Last night I went to VAMP the Lounge to see a friend of mine perform in a burlesque show. For whatever reason, I’d put it off for something like 8 months, and it was time to pay the piper.

VAMP is on the Queen Mary. Yes, that Queen Mary which I haven’t been to since I went on a school tour there something like 20 years ago. All I remember from that trip is that you go down to the engine room and see one of the huge propellers sitting in the water, unmoving…it was a creepy feeling looking down into the still water and knowing that that propeller had been sitting like that for a long time, and would continue to do so for a long time after. And that’s the Queen Mary.

Fast forward 20 years and it’s kind of surreal. There’s a club in here? Wait, and a hotel? But on a boat that doesn’t move.

I was a little early so my drafted friend and I went into the bar to wait. I have never scene a more eclectic bar crowd in my life. There were the 30-somethings out for a night on the town. There were hipsters wearing fedoras and suspenders looking like they were on their way to a swing dance class. There were the 40-something married couples dancing poorly. And there was a mullet. And all of this was lorded over by THE raddest lounge singer: an overweight Italian(?) guy in tight black pants, and a fully sequined red shirt. He sang Frank, he sang Elvis, he sang mother f’ing Whitney Houston! You know the song.

At this point I wasn’t sure whether I loved it or hated it, but the red sequins were pushing me firmly towards love.

The show started, my friend was amazing, her friends were amazing, hell even the waitresses were amazing. Who knew burlesque could be so much fun? They danced to the typical loungey strong women songs, they did the nude shadows behind the curtain stuff, they went out into the titillated crowd, they danced their (small, tight) asses off. It was rad. It was so incongruous with it’s surroundings. Why are we on the Queen Mary; but on second thought who the hell cares?

You should go. You should take your friends. You should especially take your uptight friends and give them a little thrill.

And if you happen to know one of the dancers, that’s a plus, too.

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