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Out & About: High Kicks & High Heels

by Jurandy Lucas in Nightlife & Reports , 28 januari 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
Length: 5 minutes

Jurandy Lucas (Creative Producer Backdoor Amsterdam) and Dave Koster (photographer) provide a monthly report on queer events in, and outside of, Amsterdam. This month sees a busy schedule, with BAR7 by Showpony, Pink Istanbul, Christmas Queens, and Lovedance.

At Lovedance

BAR7 by Showpony

On Saturday, November 4, we were guests at this recently opened bar on the Reguliersdwarsstraat for the “Tasty” party. We had no idea what to expect - In other words, a blind date! We went for DJ Orlando Ultraomni, who would be spinning. It took some getting used to being back at this sacred place known to many as the old April bar, the Mecca of gay Amsterdam in the 1990s.

The public largely consisted of young guys and girls, and especially those of the “Voguing in the twenty-first century” type. You know... loose-limbed, fashion-conscious, and every now and then throwing themselves on the dance floor with their legs high up in the air.

Orlando’s music was sublime and matched the Cirque du Soleil acrobatics of the attending guests. We did not feel too old for it all, but - although we are fully insured for hospital admissions - we enjoyed it from the sidelines, and we were not the only ones. All in all a great evening with a touch of “Paris is Burning.” Still in one piece, and without bruises, we left with a slightly nostalgic feeling.

Pink Istanbul

Paradiso. A thoroughly Dutch pop temple. Which true Amsterdammer doesn’t know it? On Saturday, November 11, the Turkish flag was figuratively out and proud, as it was time for Pink Istanbul. An evening for and by the Turkish gay community, with everyone welcome. And we certainly did feel welcome among the largely light-bearded population.

We had often heard this party discussed, but for some reason had never attended. Once inside, the Turkish atmosphere of this party was not to be missed. A very friendly crowd of all ages, and music that reminds you of an evening out in the Taksim Square area.

The well-known DJ-duo G-Team did not disappoint with their opening act, making sure everyone just had to dance. Then Turkish DJ Erhan Afacan with his mix of techno house meets Turkish delight. In the basement, DJ Oz Romita was spinning.

With its low ceiling, it was jam-packed and everyone was dancing. Temperatures rose, and you sort of felt “hamam.”

Upstairs again, we were right on time for a performance by a group of go-go boys who could have been just flown in from Ankara.

All in all, the location, the music, and the atmosphere in this Turkey on the Amstel will mean that we certainly love to go back and visit the next Pink Istanbul.

Christmas Queens

On Saturday, December 1, we had a look at RuPaul’s Christmas Queens in the Melkweg. For the third time now, the American girls were flown in for this busy show. We went to all three of them, so we know what we are talking about.

The show was funny and colorful, but a little bit predictable. One queen came on stage after the other, did a musical-style playback and disappeared again. There were very nice highlights, such as Thorgy Thor, who mastered the violin. Bob the Drag Queen was hilarious with the segment “Lip Sync for your Life,” which was won by a Christmas tree! The Christmas tree man received a signed photo of all the show’s artists.

These drag queens set the bar very high when it comes to singing, dancing and stand-up comedy. Dutch drag queens could learn something from what we know to be RuPaul’s Drag Race. Divas who create the most hilarious, spontaneous moments by tearing each other apart verbally. But reproducing such a thing live on stage is easier said than done. Especially when you have the magic of television at your disposal to bring to light the good stuff in a much more sophisticated way.

We hope that the producers will re-introduce that spontaneous quality of RuPaul’s Drag Race to the show we saw for the first time three years ago.


As true divas of charity, Jennifer Hopelezz and her assistant Aryelle Freeman Hopelezz were seen walking on high heels across Leidseplein, from the Christmas Queens show in the Melkweg to Paradiso for the annual Lovedance. It was World AIDS Night, with proceeds going to the Aids Fund. We were there, not with a donation collection box, but with a camera, notepad and pen to give a proper report.

Lovedance was busy, but it could have been busier. Let’s just say, there was plenty of room to dance, which was a nice change. The brothers Osie (El and Cliff) were spinning nicely in the big hall when we arrived. The atmosphere was colorful and very cosy, and a few guests had bothered to attend in a great outfit for this special occasion.

Later on, it was Bo Monde, Bramsterdam and finally Lupe’s turn to DJ, and we saw, heard and danced (to) them all - with notepad and camera! Lupe will also be spinning at Backdoor (January 27th). But first, back to Lovedance.

The smaller upper room was fairly full of party-goers who had come for the up-tempo urban and R&B music “Totally” by Theo Heskes. It was a mix of all music styles, and we found ourselves in good company of young, old, freaky, funky, and “normals.” Love is for everyone, and so is Lovedance. If you haven’t donated yet, do it now!

Backdoor Third Year Anniversary Fest

Time flies... it seems like only yesterday that this indoor dance event was organized for the very first time. Backdoor, however, really has been around for three years now. On Saturday, January 27, you can visit pop temple Melkweg for, among others, Circuit Barcelonas most popular DJ, Phil Romano. More information

Foto's: Dave Koster



published Feb 2019       


In the New Issue of Gay News, 332, April 2019

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