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‘Putting the Gay back in Gaelic’: Meet the duo behind London’s First Queer Irish Club Night

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Earlier this June, The Glory had it’s first taste of Sodom & Begorrah, a night of unbridled Queer Irish revelry. HISKIND recently had the pleasure of speaking to Peter Fingleton (a.k.a Annie Pics) and XNTHONY, the wild party-planning duo behind the smash hit night about the night, their inspiration, and what partygoers can expect when Sodom & Begorrah returns this October.

Sodom and Begorrah | by Dan Govan (2017)

What was the drive behind starting Sodom and Begorrah?

Peter: We both just really like attention! Also we’d had a great experience last St. Patrick’s day when I had been doing drag at the Glory and XNTHONY had been doing his cabaret in the basement and the night was just an outrageous, messy blur culminating in a group crowd-surf to Sinead O’Connor ending up lipsyncing to Boyzone on the bar.. so we thought “Let’s do this again!”

Xnthony: I concur, and in many ways we could sense an opening where people were feeling out for something different, and escape from the Brexit Gloom and who better to provide some wild escapism but the bloody Irish!

Annie Pics | by Kate Bones (2017)

How did you choose the name?

We needed something that was equal parts queer and Irish. Begosh and begorrah is an old phrase that’s sort of an Irish cliche like ‘top o the mornin to ya’, and sodomy is one of our favourite things.

You host the night as your drag persona, Annie Pics, can you tell us a bit about her?

​Peter: A​​nnie’s been enjoying going back to her Irish roots of late, she’s always been a bit of messy party animal but she’s taking her new role as “the Voice of Ireland” on the East London drag scene ​very seriously so you’re now more like to find her immaculately coiffed in a towering red wig delivering a perfect Corrs lipsync than writhing on the floor in a jockstrap (sorry boys!)

Xnthony serenading the cabaret crowd

Xnthony: I’m also embracing my Irishness. My work has always been international in its focus but always referenced Ireland. In the next year I’m making a new show which merges Irish rural life with the queer dance floor so moments that happen in Sodom & Begorrah give me life and inspiration! Happily for me, while Annie Pics exists in a towering red wig with those over sized hands, you’ll probably find me in the corner wrestling with a helium canister and giving someone a rim job.

Annie Pics and a reveler | by Kate Bones (2017)

Queer culture and a traditional Irish upbringing don’t seem like the most natural matches, how does S&B combine and celebrate them both?

Peter: Whilst of course the night is about Irish culture and traditions in a broader sense it’s about embracing all peoples’ differences. ​At a time when immigrants are being vilified we’re proudly celebrating our immigrant status here and inviting people from all walks of life to do the same.

André | by Kate Bones (2017)

Xnthony: Agreed. We really wanted to open the doors to all backgrounds. We are attempting to use the frame of Irishness as a gateway to a wider community. We’ll even let protestants in!

What can attendees expect from ‘London’s first queer Irish party’ that they wouldn’t get anywhere else?

Peter: ​Sure there’s nothing like an Irish get together, whether it’s a wedding or a wake we always have the best craic! I think there’s also a really strong Irish community in London which turned out in force for our first night. There’s a particular kind of wild abandon that happens when you get a bunch of Irish together away from the home country, they know their mammies won’t find out what they get up to!!!

Annie Pics performing at Sodom & Begorrah

Who are your favourite queer Irish icons/inspirations

Peter: EH Panti Bliss obviously, Senator David Norris, Twink and Bosco.

Xnthony: Yes, Panti has always been a huge inspiration to me, to both of us. You may not believe this, but Annie Pics was also once a little girl. And she and I both grew up in very rural parts of Ireland. Panti had a similar upbringing, and I think that’s inspired us greatly.

Luke Neocamp| by Dan Govan (2017)

What’s the wildest/your favourite thing that happened at the first Sodom & Begorrah?

​Peter: The incomparable Luke Neocamp’s popped over from New York to do some bananas Irish yodelling! He was a hit! That and learning how to do ceilidh​ dancing with a live trad band under the tutelage of the legendary Hugh Cooney.

Xnthony: I have to say crowd surfing during a disco version of Linda Martin rendition of ‘Why Me’. Don’t know the song? Look it up!

Luke Neocamp Performing at Sodom & Begorrah

Any tricks up your sleeves for the next one?

Up my sleeve, under my wig, you name it! We’ve got an array of fabulous performers for XNTHONY’s cabaret, Samhain/Halloween tradition​s, live music from Dublin’s own Rudi Douglas, ​sexy dancing leprechauns, an ever growing band of ginger drag vixens to entice and entertain you… Sure
where would ya get it??

Xnthony: we’re always pushing the boat out and seeing who we can get on board and how we can push entertainment value. You’ll just have to get a ticket to guarantee a riotous night of fun and frolicking!

XNTHONY | by Kate Bones (2017)

When’s the next Sodom and Begorrah?

‘Sodom & Begorrah: Samhain’ is on ​Friday October 20th​. There will be plenty of tickets on the door but we release a small amount in advance for cheaper available on Outsavvy.

You can purchase your tickets to ‘Sodom & Begorrah: Samhain’ here. Follow their Facebook page for updates and more information.

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