BAR REVOLVER 6a John Street, Glasgow
Twenty members of She-Boom, the women drummers group, played outside Revolver in John Street to celebrate the bar’s first birthday on 15 March. In that short time Revolver has become a popular fixture in Glasgow’s gay scene. Managed and owned by Brendan Nash and Jon Jardine, partners in every sense who have been together for eight years, Revolver is one of the sexiest pubs around. Nash, a well-kent face around the gay scene, is from London and originally trained as a contemporary dancer. ‘I always had to be involved in bar work in order to supplement a performing career,’ he says. He managed Club X in the early 905 in Royal Exchange Square, before moving on to Edinburgh’s Eat Out cafe, and then he was in charge of the Polo Lounge when it opened in 1996. For two years he managed the Scotia Bar in Stockwell Street in order to ‘re-educate’ himself in the ‘real’ bar
world. ‘All of life is at the Scotia,’ he says. ‘They’re very serious about folk music and poetry as well as serious
Nash and Jardine hunted high and low for a suitable venue. It took them two years and six near misses before they found their ideal space, which had previously been a restaurant. ‘We had never built a bar before,’ says Nash. ‘We took it right back to its shell. Every day Jon and I were on site supervising a team of
Opposite the Italian Centre, down a set of newly designed wooden steps, you are confronted with a cheerful, gay skinhead bouncer, and then a community noticeboard. Despite being underground, it is not remotely furtive or hidden in its nature. Going for a modern look with its metal floors, it prides itself on an old-fashioned ethos. ‘lt’s got to be friendly with good service and the product itself - beer - has to be good
NEWS WILL YOUNG
Did he jump or was he pushed?
Sunday 3 March: Will Young - pop idol. number one. teenage girl heartthrob. record breaking sales. figure of female fantasy.
Sunday 10 March: Will Young - gay pop idol. number one. teenage male heart throb. record breaking sales. figure of male fantasy.
Young. due to media pressure. has come out and announced to the world that he IS gay. 80. the question is
asked. did he jump or was he pushed? Young says it is not a big issue and he is very comfonable with his sexuality. He says he doesn't want to lie to anyone and that his sexuality has been common knowledge with the important peOple in his life for a long time.
This is when the second question gets asked about whether his management suggested he hide his sexuality until he reached his number one spot in the charts and sold over a million singles. Let's not be na'i've: now that Young is considered public property. he isn't in a position to make decisions about his public image any more. The big debate now is how this news. no matter how carefully it is dealt with. is going to affect his popularity and future as a pop idol?
If you look at the people who have already felt the need or been forced into coming out there is a mix of fame and failure. Freddie Mercury. Elton John and Michael Stipe are all gay men who have survived the fickle world of entertainment through their, albeit delayed. honesty.
Others who have not been so lucky include Stephen Gately — although I
too,’ says Nash. ‘People spend a lot of money, so they deserve the best.’
The last decade has seen such changes in the gay scene, it has become completely geared to the 18-24- year-old market. Revolver is determined to be an alternative; it attracts a crowd from their late twenties upwards and beyond. Grey hair isn’t frowned upon, and the bar genuinely feels mixed. If you are tired of poorly paid bar staff throwing drinks at you across the counter while you are deafened by loud chart music, then check
There’s a definite sexiness in the air, ‘encouraged by the bar staff, all of whom are gay’. Theme nights - sportswear, army and kilts - have proved popular and a 999 Emergency Services night is in the offing. Nash is particularly pleased that more gay women are coming to the bar. The free juke box with 6000 tracks to choose from, is second to none. (John Binnie)
REHEARSED READING GOD’S NEW FROCK
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 5-Sat 6 Apr
‘lt's scary but exciting at the same time.' says dramatist John Clifford abOut his acting debut in the rehearsed reading of his new play God '3 New Frock. 'I've been teaching for the last five years. and l have learnt lots from students. Teaching is similar to performing . . . communicating. God's New Frock is an experiment. a way of discovering new aspects about myself. It's my take on Genesis: a seriously male God. who is so exclusively maSCLiline. he is hiding something: his female self. The play is about new ways of being male. Women in the last 100 years have gone through a redefinition of what it is to be female. men are still struggling. cauSing destruction and havoc throughout the world.‘
Anyone who knows Clifford's work. from Ines De Castro which made the libretto of a magnificent Scottish Opera production. to his life of Charles Dickens at Pitlochry or the recent translation of 800 from the French at London's Royal Court. can expect provocative drama. stimulating to the ears and mind.
The rehearsed reading WI” be directed by Lorenzo Mele (formerly of gay theatre company MCD who scored such success With 7:84's inspiring Ta/king Bo//ocks and Finger/icks as well as Molly 's Collar And Tie. iJohn Binnie)
One of the sexiest pubs around
am sure that his downfall is more to do with his woeful mUS|C than his sexuality — and George Michael. After Michael's outing and cottaging exploits he has changed tack and chosen to shock with his sexual videos and lyrics but even they have fallen short of the mark.
The best and most recent success story of a gay man in the world of media is Big Brother winner Brian Dowling. You just need to look at his rocket to celebrity status to see that being gay doesn't necessarily harm your career or stop y0ur yOLing fan base from loving you. especially when you are out from the beginning. The problem for Young is not the fact that he is gay but that he has an already- established fan base of teenage girls who lusted after him because they thought he was straight.
The fact doesn't change that love him or loath him he has a good mice and is an all round lovely bloke. You can only hope that he stops bringing out such inane pop pap such as Westlife covers. finds his own style and has a longer career as a gay pop idol rather than just a plain old pop idol. (Jane Hamilton)
28 Ma"~‘ ‘ At)" 234)?) THE LIST 69