This weekend was a pivotal moment at Chez Cluness for it was the first time myself and Sigga attended the Reykjavik Gay Pride. I´m not sure why we hadn´t attended it before, but i think it was a mixture of being away from the city at the time and not being arsed as we lived at the other side of the Reykjavik.
But this year would be different God dammit! We left at 2pm with friends Ása and Rebecca (who was covering it for the grapevine) and managed to find a semi-reliable spot outside the café Hemmi Og Valdi. Now at this point i felt something was missing. I realised it was a very large silly cocktail. so i went inside and asked for a strawberry daiquiri. Instead what i got was vodka and orange in a paper coffee cup and a large bottle of beer. Ahhh, sweet! All i needed at that moment was a pair of “recovering alcoholic” sunglasses and i was set.
The parade itself went better than expected. by the time it started, Laugavegur was fit to bursting with people watching.First off were some delightfully gnarly lesbian bikers before the first proper highlight. Our esteemed mayor Jón Gnarr leading the floats in full drag! Now for an elected official in any country to do something like this does take some balls (ahem), but he looked pretty good, if for the fact that he came across more like Les Dawson then Diana Dors.
After a couple more floats the first big “WHOOOO” from us came at the sight of our lovely friend, the delectably swish Atli on a float in full Priscilla drag (see left). And god he was gorgeous! (apparently, i´m really au fait with these things….). Oh and yes, those breasts of his are real glitterballs that could seriously take your eyes out!
Several more floats passed from several societies committed to LGBT rights passed, including the float of pop “Genius” Haffi Haff (more on him later), but the master of them all was the final float which contained Pall Óskar. Now he was wearing some Red PVC suit with attached codpiece and several red Xmas bauble stuck on his head. But the real delight was that he was sitting on a massive riser that would lift him over 15 metres into the air! Dangerous AND sexy! Mr Óskar i salute your committment to the cause….
so once that was over we moved towards the open air concert at Arnahóll. Fnding a suitable spot, we were ready for the onslaught of Queer Musical delights to overwhelm us.
First, and by far the best, was of course Pall Óskar. Now you don´t get where he is today by not having at least a serious chunk of talent in that sparkly soul of his. Each artist was only able to a couple of songs so it had to be punchy. While he didn´t do his BIG number “Þu komst við hjartað við mér”, he did do “Betra Líf” with a great sample from Robert Miles’ “Children”, which totally changed the nature and tone of the song. Very niiiice.
After him were some opera singers which, to be honest, bored the shit out of me, so i ran to the off license to get more alcohol. When i got back, Sigga Beinteins was blasting out “Rolling on the River” in the style of a masturbating Walrus. It was pretty horrendous, so we spent the time trolling the Grapevine Editor, Haukur, with texts saying that she was covering one of Reykjaivk!’s songs as a soul number.
The next couple of acts, Fridrik Ómar and the cast of the Rocky Horror musical passed without much incident, although their rendition of “Sweet Transvestite” was particularly raunchy for 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. Parents, if your child asks you what those two men are doing writing on stage in baby oil, just tell them they are “playing”.
Then, if i remember, the all Lesbian Rock band (y’know, i don´t buy that ALL of them are lesbians, perhaps bi-curious maybe…), Elektra came on. Their song “I don´t do Boys” was unintentionally hilarious. It just took Katy Perry- style lyrics and made them 1500% more ludicrous, if such a thing were possible.
The final act on stage was Icelandic pop’s rising “star” Haffi Haff. While discussing Mr Haff, i entered into another one of my boorish diatribes about how much i disliked him. This argument was countered succinctly by Rebecca with the wise words “JESUS Bob! This is fucking Gay Pride. OK you don´t like him, we get it! Just let it go, God you’re boring us already!”. Hmmm…. well in that case i wish Haffi all the best and i hope he has a great time doing it (please don´t hit me Louder…).
It all ended with everyone involved getting on stage and entering into a “we are the world” style closing song or something and it was all over for another year. Later on that night Rebecca would be covering Pall Óskar’s NASA party as penance for a crime in a previous life, while we boogied on to Magnus Dýri’s underground disco at Kaffibarinn, having decided we were not going to pay 1000ISK to enter Barbara Bars’ party.
Overall it was certainly a colourful day, with heavy emphasis on the colour and glitter and fun. Admittedly a lot of the music was a bit below par (does to have to be that the acts performing MUST be gay , lesbian or bisexual?), but to an old bear like me it was the best excuse to get out of the house in ages…