30 May 2014

Summer Festivities!

Summers a coming and we all know what that means, what’s that I hear? More rain you say rather pessimistically/realistically? Well very possibly yes, rain, odd sunny spells and those all-important summer staples FESTIVALS. Festivals mean a lot of things to a lot of people, to some it’s a muddy field full of tents and drunken teenagers, and to others it’s a more family based experience. Regardless of your skew festivals are all about fully embracing the spirit of things, and we here in the UK are sure good at that – so long as there’s alcohol involved! 

The festival season is well under way here in old Blighty, and in defiance of the weather people are donning the wellies and enjoying “summer” (note the use of bunny ears). What we have here for you lovely blog followers, yes you, sadly you’re the only one, is a festival round up of sorts. A one stop shop, all you need, A to Z and another cliché festival guide that you can peruse at your own leisure, or just completely disregard. 

After doing a quick search of festivals going on this summer it came to my attention that there is an unfeasible amount for me to stick into one blog. Basically meaning I lack fortitude to write about them and I suspect people (that’s you) will lack the willingness to read it, so sticking to the highlights it is. 

First up we have the Isle of Wight Festival taking place between 12th – 15th June, this lesser known of the larger festivals takes place on…you guessed it the majestically named Isle of Wight. This year’s headlines down on the isle are certainly shaping up to be all-wight (cue the tumbleweed and apologies for making you sound like Dick Van Dyke).  The likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro and even the subtle Southern American wailings of the Kings of Leon will be gracing your ear holes if you so choose to present oneself at this festival. However it isn't recommended if the motion of the ocean strikes you with bouts of queasiness, a ferry rides a must I'm afraid.

Like a bi-polar person on a merry go round were switching over to another festival experience all together here with the Download Festival taking place from 13th – 15th June at Donington Park in Derby. This is arguably the biggest British rock festival and as you can see from the above picture attracts metal and rock fans from all over the country throwing up more sign of the horns than there are sequins in the Lady Boys of Bangkok show (bet you were waiting for that for that reference which is also a false equivalency because nothing has more sequins than The Lady Boys of Bangkok show). This year’s line-up includes such contemporary acts as Linken Park and Fall Out Boy and more old school rock bands like Aerosmith and even Status Quo, catering to a wide aged audience.

Another festival taking place in June is certainly a highlight on any festival goer’s calendar and that’s Glastonbury from the 25th – 29th June. Now stated as the largest greenfield festival in the world, Glastonbury is attended by over 175,000 people every year who all flock Worthy Farm in sunny Somerset wellies in hand, to soak up the bohemian atmosphere and listen to some music. From humble beginning as a free festival influenced by hippie ethics Glastonbury has become a globally recognized contemporary arts festival, tickets to which are harder to come by than a Gandey’s blog post without the obligatory name dropping. By the way has it been mentioned that the Lady Boys of Bangkok are currently touring the UK? Oh - well fellow this subtle link for more information – plug. If your one of the lucky 175,000 buggers (no bitterness on this end)  that managed to get a ticket then you have a lot to look forward to Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian, Lily Allen, The Black Keys, Ed Sheeran, De La Soul and Lana Del Ray are just a few of the artists playing and that’s only the main stage.

For the more family orientated experience Latitude is definitely up there on the list of recommendations. Taking place from the 17th – 20th July in Henham Park Suffolk, it’s a much more relaxed and family friendly festival atmosphere with music, movies, stand-up comedians, literature and even multi-coloured sheep’s. Not only this but when I went to Latitude back in 2012 they had a bar with beds for tables, so lying in bed with a pint was a major selling point for me. Artists such as the one and only DamonAlbarn, The Black Keys, Editors and stand-up comedians like Dara O Briain and Al Murray may also entice you to this artsy festival.

The Lady Boys love the UK festival scene, any excuse to strut their stuff eh? Thailand is home to many a unique festival some of which you can check out here, so they sure do know how to get into the spirit of things. Summer Festival Fever!!

What festivals are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments! 

22 May 2014

Do you really want to see me live? Culture Club, Lady Gaga, Destiny's Child and more....

That’s right and you probably haven’t heard it here first but the one and only Culture Club have announced their first tour in 15 years! We here at the Lady Boys are unabashedly excited about seeing Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss (yes, the complete original line-up) grace the stage during their 15 day 11 stop December tour. The tour was rather cheekily revealed by George of the androgynous Boy variety himself in this video in which he and the fellow band members sing the chorus to ‘Karma Chameleon’ before the lead singer throws up the peace sign saying “see you in December”.

If this wasn't selling point enough the band are also going to be joined by another more synthpoppy arm of the new romantic music scene of the 80's Alison Moyet, the female component of Yazoo. Tickets go on sale today May 23rd and the tour dates are here, no word yet on price but it's safe to say it will be worth forking out for. I hear early Christmas presents are all the rage this year?

NOW, with all this talk of 80's nostalgia lets bring up some of the more topical things that have occurred this week. First on our list, our favourite lady boy Conchita Wurst is rumoured to be joining the one and only Lady Gaga on her new tour 'artRave', an amalgamation of Art and Rave that promises to be much more than just Leonardo Da Vinci in a hi-vis jacket with a glow stick. Seriously though we hope this rumour is true, they are both talented singers and Gaga's style would suit Conchita down to a tee. We were also a big fan of Gaga's male alter ego Jo Calderone that she donned at the 2011 MTV VMAs. 

Katy Perry has also been gracing our pearly and....increasingly rainy shores this week as she stops off in Blighty on her world tour dubbed The Prismatic World Tour after her fourth studio album 'Prism'. Katy is well known for her glittery girlish appeal but is there any substance in her shows and music behind the aesthetics? According to a review from the Manchester Evening News on her performance at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester the answer is a resounding yes, "You could buy all the sequins and stardust in the world, but they wouldn't make you another Katy Perry", poetically put and hats off to Katy and trianglecentric tour.

Speaking of reunions you may have heard of a little known 90's/00's girl band called Destiny's Child, yes? Well before you get to excited this a kind of mini-reunion of the talented trio. Kelly Rowland and Beyonce have collaborated on a solo single of the lesser known member of the band Michelle Williams, a song entitled 'Say Yes'. Gospel undertones and high tempo beat aren't two things you generally hear in a song, so it's worth a listen.

We here in the office are huge fans of the UK television phenomenon Gogglebox, as you may have heard we were happy to have recently had Stephen from Gogglebox come see our show in Brighton. So news that the shows very own George Gilbey may be in the next series of Celebrity Big Brother has definitely amped the excitement for the new series. Lets hope he can bring some much needed topical satire to the house, and if he ever want's to come along and see the Lady Boys of Bangkok he is more than welcome. We don't usually venture towards Essex however, maybe with next years show The Only Way is Bangkok.

The original Big Brother is also back for a new series starting the 5th June, I say new in the loosest of terms of course as  its actually the 15th reincarnation of the series. Rylan and Emma Willis can be seen in the new Hunger Games-esque trailer for the show named Power Trip, but when your using stars from Celebrity Big Brother to advertise Big Brother it all seams a bit self-satisfying. Nevertheless their is a reason it's been going so long and despite its faults you can't help but watch this slow motion car crash of annoying human persona's wrapped up in a bow of Geordie narration.  

With all these exciting snippets to read through this week and our upcoming departure from one of our favourite places Brighton Fringeit's hard to keep up with it all. However our next stop on The Lady Boys of Bangkok tour is Cardiff and we plan on bringing some Thai infused sunshine to these dreary days!!

15 May 2014

Shirley Bassey Eat Your Heart Out

You may have heard the name Conchita Wurst in the news over the last week; by ‘may’ I mean certifiably you will have without a doubtedly heard it, unless you live under a rock or just outside of Europe. The enigmatic bearded beauty recently won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 for Austria with her fabulously James Bond-esque song Rise Like a Phoenix, we here are also a big fan of stunningly overt metaphors so it gets double brownie points from the Lady Boys. The song deservedly stole the show and there’s no denying that Conchita has a healthy set of lungs on her, if you didn't get chance to watch it check the link out below.

Conchitas male counterpart is called Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth, an Austrian born natural star who rose to fame in 2007 after reaching the finals of the Austrian casting show Starmania, Austria’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent. As with most reality stars Tom sadly faded into obscurity after the show, but triumphantly returned to television in 2011 as Conchita Wurst, kind of like a phoenix rising from the ashes, wonder where I’ve heard that before? Coming out as Conchita was as you would expect a very personal choice for Tom, he was quoted as saying "This is about an important message, it's a call for tolerance for everything that seems different” and this is the kind of tolerance we can certainly get behind. However Tom himself has said that he is not a transsexual, just a man who happens to like wearing women’s clothes and why not?


Moving on back to the song, we are huge fans of this year’s Eurovision winner everything from the big ballad sounds to the perfectly executed sweeping arm movements that would even give Take That a run for their money (no pun intended). The song played with an air of a James Bond theme about it, filling the mind’s eye with the sights and sounds of Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger, Adele’s Skyfall or our personal favourite Garbage’s The World isNot Enough. Concita Wurst for the next bond girl anyone? Not surprisingly Tom actually performed Goldfinger in the Starmania finale, so now we know where Conchita got her James Bond Diva flare from. Let us know what your favourite bond theme is, unless it’s Madonna, then you don’t get a say.

Applause should also be given to the Eurovision’s technical team as the stage the artists performed on was fantastic; throwing out dying flames and embers behind Conchita as she sang her heart out. What did you think of the song, remind you of any of your favourite ballads?

Conchita's performance was met with enthusiasm throughout the continent and the world, even Russia gave her 4 points in the competition. Not only do the public love her and her beard, but she took the celebrity world by storm as well. From Philip Schofield to Boy George numerous celebs tweeted out there support for Conchita, with Russell Brand taking his own comical skew on events making note of his likeness to the singer by donning a dress and tweeting “I don't normally endorse voting but please vote for me on #Eurovision tonight. #Austria”.

Even the one and only George Takei, that’s right Ensign Sulu tweeted this rather amusing picture of Conchita Wurst (which means sausage in German) engrained within a sausage, oh myyyyy.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok understandably have nothing but respect for Conchita Wurst and will certainly be tuning in to watch her on The Graham Norton Show tomorrow night, you go girl and sometimes boy.

12 May 2014

Geometric Nail Art...

I may be walking into unknown territory of the personal variety here as a member of the butcher, well soft butcher sex. But this, which let’s be honest is avoidable if you work for the glamorous bedazzlement of the Lady Boys of Bangkok, is a fashion blog, that’s right a blog about fashion.  Cue the teen pop music and a montage of models pulling many a contorted geometric shapes (Like what I did there?). Delusions of America’s Next Top Model aside were going to go a straight-lined and surprisingly sellotape-centric world of geometric nail design.

Geometric nail design or geometric nail art is basically just turning your nails into a canvas for as many multi-coloured shapes that you can fit under your cuticle. Now there is a check list for this procedure, you will be needing many a utensil and these are a striper brush, a cotton bud or a paintbrush dipped in acetone for corrections, ok so maybe not many a utensil, oh and sellotape.

With all this exciting talk of sellotape it may be hard to forgot about it for a moment, but do. Firstly start with coats of whatever base colour you fancy, for example to eternally stylish and famous Coquelicot (which is actually a colour and not at all made up). Then using the stripper brush make any shape you can muster, for example an acute triangular outline at the top of your nail and then fill it in with another colour you like, let’s say Smaragdine (again, mostly definitely a colour). This is essentially a geometric nail design, a very simple design which looks good none the less.

However, and this is a big however depending on how adventurous you are (or how much time you have) you can add more and more shapes and more and more depth to the design till you have something like this. This may take a bit of practice but certainly looks unique.

Remember when sellotape was all the rage at the beginning of the blog? This is where that comes in. The sellotape (doesn’t have to be specifically the sellotape brand, as long as its adhesive and tape like) can be used in many an imaginative way, by keeping the colour below the tape whilst easily being able to paint over it.

Above is just one example, but there are many more and it’s even a bit of a celebrity fad with the likes of Kesha jumping on the geometric band wagon. 

You can see more designs over in this buzzfeed article all about the wonders tape and nails http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/12-amazing-diy-nail-art-designs-using-scotch-tape. The Lady Boys of Bangkok certainly liked these nail designs, so don’t be surprised if you see some geometric nail art up there on the stage in Brighton over the next few weeks.

2 May 2014

Bangkok Rock

There aren’t many places in the UK that are as culturally diverse and accepting as the southern seaside city of Brighton. I mean there political views alone speak volumes for the tone of the town with The Greens calling the shots at the Brighton & Hove City Council. The streets scream contemporary culture in the narrow meandering lanes and also reflect a bygone era of decadence and royalty, embodied by the regency architecture of the sea front. These contrasting architectural styles are mirrored by the multicultural residents of Brighton, a cosmopolitan utopia within decent travel distance of London what more could you ask for? I sandy beach you say? Well...ok fair enough, it is leaning towards pebbly on the beach spectrum.

Nevertheless there’s a reason people (not just pebble fanatics) flock to Brighton year in year out and a reason it, and let’s not forget Hove are the UK’s favourite seaside resort. It’s easy to see the attraction; it’s brimming at the seams with events and festivals, sea air and the aforementioned pebbles, artistic venues, quaint cafes and famous faces such as Neil Buchanan (the guy from Art Attack that wasn't the flailing clay head), and Noel Gallagher. You may even catch sight of one of the Lady Boys of Bangkok throughout May, as the ladies take the party down south and grace Brighton with their red hot presence.

Now Brighton is home to many a festival, but May sees the return of two of the biggest and similarly timed, The Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe. Let’s kick off with the most topical, wacky and red hot (two name drops in one post, you’d think I have an ulterior motive) festival, Brighton Fringe which is the biggest annual arts festival in England. Much like its Scottish cousin Brighton Fringe is a celebration of all things art. With a menagerie of acts from comedy to cabaret it is one of the largest fringe festivals in the world, all taking place within the confines of bustling Brighton. People who frequent Fringe will also be glad to hear of the return of the award winning Spiegeltent, which not only has an awesomely Germanic name but also turned out to be one main attraction at last year’s festival.

The Lady Boys fit right into this contemporary festival, the audiences love us and we love them and it’s the reason why were back for our 11th year. The Ladies and all the fabulous production staff are as we speak getting ready for our first performance tonight at 7, so let’s hope Brighton’s ready for our red hot (that’s 3) new show.

It’s a busy month is May for Brightonians and visitors alike, not only is Fringe around for the whole month but the previously mentioned Brighton Festival is also taking place in the first 3 weeks of May. The show is delivered by the same people who run the Brighton Dome, one of the city’s leading arts venues and focuses more on traditional artistic mediums. It also pioneers a rather cool idea called Artists' Open House, where artists and craftsman open their homes to festival goers to view and purchase their works, much more personal than a trip to IKEA but with a distinct lack of meatballs.

You may think this would be enough to entice anyone to visit Brighton in May, but the Brighton Centre is also playing host to some other acts you just may have heard of, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini and even Elvis brought to audiences in much the same way as 2pac at Coachella 2012. At least hologram Elvis wont have to worry about anyone stepping on his shoes. On a by note I never thought I would compare 2Pac and Elvis in the same sentence, but there you go. As you can see Brighton is certainly the place to be this may, so if you’re lucky enough to live there or happen to visiting make sure you come see the Ladies do what they do best at The Sabai Pavilion in Victoria Gardens, we promise not to disappoint.