Sunday 12:30am, Royal Hall of Industries. We’ve just arrived for some early murder on the dancefloor and Shigeki is playing something with a nice beat but terrible vocals. Most dudes’ shirts are already off.

Sunday 1am, Sleaze Ball Guest Bar. The ex-Cirque de Soleil Russian gymnast bloke might be a bit of a one-trick pony -“ but what a great trick. When he flies over the audience on his long ribbon thing a cheer can be heard over the miming choir, over the thumping sound system, and through the glass wall separating the Guest Bar from the real world. The cynics in the Guest Bar give him a round of applause.

Sunday 1:30am, women’s toilets, Sleaze Ball Guest Bar. Actually, make that the women’s toilet of the Sleaze Ball Guest Bar, as there is only one. And a quick glance through the gaping crack in the door reveals a meditating drag queen, sitting down with a straight back and closed eyes. Sure, it can be hard to get a seat around here. There’s another facility in use for the expulsion of bodily fluids -“ a shower cubicle, where someone is pissing behind a plastic curtain. The sink is already choked with vomit -“ pizza toppings that look untouched by human teeth or stomachs. Some poor bitch has lost her lunch at this early stage of the night.

That’s VIP vomit, a woman says behind me, through grinding teeth. Jo, a straight mate of a colleague, is wrestling with her costume -“ two very skinny rubber snakes coiled over her bare boobs. My ever-practical girlfriend fashions her a bra, of sorts, from a long piece of sticky tape, which doesn’t last long.

Sunday 2am, middle of the dancefloor, the venue formerly known as City Live. At the media briefing this afternoon DNA editor Andrew Creagh did some fantastic physical comedy based on falling down the stairs into the dancefloor of City Live, which turns out to be quite prophetic. In the mix of men, leather men, and leather men no longer wearing leather on the stairs at 2am, there’s a fair bit of falling down going on. The boy dancing next to us has let his cigarette ash down to the butt without a drag -“ making its sole purpose to burn the people dancing around him. He’s being kind of carried around the dancefloor by his new best friend. For the record, we’re dancing in the middle of a pack of dudes for the following reasons. One: Buck Naked’s great set. Two: crap music and no dancefloor in the Hordern. Three: the women’s space upstairs has got some sort of supersonic sound system that makes the tiny hairs in my ears hurt. And four: it’s too cold to walk all the way back to the RHI.

Sunday 3:30am, Sleaze Ball Guest Bar, on plastic chairs. Although I’ve just promised Kelly Lynch (who, quite intelligently, has had a pre-set sleep and just arrived at the party) I will not miss her 4am show, I realise I’m feeling too sick to make it. A quick conference with the girlfriend and we’re in a taxi on the way home. It’s my earliest Sleaze home-going ever and I salute my own lameness. Next year -“ I half-heartedly vow to myself -“ I’m going to go completely off.

 

 

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