INTERVIEW: Anti-Pleasure | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Alannah Lamb

Landing at Zerox in Newcastle on Saturday 17th June, Anti-Pleasure is a groundbreaking all-day event that promises to transcend boundaries and celebrate the kaleidoscope of queer joy that pulsates through the North East.

Hosted by none other than local drag queen extraordinaire Whitney Bae, who promises to be nothing we want but everything we need, the day is spattered throughout with a cascade of burlesque performances by the radiant Emma Wiseman, as well as thrilling live music.

The dazzling all-dayer comes from Newcastle-based visual artist Alannah Lamb, who works with Joel Thomson of promotions company F54. I was telling Joel I really wanted to do an all-day queer event,” Alannah reminisces, and he was like, just do it! I’d been contemplating it for ages, and while there were plenty of queer events happening in the North East, there wasn’t a space I identified with, and I’ve got weird tastes!”

Alannah’s longing for a more unconventional celebration of queerness found inspiration in the queer culture flourishing in Manchester and London. With Anti-Pleasure, she intends to carve out a space in Newcastle that reflects the raw energy and unapologetic defiance of these scenes. I wanted something more on the queercore, alternative, punky and experimental side of things, and I couldn’t be the only one who felt like that.”

I want everyone to feel welcome to this showcase of queer acts and individuals who are part of the local scene

Already generating significant interest, she is hopeful that this event is the first of many. I want to do it annually, and Zerox is such a lush venue. I’ve heard people call it a queer bar, but it’s just welcoming to everyone. Nobody cares but everybody cares.”

The ground floor will play host to a cornucopia of art stalls and tantalising food vendors, a prelude to the intoxicating spectacle that will run into the early hours upstairs. I’m as excited as anyone to see the acts!” Allanah affirms, on a mission to give less well-known artists the spotlight they deserve. I hope to bring some sort of community together, and not only for queer people. I want everyone to feel welcome to this showcase of queer acts and individuals who are part of the local scene.”

The line-up is a tapestry of sonic rebellion and artistic expression. From fierce Newcastle punks Irked, to the ethereal sisterhood of psychedelic textures ĠENN, each act promises an invigorating voyage through uncharted queer territories. New-wave duo Bled will weave their sonic sorcery, while Bristol-based punks Grandma’s House inject an exuberant dose of unbridled energy. Finally there’s the enigmatic Eve Kearton (“Eve is amazing! She does loads of synth stuff with range guitars!”) plus Fiona Liquid And The Clique wrap post-punk, synth pop and electronica in a glam-drag aesthetic.

Set to be an absolute riot, Allanah is keen for the event to give people a boost during what are tough times for many. There is a lot of negativity out there right now. For a lot of people their heart isn’t in it any more, and I want to let them know these artists exist; good times still exist, and I want to bring everyone together to have a great time.”

Anti-Pleasure takes place at Zerox, Newcastle on Saturday 17th June.

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