBT club night Dive!
The Annabels aim to present 'something inclusive, accessible and unique... A proper dance party!'
'The scene is too quiet! It needs a shake-up,' claims Miss Annabel Sings. And a shake-up is exactly what eclectic underground queer party Dive! promises. February marks the annual LGBT History Month, featuring a programme of art, dance, literature, film, and discussion, all centred on celebrating and commemorating queer culture. If it all sounds a bit worthy, don't worry as there's plenty of opportunity for a good old knees-up. And it doesn't get better than the Dive! duo's closing party.
Dive! is a regular monthly cabaret at Henry's Bar, but this time it's being uprooted to Summerhall. The event is Edinburgh born and bred: Miss Annabel Sings met her partner-in-crime, also named Annabel, at the Edinburgh Festival four years ago, and decided to launch their own night because they were bored of the Edinburgh LGBT scene. 'We felt it was a stale, middle-aged man's vision of what's fun in a gay scene,' says Annabel Cooper. 'It was all a bit cheesy, commercial and cliquey.' And what did the Annabels want instead? 'Something inclusive, accessible and unique. Something with a sense of masquerade and escapism. A proper dance party!' Party-goers can expect drag shows, live art, burlesque, magic, and dancing. 'We want a real festival atmosphere with plenty of surprises. We want people to not know quite where they are or what will happen next.'
It's all hosted by Miss Annabel Sings, and features performances from Michelle La Belle, Till-da Swindle, Mistress Chipz, and DJ Shapeshifter. Music is of the house and electro ilk, and comes from DJ Heavy Flow of Glasgow alternative queer night Birdcage, and Simonotron of Hot Mess. Did we mention that it's all free? There's a suggested donation of £5, with all profits going to community organisation LGBT Youth Scotland. Celebrate queer culture, support LGBT young people, and dance yourself silly – all in one go. Can't say fairer (or queerer) than that.
Summerhall, Edinburgh, Fri 28 Feb.