BPREVIEW: Opulence Presents: Mother’s Meeting – featuring Virgin Xtravaganzah, Mickey Taylor, Twiggy @ The Nightingale Club 20.07.18

Opulence Presents: Mother’s Meeting @ The Nightingale Club 20.07.18

Words by Eleanor Sutcliffe

On Friday 20th July, Opulence Presents: Mother’s Meeting – featuring Virgin XtravaganzahMickey Taylor, and Twiggy at The Nightingale Club in Birmingham. Doors are open from 9pm, and whilst all Early Bird tickets have sold out you can still get advance tickets for £6 – click here for online ticket sales.

N.B. A limited number of tickets will be also available on the door for £7, but these cannot be reserved and are expected to go early. For direct event information visit the Opulence Presents: Mother’s Meeting Facebook Event Page by clicking here.

Opulence are one of Birmingham’s leading drag collectives, who strive to host fun and safe events for Birmingham’s ever growing drag scene. Their debut Mother’s Meeting at Jesters Bar back in April was a rousing success, and this month’s event looks to be even bigger –with Opulence moving the event to the larger Nightingale Club, and three artists schedules to perform as well as Opulence’s resident drag queens.

First up is Virgin Xtravaganzah, a London based queen who has been coined the ‘Mother of Gawd’. Mixing high fashion imagery, comedy and witty song parodies, Xtravaganzah is no stranger to the stage having performed at The Underbelly Festival and can be found hosting London’s infamous Torture Garden fetish parties.

Not exactly where you’d expect to find the Holy Mother, however Xtravaganzah’s interpretation of the Virgin Mary couldn’t be further from what we’re used to – think latex, leather corsets and towering heels as opposed to linen robes and rosary beads.

Next is Mickey Taylor, a singer songwriter who to date has two solo albums and an international tour under his belt. His music is ethereal, dance type tracks – for fans of artists such as Halsey, Lana Del Ray and Troye Sivan.

Taylor has an impressive fan base, having built his reputation through the adult entertainment industry and scooping numerous awards at the British Prowler Porn Awards. His latest album, Midnight Palace, shows a much more refined style in comparison to his gay-pop debut, Puppets Lament, back in 2016.

Finally, Birmingham’s very own lip-sync darling, Twiggy, will also be featured at Mother’s Meeting; Twiggy is one of the Midlands’ best-known drag artists, having honed their craft as a performer back in the 1980s.

Describing their life as “one long fancy dress party”, Twiggy’s signature outrageous club kid style (and headdress) has made them a cult figure of the UK’s drag scene, whilst also becoming the glamorous face of many Birmingham clubs from Miss Moneypenny’s to S.L.A.G. and Sundissential. Having performed at Birmingham’s very first Pride back in 1982, Twiggy is seen as one of the founding mothers of Brum’s gay village and drag scene.

With three headliners plus Opulence’s very own drag entourage, expect to see the likes of Yshee Black, Nora Virus, Elliot Barnicle, and drag duo Cocktail Sausage (Petite and Pork Pie) also grace the stage throughout the night.

Opulence Presents: Mother’s Meeting at The Nightingale Club on Friday 20th July – featuring Virgin Xtravaganzah, Mickey Taylor, and Twiggy. For direct information, including links to online ticket sales, click here.

For more on Virgin Xtravaganzah, visit www.virginxtravaganzah.com

For more on Mickey Taylor, visit www.misfitarmy.com 

For more on Twiggy, visit www.instagram.com/twiggybirmingham

For more on Opulence, visit www.facebook.com/opulencebirmingham

For more from The Nightingale Club, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.nightingaleclub.co.uk


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

BPREVIEW: Birmingham Pride @ 26/7.05.18

BPREVIEW: Birmingham Pride @ 26/7.05.18Words by Ed King

On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May, Birmingham Pride 2018 takes over the Gay Village in Birmingham City Centre – with the main festival taking place in venues and open spaces across Hurst Street, Kent Street and Lower Essex Street.

The ‘Be You’ Birmingham Pride 2018 Carnival Parade will be held on Saturday 26th May, starting in Victoria Square and winding its way down to the festival site entrance at the Hippodrome end of Hurst Street – via New Street, Carrs Lane and Smallbrook Queensway. People can assemble in Victoria Square from 10:30am, with the Parade beginning at 12noon.

Participation in the ‘Be You’ Birmingham Pride 2018 Carnival Parade is free and open to all ages, with a variety of individual day and weekend tickets available for the main Birmingham Pride 2018 festival. For direct event information, including details on all the venues and acts taking part in Birmingham Pride 2018, click here or check out the online Pride Guide below.

Birmingham Pride, as we know it today, is celebrating 21 years on the city’s cultural calendar. The first Pride rally took place in Birmingham in 1972, a week after London hosted the inaugural event to mirror the North American based originals. But Birmingham Pride has moved from the more politically charged, and necessarily so, declaration of solidarity to a broadly inclusive event with both unity and entertainment at its heart.

Mercifully, the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in the UK have arguably tempered and evolved since the institutionalised bigotry of yesteryear. Not to say there isn’t work still to be done, and attitudes yet to challenge and change, but the annual Birmingham Pride events feel much more like a citywide celebration than a daring public stance from a brave but maligned community. Plus, they’re just awesome fun. Tell me where else you’re going to see a rainbow display of Disney characters and Norse Gods drinking cider and dancing to Livin’ Joy? Tins Tins ‘aint open anymore, so…

And in keeping with inclusivity, this year theme for the Birmingham Pride events is ‘Be You’ – which is quite a clear and simple message. And knowing a few of the wonderfully warped minds that stalk our city I can’t wait to see the costumes for this one.

But what’s on stage? Too much to go through with a toothcomb, but the Main Stage Saturday acts include the all kinds of awesome Beth Ditto, our favourite footballer’s ex-wife Louise, followed by the Spotify smashing Kim Petras and Birmingham’s own Stefflon Don.

Sunday goes back to the glory days of 90’s House with Baby D, Kym Mazelle and Livin’ Joy, before pop stalwart Howard Jones and Scissor Sisters’ frontman Jake Shears close off the live sets. But never fear dear hearts, you’ve got DJ sets from Rudimental and Paul Morrell to round it all off. Can’t complain.

And if dance music is your thing then you’re in luck, with Birmingham Pride 2018 hosting its own Dance Arena featuring DJs and acts including Lisa Sharred, The Acid Experiment, Low Steppa, Tom Shorterz, Jamie Bull, Hooker Club, Gorgon City and DJ zine amongst others. Plus, there’s every venue on and within a stone’s throw of Hurst Street pitching in with pretty much something for everyone’s dancefloor.

Birmingham Pride 2018 also has its cabaret Marquee, hosting a catalogue of the fabulous, outrageous and fabulously outrageous from Saturday to Sunday. And whilst there are a few names we though might be on the bill that aren’t, especially against the burgeoning new backdrop of Birmingham’s drag and performance art community, there are enough familiar faces to ensure a riot in all the right places – including Ginny Lemon, Miss Penny, Tanya Hyde, Miss Thunderpussy, Amy La Queefa, Glitter Lips, Drag With No Name, Champagne Shirley, and, of course, Twiggy.

Loads more going on at Birmingham Pride 2018 than we have the time, space or typing speed to squeeze into this BPREVIEW – but sufficed to say there’s something for people of all ages, gender, musical tastes and hat size. But luckily, we don’t have to as the festival organisers have given us a handy online Pride Guide – see below.

From everyone at Birmingham Review, we wish you a safe and happy Birmingham Pride 2018.

Birmingham Pride 2018 – Pride Guide

Birmingham Pride 2018 takes over the Gay Village in Birmingham City Centre on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May, with the ‘Be You’ Birmingham Pride 2018 Carnival Parade taking place at 12noon on the Saturday. 

For direct event information, including details on all the venues and acts taking part in Birmingham Pride 2018, visit www.birminghampride.com

BPREVIEW: Birmingham Pride @ Hurst St + various 27/8.05.17

Birmingham Pride 2015 / Michelle Martin

Words by Ed King / Lead & parade pics by Michelle Martin (taken from Birmingham Pride 2015)

On Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May, Birmingham Pride is back in the city – taking over various venues in Birmingham Gay Village (on and around Hurst Street) for their ‘Big Weekender’.

Tickets will need to be purchased, then exchanged or a wristband allowing you onto the main festival site. Advance tickets will be available from The Nightingale Club (Kent St) on Thursday 25 May from 4pm – 12midnight, then again on Friday 26 May from 12noon until 12midnight.

Wristbands can be bought over the Pride weekend, priced as: Weekend £40, Day £30, Pride by night (9pm onwards) £20. For direct information on tickets/wristbands, including full details on when, where and for how much, click here.

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know what Birmingham Pride is. If you don’t, then move you and your stone abode BPREVIEW: Birmingham Pride @ Hurst St + various 27/8.05.17into the new millennium. Seriously, one of Birmingham biggest parties – with a parade that is possibly the only place outside of Shambala where you’ll see more hairy fishnets than… some joke about sailors and a haberdashery shop.

Awesome fun what/whomever your predilections, Birmingham Pride is in its 21st year – picking up the mantle from previous mirror events to the London Pride, that ran sporadically in Brum from the early 70’s. Birmingham Pride as we know it today is a two day extravaganza, held on five separate festival stages with a deluge of fun and games in pretty much every bar within a stone’s throw of Hurst St.

Plus Birmingham Pride 2017 marks the 50th anniversary since you can’t get locked up for being homosexual, kinda sorta. As long as you kept yourself behind closed doors. But ten years after the Wolfenden Report was published the Sexual Offences Act finally made it through parliament – repealing the draconian laws against homosexuality, as made by Henry VIII (oh yes, we move that fast…)  and the 1885 Labouchere Amendment.

Even whilst being molasses slow, this was the first important step in challenging the discriminatory attitudes… sorry, publicly discriminatory attitudes of Britain’s political class when it came to consensual sex between men. Apparently Lesbians weren’t as threatening to the fabric of a decent, God fearing society.

And whilst 50 years is still not that long a time, the tide had to start somewhere; thank fuck, God bless, and another reason to raise a glass in the air this weekend.

Here’s a maraschino cherry pick from across Birmingham Pride 2017:

Saturday 27th May

Birmingham Pride 2015 / Michelle Martin


Pride Parade 2017 / Assembling in Victoria Square from 11am, ready to ‘wind its way’ through the city and down to the festival site, the Birmingham Pride Parade is as colouful an explosion as you can get. Celebrating half a century of less nonsense, Birmingham Pride have set the theme of Love & Pride for this year’s show of solidarity.

If you want to get involved or enter a float, you might just have some time too – click here for more info.



Duo Lipa / Headlining the Main Stage, the English born singer/ songwriter and model will be releasing her debut album about a week after Birmingham Pride – with Birmingham Pride of the only chances to see her perform before an international festival season takes her out of England until October.

For more on Duo Lipa performing at Birmingham Pride, click here.


Basement Jaxx – DJ set / Exciting enough even when it’s just Felix, Simon and a box of vinyl (or whatever the kids are spinning these days) Basement Jaxx will be DJing a headline slot on the Main Stage. With a pretty stella discography of club hits and foot stamping dance floor anthems, stretching back to 1994, Basement Jaxx have been purveyors of the Big-Beat-Disco-House sound for longer than there was a name to call it. I could run through a list if you need me to, but I won’t – just Google ‘Red Alert’ then crawl back under your rock.

For more on Basement Jaxx performing at Birmingham Pride, click here.


Other names to watch out for on the Saturday line up are: Rue Jay (Dance Arena), Tanya Hyde (Cabaret Marquee), Amy La Queefa (Women’s Arena), Ellé Robertson (Women’s Arena), Sandi G (Dance Arena), Topping & Butch (Cabaret Arena), Son of a Tutu (Cabaret Marquee), Jonas Blue (Main Stage), Louisa Johnson (Main Stage), RAYE (Main Stage), Pete Graham (Dance Arena), Jamie Duggan (Dance Arena), DJ Lisa Sharred (Women’s Arena).


Sunday 28th May


Twiggy / Clubland legend and fashion designer for the bastard child of Ziggy Stardust and Tinkerbelle, Twiggy will be performing in the Cabaret Marquee on the weekend’s second day. If you haven’t been hit on or refused entry by this local luminary of lustre and sparkles, then you should have gone out more. Wouldn’t be a proper party without Twiggy’s extravagant headdress bobbing around somewhere in the crowd.

For more on Twiggy performing at Birmingham Pride, click here.



Call Me Unique / The Urban Gypsy comes back to Birmingham Pride, performing a last day live set in the Women’s Arena. Hot on the heels of her new Urban Gypsy II EP, Call Me Unique is touring her new material across the UK and mainland Europe. Always worth a stop, look & listen, you can read more about Call Me Unique as seen through the eyes of Birmingham Review here.

Or for more on Call Me Unique performing at Birmingham Pride 2017, click here.


Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon / Born out of the festival cabaret circuit the Late Night Pop Dungeon is a den of musical iniquity where Wales’ Voice of an Angel gets to dirty her wings one tip at a time. Pop classics to contemporary hits, from MIA to Sufjan Steven, Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon looks hella fun – no pun intended. Now on tour across the UK, it’s hard to think of a better booking for Birmingham Pride’s Sunday crowd.

For more on Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon at Birmingham Pride, click here.


Other names to watch out for on the Saturday line up are: Vicki Vivacious (Marquee Arena), Zara Sykes (Women’s Arena), Gabrielle (Main Stage), Jamelia (Main Stage), Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Main Stage), Boney M (Main Stage), Kissy Sell Out (Dance Arena), Marc Spence (Dance Arena), Tom Shorterz (Dance Arena), Todd Terry (Dance Arena), D.E. Experience (Marquee Arena), Miss Penny (Cabaret Marquee), Madi Saskia (Women’s Arena).

Birmingham Pride takes place from 27-8th May, with the main festival situated on Hurst Street. The Birmingham Pride Parade will leave Victoria Square at 12noon on Saturday 27th May – heading for the festival site on Hurst Street.

For more on Birmingham Pride, including the festival’s full line up and layout, visit www.birminghampride.com