MANILA LUZON

Date: 22 Mar 2019
Lineup: Manila Luzon, Santi Storm, Uma Daze, Mutha Tucka
Venue: Tunnel, Leeds

I'm gonna stop travelling for drag shows. Normal gigs, sure. But I can't justify this tomfoolery again. This wasn't a bad show! It wasn't. It was fun, but in a 'me and my friends are going to the club and Manila happens to be there' kinda fun.

I've not been to Leeds properly before. I've changed coaches here, but never explored the place. It's Friday night when I arrive at the train station and Tunnel (which hides behind straight club Club Mission) is like, a 5 minute walk if that.

Tunnel is a very industrial-looking club, being built from an abandoned rail bridge it seems with none of the pipework or bricks covered up at all. It looked fucking sick, actually, even if it was like a rabbit warren that was impossible to navigate without asking someone.

Let me divert your attention to the pic in the top right of this article. Tell me that doesn't look like a graphic from a game like San Andreas or Manhunt. It's got that exact vibe and texture to it. I love it. I've also opted to stand on the raised edge section near the back, because I'm deceased from work and there were already rows and rows people lined at the front when I got in.

As for the actual show, there were a few local queens, the return of Newcastle's finest Mutha Tucka, and of course Manila Luzon.

I have gotten myself pretty into Drag Race. I initially started watching All Stars 4 as living legend Jasmine Masters was going to be on, but after she left I continued watching as I realised this shit is tight. I ended up rooting for Manila to win and was pretty pissed when Naomi pulled the stunt that she did. I'm currently following season 11 and there's a few queens I have my eyes on too.

So… it really bothered me that I felt not bored, but like… did I really get a 2 hour train after work, and I'll have to get my ass back home after this too, for this? If this was in my city and I could walk there and back, sure. But this is not worth travelling for.

One thing I wasn't expecting was at one point Manila asked if there were any girls in the audience, and, like, over 95%+ of the people in the audience put their hands up. I didn't know drag had such an appeal to the general heterosexual girl audience. All I can think of is when I saw a straight girl call Øystein Aarseth a twink on Twitter. That's all I'm saying.

This was basically the same format as the Kameron Michaels show I was at not too long ago. Couple of songs, audience participation, more songs, then the club opens for regular business. Fun, but not worth a £25 ticket + travel + drinks.

I made my way out after the show and headed toward a nondescript bus stop that the Megabus claimed to be stopping at around 02:30. This'll be interesting - I've got no juice left in the tank and I've got an overnight coach to London to waste a day before seeing grindcore legends Wormrot in Shoreditch in the evening. Let's see if I make it back home in one piece.

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