Monday, April 07, 2003

And then it was on to Madame JoJo's to see The Readers Wifes in concert. I'd been to JoJo's once before and had seen the Wifes once previously, and both were just as I remembered them: tacky, glamorous, seedy, camp, ludicrous, decadent and utterly, utterly fabulous. The legendary cabaret venue, surrounded by Soho strip joints, made a perfect setting for the Wifes' tales of drag, drugs and dregs.

And their songs really are very funny. New song Scumpop manages to come up with lots of very silly rhymes for the title, most notably 'Scunthorpe'. They were rapturously received by a partisan crowd made up of Retro Bar regulars, who could be heard muttering about the bar prices. "Three-pound-fifty for a can of Red Stripe? And not even the 13% extra cans, either!" Biggest cheer of the night went to the first single, Bitch At The Brits. The next single must surely be the insanely catchy First Out, the chorus of which is still lodged in my brain: "Hey big brother, lend me your motorbike..."

Frontman [woman?] Kim Phaggs [aka dark Mark] snarled out the lyrics, tossing his hair, while Chelsea [aka blonde Mark] stood behind a tiny keyboard, affecting a look of utter boredom, visibly put-out when called on to actually play a note or drawl a deadpan rap. A third Mark and the gorgeous Jeremy [aka ver Lads] played guitar and keyboards respectively. The Wifes' musical influences lie firmly in the eighties: Dead Or Alive, Divine and the Pet Shop Boys. A little too firmly, perhaps - while their lyrics are packed with modern references, like a musical version of Popbitch, the musical references seem to have stopped in 1986.

But that's a minor quibble and one that certainly didn't occur to me while I was throwing myself around the dancefloor with a huge grin on my face.

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