Our last RVT event before Christmas was KUNST on Dec 23rd. The theme was "AntiChristmas", which immediately made me think of Damien Thorn, the 1980s Hammer Horror version of the Antichrist. Feeling suitable Omened up, me and TSB (having necked a bottle of wine between us) decided to go ecclesiastical before heading out for Dusty Limits' monthly extravaganza.
I really liked the bleakness of their flyer.
Of course, the morning of the 23rd, the news was full of Ol' Uncle Fester's edict about gays and/or transsexuals being as bad for humanity as environmental damage (some sort of "queerhouse effect", one assumes) so my Papal garb became suddenly topical. When we pitched up at the Tavern around 9pm (feeling somewhat self-conscious, as beardy blokes in dresses and skullcaps), the costumes went down well with Dusty L and the delightful Fancy Chance (with whom I shared a condom later...). We were given tokens for cocktails on the house, which were pleasantly drinkable.
I've only recently felt I've got the measure of KUNST, in terms of what to expect from the general vibe and the tone of the cabaret. I like the emphasis on dress codes but wish more people made at least some effort to observe them. I like DawnRightNasty's soundtrack, which somehow manages never to jar.
We were joined by Mel, diabolically horny in red. The cabaret started with a song from our host and a set by Ophelia Bitz. I'd never seen her before (all this evening's acts were new to me) and thought she looked amazing, a distinct hint of Bettie Page.
She was good (opening song a Sandie Thom pisstake with the chorus, "I wish I was a cocksucker with jism in my hair") but seemed a little ill-at-ease and I thought her set went on a little too long; by the final song, a drunken woman near me had completely forgotten the stage existed and was gabbling loudly.
Next up was a bit of a curve ball ("a serious, grown-up act"), one Stephen Pelton, dancer. We were told that all dance moves were "taking from the body language of Adolf Hitler". He was mesmerising, holding attention absolutely. Difficult to photograph, though, either as a result of the low light or the fact that he was always moving, or both. As a result, these are the best of an absolutely shite bunch of pics:
Hard act to follow but the next performer, Ruby Blues, was excellent. She tiptoed onstage as the Sugar Plum Fairy, resplendent in candy-striped tights and blowing flurries of snow at us from piles at either side of the stage. Until she tasted the "snow" rubbed it into her gums and decided it might be worth a snort.
Some rather more vigorous dancing followed (possibly not dissimilar to that of cokehead bees) and a costume change.
At some point, we had an alternative Queen's Speech...
Fancy Chance was the penultimate performer, and lovely she was too. Appearing in flouncey 1950s Hollywood Christmas dress and fluffy cape, she danced to something which included the line, "I love being a girl".
Additional girliness followed, then a quick-change to a fabulous gown made out of inflated condoms.
Aaand, finally, a Papal frock. Beeyootiful. I had definite hat envy, though, hers being bigger than mine.
Final act was one Patti Plink and her Boy (in a rather fetching gimp outfit). I'm ashamed to admit I remember little of her set. Too much communion wine.
Just to show he wasn't completely lacking in festive spirit, Dusty Limits launched into a rendition of Feed The World, complete with backing vocals from Bitz, Blues and Chance (sounds like a supergroup).
The evening wound down very pleasantly indeed and relatively gently too, compared with the Holy Ghost Revival's rawwwk-out of the previous month. After a last nightcap, we hoisted up our vestments and disappeared into the night.