It’s one year on since Bitch, Please! left the womb, so why not chuck on a set of daring shoulder pads, cover my face in glitter and celebrate the first birthday of one of Bristol’s favourite rule-bending parties?
Colourful crowds gather ready to witness the sold-out show, brought to Bristol by a pair of promoters by day and DJs by night, keen to introduce an inclusive LGBT+ party to the city.
Motion’s Crane Yard transforms into a playful ‘lost garden’ theme and green vines hug the DJ booth. The eagerly awaited Marquis Hawkes brings sunshine and sass to the yard, both literally and musically. Sets blend with performances from dancers, voguers, drag queens and more, adding another dimension to the party.
As the sun sets, house and dance rising star Em Williams walks us into the night with KiNK’s Sunshine remix. Many of the drag queens step into new outfits and the party is ready to enter a new chapter.
After popping to the unisex loos (nice one Bitch, Please!), the crowds move into the Marble Factory for the night party, warmed up by ZenZero, the DJ duo behind Bitch, Please! After a summer of festival hopping, this pair know how to get the groovers grooving. The boys quickly turn an empty room into a mass of wavy arms, vogueing and nodding heads. Soon it was time to welcome the one and only Black Madonna – probably the best birthday present Bitch, Please! could have asked for.
Known for being one of the most increasingly respected DJs of today, she walks onto the stage dressed in a top that reads ‘love: shantay you stay, hate: sashay away’. Within seconds she controls the room with a dynamic blend of disco and techno, and at one point daringly plunging into dub – perhaps inspired by Bristol’s roots. This was surprising and dare I say, for this avid disco lover, slightly unwelcome. Fear not, it doesn’t last long. The set ends with an irresistible disco anthem Do You Wanna Funk, Sylvester which makes the Marble Factory 4am-ers scream for one more.
In true Black Madonna fashion, she comes up to the crowd, shakes hands, hugs and thanks people for coming before humbly leaving the stage. What a show.
Credits to the organisers, the dancers, the drag queens and all involved for putting on such a dynamic party for all to enjoy.
All photography by Jordan Barclay
Read more: Dear John