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for nomocrime, we made the homospective zine (a5, 40pp)
which contained all the flyer & singles club images plus
a list of events (all that stuff is elsewhere on this site).
it also included press cuttings & the following:
andy roberts, friend & collaborator
[ photo by mark stafford, 2002 ]
bye bye thanks
at nomocrime i'll be singing a song from the soundtrack of the film o lucky man!. you sing it to the tune of “what a friend we have in jesus” and it goes like this: everyone is going through changes/ no one knows what's going on/ and everybody changes places/ but the world still carries on/ love must always change to sorrow/ and everyone must play the game/ here today and gone tomorrow/ but the world goes on the same.
i'm not very good at listening to or understanding song lyrics, but this one moves me because it tells a truth about the nature of life, how it changes no matter what you try and do to control it. i'm sorry to see homocrime end, but the world will keep going and we'll all change places, and this is what life is about, not racking up the years doing the same thing night after night.
so let's not be sad, here are some of the memories i now have in my brain that wouldn't have been there if homocrime hadn't existed. i'll dig these thoughts up from time to time and i'll boast about them to the youngsters in a decade or two, when all the homocriminals are famous billionaire popstars.
i don't think i ever sweated at a nightclub so much as the night that the gossip played homocrime. people were bouncing off the walls. beth ditto knew all the words to “jenny from the block” by j-lo. i know this because she was mouthing them as she danced around with the rest of us.
i stole a stack of stationary from the oil megacorp where i was working at the time, wrapped them in xmas paper and stuck inscriptions in the front of them: this stationary has been stolen from one of the most evil multinational corporations in the world. please use it for the power of good by transforming it into one (or all) of the following: a journal of joyousness; an account of absolutely everything; a chronicle of coolness; a diary of delight; a memoir of magnificence; a notebook of naughtiness; a record of resistance; a history of your fabulousness; a manuscript of the book you've always wanted to write but never had the time, confidence, commitment or encouragement to have a go at actually doing; or something else equally brilliant. kay and i dressed up as santas and gave them out to delighted punters.
some of the best and some of the worst djs in london did a set at homocrime. everyone was welcome to have a go, even old people like me. that never happens.
the singles club
these are an inspired way to foster new music, create a new music scene and spread it about in an accessible way. i treasure those in my record collection and am proud to have been recorded on a couple of them. why don't you buy some? or start your own singles club? you so could.
i love to think of homosexuals as underworld criminals and homocrime is a place where you'd see all your friends. not just your currrent gaggle of pals, but also friends from way back, people that you rarely see in real life, people you really want to make friends with you. you would come home from the club hoarse because you would have been shouting a conversation with someone over the music all night.
homocrime encouraged kay, simon and me to be in a band and perform at the club, so we did. our performance was shambolic but we felt so encouraged and excited to have a place to play, and the extended rehearsal period beforehand helped us feel happy and close together.
our friend was a big part of homocrime, the most mixed queer club on earth. he got knocked over after the homobop on 12 june 2005 and he never recovered. his death shattered everybody and it's hard to keep going when something like this happens. there's nothing good to be said about andy's passing, but i'm glad that his last afternoon as a fully alive person was spent watching bands, hanging out with his pals, wearing stripes, feeling great and hopeful, inhabiting his music and being in his element, at his andyest.
the best name ever.
[ charlotte cooper ]
some thoughts about the earlier days
i thought i had the minutes of the very first 'proper' homocrime meeting, in october 2002, nearly a year before we started, but i couldn't find them. later meetings were very practical but we began by being a lot more creative, vitriolic: perhaps ideas were pretty stable by the time we had an agreed opening night and line-up. but to trace it back even further, homocrime was really born in the summer of 2000.
it was the year that steve (or was it missy? kitty?) and i discovered and mourned the end of club v, the final night being at the end of august. we had a big long trip planned, travelling and sleeping on european trains, and held it off until the morning after the end of club v. i think the plan began on an exemplary hungarian communist train journey: we had the bingo and the random events and the tape swapping (did any of this really happen?). and we knew there was a desperate need, by then more than ever.
i guess it must have kept coming up as an exciting topic of conversation amongst us for the next couple of years and by the time we london ladies had put on ladyfest in august 2002 i knew that the next project i would devote so much time and energy to would be homocrime, yet to be named at that stage. the catalyst in my mind came on andy's birthday in september. linus had come down to oxford to play at a gig ros had put on with sewing circle (joan & ingri's punk band).
andy decided to miss his bus back and call in sick the next day, so we stayed up in the kitchen of ros' parents' house sipping lime-flavoured vodka until well after the sun had risen again. i was only sipping, mind, because i was trying not to get drunk: there were too many exciting things to talk about, too much ground to cover. we discussed history, fitting recent events like ladyfest into the wider context. somewhere in this i must have mentioned the plans for a diy queer night, and andy was immediately on board. i think his endorsement and enthusiasm made it suddenly more real and possible. so that was that.
we met at the royal festival hall for the first time a few weeks later, and by this time it was a sure thing in all our minds. the name came from steve: something to do with french literature, the gay men always thieving and committing the crimes, but also obviously the status of homosexuality itself as a criminal affair. i recall dan expressing anxiety that people might think we had ripped off homocult, but we all agreed this assumption, whilst false, could only be read as a good thing.
so we must have ummed and ahhed about venues, in fact i remember going on venue hunts, and meeting venue owners, giving one or two the homocrime 'mission statement' to no avail. the crunch came when i was helping rosie and michal from ladyfest bristol to book a uk tour for the gossip in august 2003, and they could conveniently use an extra date in london. with a few calls we had the needles tip and it was booked, cash paid up front, and no turning back.
[ irene ]
some homocrime memories
flyering and spamming | casios on stage | the gossip | being able to pay the bands | those early meetings in some corner of the royal festival hall | those later meetings at indian veg | meeting andy for the first time at ladyfest bristol: “say, aren't we going to run a club night together” | that disastrous night at the poison club | sarit's swing set | the walk back to oxford circus | multiple santas | steve coining the name | the struggle to find 90 famous queers we liked for the bingo | reading that email in melbourne in june | the brief worry that people would think it was a men-only night | unskinny bop playing such good music | cables sticky with gaffer tape | the ridiculous beer prices | the london-bristol exchange | planning band line-ups that didn't happen | planning dj slots that didn't happen | the mighty lesbo pig | jason dancing in that shirt | scouring the pound shops of dalston for decorations with irene | typing up lyrics for daniel hundreds of miles away | the search for vegan mince pies | carl's french lesson | getting to meet certain writers i'd admired from afar | the under-used info stall | sitting on the door at 9pm wondering if anyone would turn up | sitting on the door at 1am wishing everyone would go home | crouching to tweak the sound levels all through victoria's film | sadness that the bristol kids won't be around this weekend | the first ho-ho-homocrime | playing "diy" by golden starlet as our opening tune | playing frank chickens and someone recognising it ... and loads of other stuff i forgot with my shit memory. that's all. diy forever! thanks for coming!
[ victor ]
homocrime singles club
doing the singles club has been one of my favourite parts of homocrime. there are lots of talented & unpretentious kids around and it's great to be able to help get their music 'out there' (i.e. into the bedrooms of tens of other people).
downloads are great but having something tangible is more exciting, and buying a cd-r for a pound is a fairly low-risk purchase. not being a nerd myself, it's hard to understand why people like things like 3" cd-rs, ink-stamped envelope sleeves and whatnot, but i don't mind pandering to the tastes of such weirdos.
anyway, we hope you enjoyed the sounds our friends made.
[ daniel ]
we found this in first out in march 2005, written on the back of a homocrime flyer which was then returned to the pile.
i like to think that the thought of our tea party inspired the writer, not just that our flyer was the only scrap paper lying around ...
anyway ... it's, like, deep.
we've decided not to have a 'thank you' page, as there are too many people who've helped us out (you know who you are and we love you) but homocrime would not have been possible without the assistance and inspiration of the gang. if we had a thank you page we'd thank them.
[ this show was due to happen four days after the homobop ]