Monday, February 20, 2012

Quentin Crisp in Cardiff

Here’s an advert from 1979 for Quentin Crisp’s show at Cardiff’s New Theatre. In 1975 Crisp became an overnight gay celebrity following the airing of a television adaptation of his autobiography, The Naked Civil Servant. He cashed-in on his new-found celebrity status by devising a one man show which he took on tour. It consisted of an hour-long monologue followed by a Q & A session with the audience. By the time Crisp arrived in post-punk era Cardiff he wasn’t just a gay icon but an outsider hero to hipsters of whatever sexual persuasion. After all he had been dyeing his hair and wearing make-up decades before any of us were doing it. In the same year that Quentin Crisp was in Cardiff German group Gina X released their fine single No GDM in homage to him. The title refers to Crisp’s concept of the Great Dark Man – his perfect yet unobtainable heterosexual male. During the early eighties the song effortlessly crossed over from gay clubs to the post-punk nightspots of Cardiff and became a guaranteed floor-filler. For some reason the song is omitted from most musical histories of the era but it was certainly an underground smash in south Wales. In fact nothing reminds me of post-punk, weird haircut, amyl nitrate, pointy suede boots with buckles down the sides, Cardiff, quite like this tune – have a listen.