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Image: Nana Funk, who plays the next Street Food Market and Cabaret event

Words: Thomas Wales

The Cabaret Club has launched in Bishop Auckland and follows the Street Food Market on the last Friday of every month. It’s the best night out you’ll have in the town; starting at 4pm, the open-air market dishes out the flavours of traders from across the region with live music and activities for the kids too. From 9pm, enjoy alternative cabaret sensations performing the best hour of their work upstairs in Mrs M, followed by live jazz until late. Join us on Friday 26th May with cabaret and burlesque performer Nana Funk (pictured above).

LunchMoney Lewis – Bills
This one’s a proper bop and abstractly relates to what we’re trying to do with the Street Food Market. Purse strings are tight for everyone at the minute so open access events are imperative to social survival right now. You can feed your family (or self!) without paying restaurant prices and the live music is free so you can even call it a cheap date. And as if by magic, it falls on payday. Imagine that.

Emeli Sandé & The Bryan Ferry Orchestra – Crazy in Love
A Beyoncé classic but Sandé does it all the justice it deserves, made jazzy by the orchestra for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. The entire Great Gatsby album is a great place for an accessible introduction to jazz, with pop twists from chart topping artists. For local jazz vibes, it’s easy: The Cabaret Club in Bishop Auckland is the place to be.

Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under
We book a bunch of local musicians to perform at the Street Food Market (none of them are Sam Fender, don’t get too excited) and it gives it that ‘beer garden in the summer’ feel – sunglasses on, holding a pint. They’re all talented vocalists and perform an array of songs, but you’ll inevitably hear this one or something by Gerry Cinnamon. Nowt wrong with that.

Nana Funk – Titanium (Nana’s Version)
Nana Funk is a musical comedy and burlesque performer. She’s with us on Friday 26th May at The Cabaret Club. She sings original, improvised and parody songs and shows that being awesome transcends age. Her version of Sia’s Titanium is a hoot – “my hips are tiiii-taaaannnn-iiiii-uuummm”.

The Scissor Sisters – Let’s Have A Kiki
The intro on this song sounds like the voicemails I’m left from sassy drag queens, so brings to mind June’s cabaret sensation, Snow White Trash. Uncoincidentally, SWT supported Jake Shears on stage at Brighton Pride with their incredible saxophone skills. They’ll be joining her at The Cabaret Club, too (the saxophone skills, not Jake).

Beyoncé – Break My Soul
This was my number one top song on Spotify 2022 (and every other white gay’s) and it’s perfect for July’s cabaret performer, James Barr. Just like the song, he’s campy, fun and a moodlifter, so come along if you like queer comedy. James presents Hits Radio Breakfast with Fleur East and is one half of podcast sensation, A Gay And A NonGay (not telling which you half though).

Emeli Sandé – Extraordinary Being
My business, Baccanalia, produces cultural events and festivals. We took the name from the Roman celebrations that honoured Bacchus, the god of a good time. Our events incite ecstasy and make you feel decadent and mint. We don’t live to work, we work to live, and that’s what life’s about. Listen to Emeli and imagine it’s us, singing the song about you.

Lady Gaga – Rain on Me (with Ariana Grande)
Producing outdoor events in the North East is hard. It rains a lot. And if people don’t come you lose a ton of money. But the good folk of Bishop Auckland live and breathe crap weather so they turn out anyway, rain or shine. Ta.

Sigrid – Home To You (This Christmas)
I’d be remiss not to mention my favourite Christmas song since Baccanalia produces Bishop Auckland’s Christmas Town. In 2022 we had an ice rink, grotto, markets, live shows, workshops, giant snowglobes, a bandstand stage and more festivity than you can shake a yule log at. For 2023, we’ve graduated to giant tipi-bars, we’ve yet to announce the 2023 programme but dates are 24-26 November. Get it in your diary!

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