This week we’re welcoming back an old guest – Craig Law is a DJ and the host of the #InTheMix show on Gaydio, the world’s biggest LGBT radio station. The last time he was here he told me all about his early days of gay clubbing in his hometown Swansea, Wales. This time around we’re visiting Manchester’s gay village and the lost club Kiki, whose tagline was “a grown-up club for those who grew up clubbing”. Now, if you’ve ever listened to this show before you know that we do tend to sometimes maybe occasionally perhaps veer off topic, and this week I fear we may have outdone ourselves… So, as well as me learning about Craig’s days drowning in paperwork as a defence paralegal, and how DJ-ing and the queer scene saved him, we also discuss… in no particular order…. the logistics of hooking up with strangers when you’re staying in a hotel with key cards and security guards, getting your friends to set you up with their friends, bottom-shaming, the concept of camp, and my new business idea for pee-shyness coaching…
Craig Law 00:00
I’ve never understood slut shaming. Like I still to this day I just like why would you look at a person who’s decided you know it because you’re on your own body what you do with it is up to you. You know I’ve never understood why people go out of their way to say oh you know it’s really bad that you like sex it’s not it’s really bad you like Nazis not something like sex.
K Anderson 00:21
Hello I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, the podcast that mourn to the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories that they created there and the people that they used to know. This week we are welcoming back an old guest and as old as an he’s been on the show before not that he is old. My guest is none other than Craig law. He is a DJ and also hosts the in the mixture on Gaydio, the world’s biggest LGBT radio station. The last time that he was here he told me all about his early days of gay clubbing in his hometown of Swansea, Wales. This time around we are visiting Manchester’s and Gay Village and the last club Kiki. Now, the if you’ve ever listened to this show before you know what to expect, you know that we do tend to sometimes maybe, occasionally perhaps veer off topic, and this week, I fear we may have outdone ourselves. So, as well as me learning about Craig’s days drowning in paperwork as a defence paralegal and how deejaying and the queer scene saved him from that life. We also discuss in no particular order, the logistics of hooking up with strangers when you’re staying in a hotel with key cards and heavy security, getting your friends to set you up with their friends and all the troubles that that can cause bottom shaving the concept of camp and how to apply it and I even have time to pitch my new business idea for coaching pee shy man. Shall we shall we just get on with the show?
Craig Law 02:24
I’ve always had a really low opinion of myself, you know, I’m quite self deprecating. I’ve been trying to stop that because my friends have told me to stop doing it.
K Anderson 02:52
Wait, is it self deprecating or self pitying?
Craig Law 02:55
You know you’d have to ask them but I’d probably think they say more self pity, but it comes out as deprecating. So I used to make little comments, you know about how short I am or, you know how and Jaden, Jaden and all these things. How short Are you very short. I’m like can like really? Like super short for two. Okay, I’m not that short. I get the person’s out. Now. I’m like five for five.
K Anderson 03:15
Okay, so but if you were next to Kylie, you’d look big.
Craig Law 03:18
If I was next to Kylie I’d be weeping. I said that thing if I was next to Kylie I’d be
K Anderson 03:22
okay. Because I’ve heard perfume. Oh,
Craig Law 03:27
Kylie, I’m gonna leave you caches. Khaidi No,
K Anderson 03:30
I’m not shading Kylie. why you’d be crying?
Craig Law 03:33
because I’d be in the presence of Kylie Minogue. It’s like, I’d be like bowing to her curtsy. You’d be like, you’d be like your foot a pop royalty. I I don’t think as the guests like one celeb, but
K Anderson 03:43
what do you think? How do you think she would respond to that?
Craig Law 03:45
Getting a restraining order? Probably. That’s what I would do. Yeah. Probably blocked me and all social media and everything. But say you’re
K Anderson 03:52
five foot five. I’m five foot five. And I’ve imagined how tall you are.
Craig Law 03:57
And to be honest, I’ve always kind of buried that stat. And now I’m kind of like be very much owning it. It’s kind of like okay, I don’t care.
K Anderson 04:05
Well, how do you? How do you bury it? Do you mean like online? Yeah. So
you know, like, nothing you could really
K Anderson 04:11
Craig Law 04:14
So I used to bury it with self deprecation. You know, I was just to grind up my friend hated it. Something about being a shortchange omitted budget, you know, something like that. And, and my friend, my friend saw ungraded he was like, no, no, no, no, no, that’s like the least sexy thing ever. And
K Anderson 04:32
I have a really important question for you right now. Come on. What do you think of the term pocket gay?
Craig Law 04:39
I love it. I love it. I love it.
K Anderson 04:43
Do you find it a bit offensive?
Craig Law 04:46
No, not really. You’re probably asking the wrong person because there’s a lot of things I don’t find offensive or insulting. You know, my tolerance for is so solo. So it’s like, yeah, I’m probably the wrong person to ask but I don’t find that insulting. I just I’d find it kind of cute actually. Max is the column he has short his show. Yeah, it’s a TV show. We watched I can’t remember the show, but it was a show and, and there was like a couple in there and one was tall and one was short and they sort of referred to each other as the tall and the short. You know, you’re my tall. You’re my short. It was really cute. I mean, goofy as hell not saying it out loud. But
K Anderson 05:21
do you have people assuming that you’re a bottom? Because Oh, hi. Oh, my God all the time? Yeah. Oh,
Craig Law 05:30
it’s just about apparently, right. This okay. Are you ready for this? This is this is you’ve pushed one of my buttons. No. Okay. So I hope you’re ready for this. This is all on you guys. It’s all here. Okay, so get me. I’m going to sock it to you, baby. Yeah. People always assume right? And this drives me nuts really drives me nuts. People always assume that I’m quite camp and effeminate. Now, I don’t have a problem with that at all. But I’m not. It’s just that I can be quite outgoing in the way I speak. And you know, I always say I have Italian hands. I’m always moving my hands. Even though I’m moving my hands. I don’t know why no one’s watching I Senna
K Anderson 06:07
xenophobic thing to say
Craig Law 06:11
it probably is but it’s just all those things without being tarred with a brush that I don’t deserve your, again, no problem with it. But people have kind of preconceptions then when they hear you know, Greg’s quite camp. You know, it gives other people a preconception about me that.
K Anderson 06:27
Okay, we’re talking about two different things here. So let me let’s just talk about this camp thing first. Okay, so they’re making assumptions that your camp because you are a cow?
Craig Law 06:37
Because no, because they associate with my ability to speak quite well. Well, I hope I could speak well,
K Anderson 06:43
I think you can thank you.
Craig Law 06:45
But they’re assuming that and the fact that I use my hands is quite a camp thing, you know, and I’ve got effeminate friends and everything, and I love them. But I some
K Anderson 06:55
of my best friends are feminine. Yeah. Oh
Craig Law 06:56
my god. Yes. My best friend. So
K Anderson 06:59
you’re saying and so you’re saying that that is an indicator of your sexual preference if you’re deemed to be camp,
Craig Law 07:07
but not just sexual preference, just in terms of a person’s predisposition of your personality. Like, I remember a person come up to me and say, you know, you know, you must really, really like Kylie. And yes, I do. But it’s nothing to do with the fact that you think I’m camp or you think game. You know, I’m gay. It’s just the Kylie makes awesome music, they can be appreciated by any person, irrespective of their mannerisms or sexuality or whatever.
K Anderson 07:31
She comes up a lot on this chair. What about share there? What’s the litmus test there? Love her. I mean, I mean, these people might all have a point.
Craig Law 07:43
I also like Coldplay.
K Anderson 07:45
Okay, that’s not helping your case.
Craig Law 07:47
Okay. How was Coldplay cap? I’m gonna actually hang on, let me dial it back. Because how was Coldplay camp?
K Anderson 07:56
No, okay. But the bigger thing here is, you don’t like being called Camp.
Craig Law 08:01
I have no problem being called Camp, but I hate being prejudged. I hated I hated that, that someone
K Anderson 08:08
understand them. So what does that like? What does that mean to you? If someone prejudges you as being camp? Why is that a problem?
Craig Law 08:14
I think it’s just because that in in our community, I think it’s always been that they can people have always been viewed with quite a bit of disdain, in my experience, and I don’t and I guess that’s another thing I don’t like. Because, you know, that’s, you know, community can be quite judgmental at times. And that’s not something I really like. Again, it’s it goes into that top and bottom shaming thing, you know, where one role is see is deemed to be more subversive than the other. And I think that’s that, you know, when you and people think of a brochure, yeah, it is total bullshit. And it’s just yeah, so, I mean, it’s not just what we would call a camp, they hate it when people you know, think that I’m posh. I’ve had that before, just because I, I wear glasses. And one time I went out to a gay bar wearing a jumper of a shirt. I think I came from work, you know, in an office job, and someone told you that you’re really passionate. Yeah, I mean, this is Wales. To be fair, it probably is posh. And again, it’s just I just hate being prejudge whether people think I’m camp or posh, or whatever. I just hate it. I’d rather people just get to know me on face value. And the fact that yes, I am gay. I love Kylie but I also love football. And you know, and again, I know plenty of gays like that, you know that. Just like don’t just say, oh, you know, you’re the camp one or the like I used to get when I used to work in offices. People used to make me the gay one and they drove me nuts. It drove me absolutely nuts. I was like, of all the things you could assign to my personality. You choose the least interesting thing.
K Anderson 09:40
I know. Like why wouldn’t they call you the short ginger one?
Craig Law 09:43
Exactly. It’s just, yeah, I just I just hate all it. I just hate being prejudge. It’s not just about you know, I have no problem being called camp because I think we all love it. But a campiness
K Anderson 09:54
I think it’s just so I struggled with that word. Yeah. myself for years and I think I guess just because for me, Camp is just such a like, add nothing concept. It’s so like, it’s so broad, and also so narrow and I can’t get my head around what is camp and why isn’t camp like, I mean, apart from the obvious, but you know, when people use camp as a descriptor, I’m just like, Oh, how did they come up with that?
Craig Law 10:19
See, I’m no good at that. I’m with you there. I don’t know when something, you know, when there’s something that looks camp, you know, like, like, someone will bring out a person like, oh, this camp and I’m like, I don’t understand.
K Anderson 10:29
Yeah. Because it’s kind of like a kitschy-ness, right? Yeah, I think but they’re not interchangeable. They’re they’re slightly different somehow, but I don’t really get to be totally honest. But yeah, there was a period of time when I was a teenager, I remember when people were calling everything camp, and it was just, I don’t understand. They’re like, I can’t join in because I don’t know, like, how you’re classifying these things. But yeah, I going back to this thing about your height. And people assuming that you’re a bottom because of your height. Like, it’s really just, to me an indication of how heteronormative queer culture can be. And even though we rally against heteronormativity, like it’s kind of inescapable, right?
Craig Law 11:17
Ish. I mean, again, and that goes back to me what you’re loving the fact of the world is more free now. There’s so much so community that has been tops and bottoms. You know, there’s, there’s so much more to it now. Well, his first top first bottoms their sides. I mean, I learned about site a few years ago, and that opened my eyes. And I think that’s the thing. I think we’re going down that path and thank God we are I think we’re going on the path where, without starting to realise where people people are different. I mean, that’s so cliche. It’s so corny, but it’s true. And I think we’ve got away from all these labels know, where you’re either this or that, you know, when there’s so much grey area? Actually not not grey area, Rainbow area. There’s so much rainbow area. You know, there’s so much more to it. And I as long as there’s no glare? Yeah. glitters a bit. Yeah, terrible, especially in your beard. So I just I’m still thinking,
K Anderson 12:09
like, yeah, that is an occupational hazard for you a little bit.
Craig Law 12:13
But yeah, going back to it, I think it’s great. I think it’s great that we’re now starting to embrace everyone’s differences and recognising the differences and kind of just saying, Fuck, yeah, everyone’s different. Let’s just go along with it.
K Anderson 12:27
I don’t know. Like, if we go back to the top of our conversation, where we were talking about how sex is far more transactional, now, you kind of need to boil yourself down to one thing in order to make yourself appealing on Grindr, or on scruff or whatever, you need to have this unique selling point. You can’t be like, I’m a complex being. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that. Yeah. And what have you done? You’ve blocked those people, right? No.
Craig Law 12:56
Absolutely. I mean, there’s a difference between someone who sounds like an absolute nutcase. I mean, you see those and right now, you know, that people are like, you know, no fats, no, fems, no, whatever. You know, those kind of really got in the head people, you know, and there’s diversity in that and a person who’s kind of embracing their differences. And I, you know, I lost people on grade that I kind of like, because, you know, sometimes like, when you go to London, you load up the grain degrade, and it’s all faceless profiles, are really mostly guys with very specific requirements. And, yeah, I kind of like seeing that. But I know you mean, I think I think in order to be successful on a dating app, you do have to bog yourself down to some, you know, common denominator to appeal to the kind of person you want to have sex with.
K Anderson 13:40
Yeah. So we’re talking about Manchester. We’re talking about Kiki. In Manchester. Yes. So I want to play a game with you. Okay. I’m going to start a sentence and you’re going to finish it for me. Okay. Okay. The one word that I would use to describe Kiki is
Craig Law 14:01
K Anderson 14:02
Mm hmm. My favourite thing about Kiki was the people. And if it wasn’t for Kiki? Yeah, yeah, that’s it. If it wasn’t for Kiki,
Craig Law 14:17
well, I can’t say one word after that a terrible sentence.
K Anderson 14:20
No, it doesn’t have to be one. Oh, okay. I think because you were not listening to my instructions.
Craig Law 14:25
Okay. Okay. So what was what was the thing again, that was the prompt.
K Anderson 14:30
If it wasn’t Vicki,
Craig Law 14:31
I’d probably be dying of boredom, working as a law person somewhere and just just Yeah, hating everything
K Anderson 14:39
as though a person. Yeah, it’s very nonspecific. Well, yeah.
Craig Law 14:43
Because I was I was a paralegal and you know, I might have got on the train to become a solicitor or something. But it wouldn’t be what I’m doing now. And I hated every second of it.
K Anderson 14:52
So shall we go back in time to those days there to those days? Yeah, paralegal. So tell me about it. Where were you? Where were you working? What were you doing?
Craig Law 15:02
I wouldn’t name and shaming them but I was working for a public sector, legal organisation, as a as a defence paralegal. So, you know, sometimes, you know, when the company’s employees do something wrong, I have to defend them. And I thought I always wanted to be kind of like a lawyer, a barrister. You know, I thought that was what I was supposed to do. You know, so I, you know, I went to uni, did law school, you know, did all of that. And then when I finally got to actually do it, I realised I hated it. That’s how it was just so boring and just saw needlessly intense and just, you know, you’d look around the room and everyone there hated what they were doing, you know, and I and my mom, God bless her soul. She always used to say, you know, if you get up and you hate what you’re doing, then you know, you’re not living. And so yeah, that was kind of my path. I mean, I was, I mean, we talked in the last episode about champers, you know, in Swansea, and, you know, I was DJing part time there whilst I was working in law. And yeah, and it just so happened that that was what I was doing. I was DJing at the weekends, part time and my future was being a paralegal. And you know, and I hated it. I hate, you know, I look back now. And I realised that just wasn’t a very healthy thing for me. So what
K Anderson 16:15
was the catalyst? And what was the thing that got you out? So it
Craig Law 16:18
basically it’s a two prong things. The first thing was I got offered the chance to join Gaydio. And it’s kind of you know, I did a few cover shows for Gaydio. And I, I did you know, I did, I did some mixes, and I got another guy on your team. And one of them was my good friend. And now my boss, Kriss Herbert. And he was working at Gaydio, we got to know each other really well. And you know, we got on really well. And he just started in a new bar in Manchester, Kiki. So they were looking for DJs for Manchester Pride one year, you know, because during Pride the bars are open pretty much from the morning until the next morning. So they need like all the DJs. So he was like, oh, you know, why don’t you come up and do a set of Kiki, you know, and I to be honest, I didn’t think anything of it really, I just thought you know, I’m going to be up there anyway, for Manchester Pride, like I did most years. So I thought I’d go and play this set. So I played downstairs in Kiki. What used to be called voids, you know, is the Late Late Club Beyond till 10 In the morning, but I played there did upright and there was like, no one there. I mean, I swear to God, I was DJing. The no one but the bar staff. In this in this basement room.
K Anderson 17:25
I’ve just said Oh, but how does that feel for you? Like it’s actually kind of like fun, because you get to just do what the fuck you want
Craig Law 17:31
it? To be honest, it used to really kind of pissed me off. Well, I pissed me off it just, I always thought it would be my fault. Yeah, even though there’s nothing you could have done. Because the time you know, I look back and I think, of course, no one’s there. It was a sunny day and everyone’s outside. Of course, someone’s not gonna be the basement club. But you know, two o’clock in the afternoon. So again, that’s all that’s all done to me, again, kind of recalibrating, you know, the way I think about things. So yeah, I DJ to no one. And unbeknownst to me, it was a trial shift. Chris didn’t tell me this. But it was a trial shift.
K Anderson 18:02
He was in the corner spying on us.
Craig Law 18:06
I think it was on the main stage. Actually, he didn’t take but not but what I didn’t realise was the manager of the venue was listening. And I had no idea. So I just did my saying and just try to enjoy it as much as you can, you know, when you play into a room of nobody, and no, I’m just interested my thing, collected my money and went away. And then literally, the week after they get in touch and they say, you know, we really like just said that I remember the time going, you’re taking the personnel, you’re taking the test, there’s no one there to DJ to. And I’m like, No, we like we like what you did, and I ended up doing a few Friday nights a Kiki and, you know, it’s a big deal. You know, for me, you know, coming from from, you know, a little town in South Wales, to play on Canal Street, you know, which is, I can’t think of any areas in the world better than Canal Street to be a gay, I just can’t, you know, a lesbian, LGBT, you know, it’s just, it’s just the most amazing place even now, I’ve been DJing there eight years now. I still love it every time I play in Canal Street. So to be given the chance to play that I thought you know, I’ll do a couple of cover shifts, it’d be great. It’s a four hour commute, but it’s worth it.
K Anderson 19:07
So for those of us who haven’t been to canal, I don’t know I said it like that because I happen to can ask for those of us. Anyway, let’s go with that. So for those of us that have never been to Canal Street, what is it that so magical about it?
Craig Law 19:22
I think it’s it’s a mix of the history, and just the fact that there’s this one? Well, I see one street but of course there’s the whole Manchester Gay Village, that this is one area where you can just be unashamedly you, because even today, I think there’s places that people who are LGBT can go into and not quite feel like being themselves, you know, feel like they can be themselves without being targeted or judged. You know, and, and the thing about Canal Street is from the first second I ever went there just as a customer to when I was there last week playing a gig in you know, the Big Gay super club is the sense of magic that you can be whatever hell you want to be and it’s completely fine. Just don’t be an asshole. That’s like the rule.
K Anderson 20:05
How does that feel?
Craig Law 20:07
It feels amazing. It really does. You know, when you think about all the venues that have come before it all the people have come before that, you know, all the history of Canal Street. And when you’re DJing, and you’re looking out, and you’ll see all these really young LGBT people who are starting their, their journey that that most of us did, you know, 1015 20 years ago, you know, they started their own thing. And it just, it just makes me so happy that there’s an area where, you know, people can go and be themselves and have a great time, be safe, and just express themselves without fear of repercussions.
K Anderson 20:42
You sound like you’re you feel as though you’re an elder in the community.
Craig Law 20:46
I kind of I do feel like that though. Yeah, I do. I kind of feel like that that I think because I’ve been around a while now but Canal Street terms, but
K Anderson 20:53
so then to how often do you use the term when I was your age?
Craig Law 21:01
It’s really awkward, because I swear, I think I use it with my niece at the weekend. But I always hear myself saying something like that. I mean, I remember, I was telling a story on Gaydio and somebody texts in going, Why is it every time your honour you always make it sound like old people should just you know, it’s such a bad thing to get old. Do you? Yeah. And I didn’t realise I was doing. I didn’t realise they were so negative about growing old, you know, in the LGBT sphere?
K Anderson 21:32
And is that you talking about your own age and making a joke?
Craig Law 21:35
Yeah, just be just Yeah, I would never insult someone else to say. Yeah, I think I was I think it was making some stupid thing about someone calling me daddy on Grindr. Just something really, you know, just pointlessly stupid. And then it made me realise then that, you know, we were saying these things, and we don’t realise how they’re being interpreted or how they’re making people feel. And, you know, I remember reading it. And I mean, my first instinct was to go off, you know, piss off. But then, you know, I listened back to what I said that I started, I thought, You know what, you’ve actually got a point it goes back to the whole, my friends tell me not to be self deprecating thing, you know, what the hell is wrong with being gay and getting older, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s fine. Just embrace it. And I certainly shall be negative about it on a, on an LGBT radio station. You know, it made me just kind of ebme Think about the things I say in the way I say it.
K Anderson 22:25
It’s, it’s really interesting. And it’s hard to disentangle from the wider society, because I know lots of people who are like, Well, I really wish I could go back to school, but there’s no point because I’m 35. And it’s like, you know, like, if you’re lucky, then you’re gonna live to like, ad 90. Like you, I think you’ve got time to do this. Like, if you want to do it, but people are just so like, No, I’ve had my chance. That’s it. So sorry, that’s a bit of a meandering statement, but it’s very prevalent in the gay community and, and it’s just really fucking annoying.
Craig Law 23:04
Yeah, it is. I think my thing came from living in an era when I was going out clubbing where we’re all people were kind of described to me as being quite seedy and quite.
K Anderson 23:15
And now you’re the CTO? Exactly.
Craig Law 23:19
But no, obviously you get to know them. And you realise it’s not like that at all. Yeah, I just think it’s the it’s the kind of environment that was kind of brought up into and, and thank the Lord that, you know, the gaze of today, you know, that the LGBT people today are coming up at a much more enlightened environment. Thank God,
K Anderson 23:35
I don’t know who they are.
Craig Law 23:37
I think, maybe me maybe I’m just an optimist.
K Anderson 23:41
You know, I just think people never stop being pricks
Craig Law 23:43
I mean, that’s true. I mean, that’s true with everyone I’ve ever dated, but but we could talk about this all night. I think that it’s a running joke. And apparently I love twinks you know, there’s like, there’s like, there’s like a huge running joke that that I like twinks and you know, looking at my exes, they probably got a point. You know, I probably did probably I probably do have a very specific type. I don’t subconsciously go out there and think oh, you know, that’s the only person I’ve ever date. Maybe I was like that five years ago, but I think today I’m far more
K Anderson 24:14
Craig Law 24:16
Yeah, okay, there we go. Yeah, thank you. Please take me Please date me if you want to take me just to sleep with
K Anderson 24:22
you. If you’re interested in Craig then number now,
Craig Law 24:26
I’m not paying a commission. Why No, you’re not my pimp.
K Anderson 24:29
Well, no, I’m just the matchmaker. And I think that that’s a very I think that’s a service that should be
paid for. No, absolutely no, say Okay,
K Anderson 24:39
so if someone listens to this episode, and then gets in touch with you and then you fall in love and get married you’re not gonna be like,
Craig Law 24:44
I’ll do you another podcast. Okay. And
K Anderson 24:46
that’s that’s what you get any pounds.
Craig Law 24:47
I will jump on a podcast and we’ll do a thing about how we fell in love. All thanks to you. Ah,
K Anderson 24:52
well now I’m just not going to bother. Oh, great. No, sounds like you work with anywhere.
Craig Law 24:59
See Here’s the thing we actually you got you can help me with this. Should I be offended that none of my friends and my close friends have set me up with their gay friends,
K Anderson 25:08
but so that so? Okay, let’s say a few more details that I will need before I can make a statement on this. Have you asked them to do that for you? Yes, yes. And what was their response?
Craig Law 25:19
Oh, they’re just kind of an arm they got, you know, well, you know, I don’t know if you two are compatible. Well, hi. Give me a go.
K Anderson 25:29
I think I’m with your friend on this one. Not like, obviously, I don’t know them. How do I disconnect if you said it? If you said it to me, like just set me up with someone? Okay, I would do it. But only if it was someone who I thought yes, that’s going to work. Because if I did it and you both hated each other, then who are you going to blame?
Craig Law 25:51
Probably the other guy. No, me. No, no, no, no, it’s
K Anderson 25:55
like, oh, he has terrible taste in French. Oh, it’s
Craig Law 25:58
just it’s just I see all these people who were like, Oh, we met through friends and it occurred to me a while back and I was like hang on better friends Craig Yeah, you know I need to then probably listen to this so yeah, you’re all fired. Bring me the gays bring me your finest homosexuals.
K Anderson 26:13
But do you not think if you know creates weirdness if you do friends friends,
Craig Law 26:20
but it just gets that point nowhere you know I’m getting what I say broody but apparently that means you want a kid and I’m definitely not rooting for kids you know? No way No ma’am.
K Anderson 26:30
No, but you’re ready to make a nest Yeah, just
Craig Law 26:33
don’t want no kids. Yeah, I just I just kind of am I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been watching way too many rom coms or something but I don’t know I just kind of you know, I’ve kind of gone past that. Like even last weekend was in Manchester usually I’d be trawling Grindr and trying to get people to come to the hotel you know, standards.
K Anderson 26:50
I see this so do do you have to like go down and let them in?
Craig Law 26:54
It depends on the hotel and this is what I have a billion dollar idea or a billion pound idea Sorry. Okay, so what if right there was like a TripAdvisor but it’s exclusively for gays? Right. Oh, you’re LGBT people. And it literally rates how good the hotel is for hookups. You know, do do they need to come up to the
ribs is this yes. No way.
K Anderson 27:18
I think it’s called come down hotels or something.
Craig Law 27:21
Okay, I’m googling that. I’m worried about googling this but Okay, hang on google it. Let’s come dump hotels. What did it oh my god it is.
K Anderson 27:28
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s already been it’s already been created.
Craig Law 27:35
Okay, the headlines a Mickey saying. Looking for a hotel to wait on all fours with a door unlocked. Trying to find a hold a seat. Oh, you got to give you an email. Maybe I should put my boss’s email in there.
K Anderson 27:51
But maybe you can. Maybe you could be like a an investor getting on the ground floor.
Craig Law 27:58
It needs it definitely needs a better website. But hang on it was it one created by global gore? gloryhole. Excellent. Excellent, amazing idea. It is an amazing idea.
K Anderson 28:11
So how does the business model work? Because if it was TripAdvisor, they’d be getting a commission for every sale. But I don’t think very many hotels are gonna want happy list.
Craig Law 28:23
Affiliate ads or something? I haven’t thought about the business side of things. You know. Okay. All right. Sorry. But that concept is so good. So yes. So this definitely hotels in certain places where I mean, there’s there’s an A Toria, Swati Manchester that’s basically a sex hotel. It there’s no other way of putting it. And it’s a horrible hotel. It’s so grim. But lots of people stay there and lots of things go on there.
K Anderson 28:45
Ah, so interesting. I wonder if that’s like in their business model like has to be like, their comms strategy or something like,
Craig Law 28:53
I don’t know. But yeah, they
K Anderson 28:54
have to know, right? They have to know when they see all these shifty looking men coming through reception. Yeah,
Craig Law 28:59
so it’s just, it’s just one of those things. But yeah, it’s a great business model. And you know, but there’s definitely hotels in every city that that you would stay at that are better for hookups than, say your travel lodges, which have like bouncers on the dough on everything and that’s just like, Okay, no, you can’t have anyone back. Yeah,
K Anderson 29:15
yeah, I just can’t be bothered it’s homophobic
Craig Law 29:20
I mean, hope you can expect me just sleep in my hotel if I’m paying this much for it. You better believe I want to get some science
K Anderson 29:25
dare you not let me have 15 Strangers exactly how
Craig Law 29:29
am I supposed to get this flotilla the power bottoms through the door when there’s a bouncer you know? Yeah, it’s, it’s ridiculous. But I kind of already talked.
K Anderson 29:40
We were talking about oh, you’re getting broody? But not broody. You’re just wanting to settle down.
Craig Law 29:47
Yeah, I mean, that’s probably an age thing. I guess. I guess I’m just getting kind of relationship Rudy. And
K Anderson 29:53
so when was the last like, proper relationship or you know, like,
Craig Law 29:59
oh, god There’s about two years ago, actually two, yeah, two and a bit years ago.
K Anderson 30:03
So maybe it’s just that, like, you’re over the novelty of being single. And you’re like, oh, yeah, I could do something different.
Craig Law 30:09
Maybe I just, I guess it just comes down to. I mean, one of the things I really hate about do when you’re when you’re a touring DJ, you know, when a lot of DJs only DJ in the local city, I tend to go everywhere, you know, a bit of a DJ slut. Yeah, it gets really lonely. And I, you know, I know, I don’t want violins and start playing or anything, but it does actually get really, really lonely. And, you know, it happened to me at the weekend, you know, I was stuck in Manchester because of the dam storm. I had to stay overnight at the hotel. And you know, what, I didn’t talk to a single person for about 10 hours. So it gets lonely, you know, and it made me think about the times that I dragged my boyfriend to me, you know, on the roads, and how good it was coming back from a gig and, you know, sometimes, you know, you feel like you’ve done shit, and you come back and he’s in the bed and you just have a really nice coach. And it’s like, okay, so yeah, I think I think that’s why I’m particularly broody. Now.
K Anderson 31:01
So, first of all, we just need to explain that crutches. I did. I don’t think I said that right. Today.
Craig Law 31:07
What do you say it again until again?
K Anderson 31:09
I can’t. No. chess
Craig Law 31:12
coach. No, no. Okay. Coaches, coaches vagina, isn’t it?
K Anderson 31:18
Yes, but that’s why it’s like, because it’s just like a hug. It’s so warm. And yeah, but a coach doesn’t involve vagina rounds, you
Craig Law 31:26
know, for China as well. I don’t know what kind of coaching you guys do, but there’s no vaginas in my kitchen.
K Anderson 31:31
Anyway, so relish word for hug, cut? Yes. But is there any more nuance to it?
Craig Law 31:38
No, it’s just that Welsh people are the best hikers in the world, if huggin was an Olympic sport, where wheels would be top of it every time
K Anderson 31:44
and so let’s just say one more time, coach, Coach, Coach, Coach, so it’s like, like, like birch
Craig Law 31:53
like Butch. But cush maybe is just a good way like Butch Butch. Alright, cool.
K Anderson 31:57
Cool. I’m down. Say good. What do you want to do? You just want to come home and have a cuddle?
Craig Law 32:02
Yeah, I mean, cuddling is the best I mean, that is the thing I miss the most in all relationships is just the you know the cuddling and and just just having someone else around you know, and just yeah, that’s that’s something I really do miss
K Anderson 32:18
see I get that companionship thing but like the cuddling I
just I’m not well, you’re not a cuddler
K Anderson 32:26
I just like it’s fine. And then it’s not fine. What okay, what point does it become not fine? Like about 30 seconds in
Craig Law 32:37
Oh, okay. They’re doing it wrong. They do you got to find the NOC justifies the knock. Okay. I got Are you the big spoon or the little spoon?
K Anderson 32:45
I prefer big spooning.
Craig Law 32:47
Okay, so they’ve got to find your look. Just wait. Well,
K Anderson 32:56
yeah, dad. I just think it’s not for me.
Craig Law 33:00
I mean, I’m disappointed in you. And I think you should be sent to a war crimes tribunal, but
K Anderson 33:08
you’re not in just love shaving.
Craig Law 33:10
I just shaved No.
K Anderson 33:14
All right, fine. Fine.
Craig Law 33:15
Okay, so if you’re not catching a guy, what are you doing? So when you’re in bed with a guy and you’re not having sex, or any kind of sexual thing, what do you do with the guy
K Anderson 33:24
on the other side of the bed? No, send me a postcard. Yeah. Oh, the poor guy. No, no, no.
Craig Law 33:34
I’ll go are you one of those guys that like after after after he’s finished is like okay, get away from me. Go away. Yes. Okay. Okay.
K Anderson 33:42
Yeah, but not like in a horrible way. Just don’t touch me. Don’t
Craig Law 33:50
you so charming.
K Anderson 33:53
Nerve it. It’s like, you know, I like No, right? Yeah,
Craig Law 33:57
I’m shocked. I’m up. Do
K Anderson 33:58
you want to end the conversation?
Craig Law 34:00
I do. I just I just I feel so I feel so violated. The only exceptions that rule I think for me is that I can’t like You know how some couples like they’ll cuddle like all night when they sleep
K Anderson 34:11
Craig Law 34:13
Okay, now I have an opinion. Why don’t you know but I can’t do that because especially with Biax he was basically a human radiator. So you’re after the cuddling I’m like okay, get off the side of the bed. You’re way too hot. And it’s Yeah, but so we have the coach and then and
K Anderson 34:32
then we say then how long would the coach last? Author’s
Craig Law 34:35
me if the hours really be ours? It was me you’re like me I’m on one of my other axes. We just have this thing where we would wake up and we listen to radio to like be in a hotel sometimes. So we just know radio two, and they’d have pot mastered on we can bruise and we played pot master was cuddling and it was like the best. The best thing ever.
K Anderson 34:57
I guess you had to be there. But
Craig Law 35:00
no pot master rocks anyway, but you know, just slowing touching. And it’s like, amazing.
K Anderson 35:04
And so how long would that last?
Craig Law 35:07
Three hours? I think it’ll check out pretty much. So it was great. It was yeah, it was, again, it might just be a Welsh thing. You know, like, I don’t think you’d meet very many Welsh people who don’t love a good coach.
K Anderson 35:20
I mean, is that a Welsh,
Craig Law 35:23
baby? I mean, I don’t think I’ve met a Welsh person that doesn’t love a coach. But again, I’m, you know, I’m surprised you don’t so you know, what do I know? What do I know?
K Anderson 35:34
Anyway, Manchester, Kiki, and Kiki, let’s spend some time there. So now let’s go one step back paralegal. Do you remember the decision to be like, I’m not doing this anymore? Yeah,
Craig Law 35:47
I actually do because it was it was pretty horrific. So I had I had a paycheck, I just done a full weekend of DJing. And I looked at my pay slip. And I realised that I only got paid like a little bit more for doing a month’s worth of work for the CMOS do it for a weekend. Ah, but then I remember telling myself you know, all this, you know, you could if you want to be a solicitor, or you want to be a, you know, a big in the legal sector, these that, you know, you got to pay your dues, and all that stuff. And then I remember opening. I mean, I’m not kidding, there was literally piles of case files on your desk. I mean, it happens in movies. But it’s true, you go into Moore’s Law Offices, and people’s desks are piles of case files. So I pick up my next one, and I did a lot of medical work, like medical defence work. And I’m not kidding, it was so grim. It was a photo of a woman Caesarean section gone wrong. And that’s when I realised I wasn’t being paid enough to do this crap. And there’s more to life. And I just went home and I was like, I can’t do this anymore. I just, I just cannot do this. I hated the office. I hated the people, I hated the work, I hated everything. From the moment I woke up until the time I go home, you know, I hated it all. And I just realised I couldn’t do that for the next 40 years. And to be fair, it wasn’t me who made the decision. It was my mother, actually, who made the decision for me, because she could see that I was just so unhappy. You know? Wow. You know, and, you know, I’m quite an upbeat person. Yeah, no murders, ever. He saw me as someone who’s like, quite depressing, or anything like that. And I never been like that. But I think that was one time in my life, where I just hated
K Anderson 37:21
getting up in the morning. And so what did your mom do? Well, she
Craig Law 37:24
was just like, you know, like, no job is worth this, nothing is worth this at all. You know, she’s like, is this what you want to do for the rest of your life? And I was like, no, actually, I don’t I don’t think I can do for the rest of my life. And she went, Well, why didn’t you do something you want to do? What do you want to do? And I said, Well, if I could have made money from being a DJ, she went, Well, why don’t you give that a go? And? And that’s where it all started.
K Anderson 37:47
And so did you quit dramatically, or,
Craig Law 37:51
I wish I did. I mean, I wish I could have said, I went out in a blaze of thing, but I just, I remember giving my time, everything only have to give two weeks notice. And I did like four days. And that’s when I was like, I will literally jump off a bridge if I have to come in. So I just fallen sick. Because I just I couldn’t do it. I just, I could is the only time I think in my life, where I physically could not bring myself to do to do something like that. Because I just I just couldn’t do it. I hated it.
K Anderson 38:25
Do you ever think about where you would be now if you had stayed at it?
Craig Law 38:32
All the time? All the time, I’d say, you know, because, you know, like, like, everyone has those moments where you’re laying in your bed, it’s two in the morning and you can’t get asleep. And then your brain decides to say, hey, let’s play that game of you know, what if so, yeah, all the time. And I’m scared like, I don’t know what what I what kind of person I would have become if my mom hadn’t stepped in. And because I always thought you know that. That’s the thing I had to do, you know, that you had to get this job. And it didn’t matter if you loved it or hated it, you know, you just have to pay the bills. And he was soul destroying. And I think my mom could see that, that that he was he was literally eking out my soul, that all the joy that I used to have, you know, and all the thing, they still have a life and just gone just doing this thing that I just I thought I was supposed to do and my mum saw that and you know, and God bless. I generally think my mom saved my life.
K Anderson 39:23
So when you’re having these conversations with yourself in the middle of the night, what do you imagine?
Craig Law 39:28
I imagine just being deeply unhappy. Oh, I
K Anderson 39:31
better say you’re never like, Oh, I wish I had
Craig Law 39:35
no, never not even once. Oh, that’s good. You know, the only thing I regret in relation to those I wish I didn’t go to law school. I mean, I loved uni was an amazing time when I went to uni was paradise. I met amazing people. But I wish I’d done something different because it’s set me on that path. That’s the only regret I have but I don’t for one second regret it I you know, I talk to my classmates and the vast majority of them don’t work. In the legal sector anymore for the exact same reasons mine, because it’s soul crushing is destroying it consumes all the joy. And you have to be a certain type of person to succeed in that in that kind of work. And I don’t think I’m that I don’t think I could be as competitive or cutthroat or that kind of work requires you to be.
K Anderson 40:21
But did it teach you anything that’s useful in your current profession? Mmm hmm.
Craig Law 40:28
To be fair, a lot of the skills in law are transferable to DJing. I think I think how you deal with people, and being able to juggle many, many, many things at the same time. With DJing that’s sort of like, you know, you don’t get a break. I mean, I mean, me personally, I, I kind of feel like sometimes DJ, it’s like running a marathon sometimes for me, depends on who it depends on was DJ last, but I tend to focus 100% all the time. You know, I think about what I’m going to do next, like next year all the time. Yeah. Like, if you try and talk to me, when I’m playing, you will just get a brick wall. You won’t get much sense on me, because I’m just focused on the set. And a lot of people interpret that it’s kind of rudeness, somebody being ignorant. It’s not it’s just, it’s just the way that I that I play.
K Anderson 41:12
So I’m not saying any of this to offend. Okay, there’s to understand. So you put a record on, and then you’re not like, oh, I’ll just chill out for three minutes and then put the next one on, you’re thinking like, what? What’s in the same key? Is this? What’s the CPM? Like? What?
Craig Law 41:29
Yeah, and sometimes I’m thinking two or three songs down the line? You know, I think about where I need to be it there’s a lot of DJs probably do plan this set beforehand, but I don’t, I decide what to play pretty much on the night. I just liked it that way, I think it becomes a lot more interesting. I think it makes it a lot more dynamic and a lot more fun.
K Anderson 41:50
And so in this planning three or four songs ahead, do you ever then have to shift the boat because I don’t know why I said shift the boat, you’d like to change course because the crowd isn’t responding to the music that you’re currently playing?
Craig Law 42:05
Oh, yeah. Yeah, all the time. I mean, that’s, I mean, that’s one of the first things you have to learn to when you’re DJing, after you’ve actually learned to mix is you have to be able to learn to read the crowds. But I think I’m lucky right now in in that I play a lot of venues where they have a certain style and people come in and expect a certain things so it’s it’s very hard, I think to lose a crowd now in these kinds of venues. I think if you’re playing like, you know, a Slug and Lettuce where you got to play like all genres, you know, you’ll go from something really cheesy to you know, something really r&b. You know, which is my idea of hell. Yeah, so I think you’ll be lucky especially especially, like Kiki’s The best example of this in the world. You know, like Kiki’s crowd was so up for it, you could play almost anything, and they would dance to it. That is one of my favourite things about Kiki was the people. Because they, you know, you go to a lot of clubs, and the DJ only has to play one bad song and you lose the crowd. And I’ve played plenty of those kind of gigs. And it’s really annoying. Because years ago, I used to be crowds would trust the DJ, they would stay on the floor. And they’d be like, Okay, where’s he going with this? And now it’s not it’s like, we’ve got a few hits all the time. Every second has to be either easy, or
K Anderson 43:16
that’s really interesting. So you’ve noticed this change in the well? Yeah, crowds interact.
Craig Law 43:22
Yeah, like, like now? I mean, yeah, I mean, I’m talking very kind of generalistic terms. But I think now, in a lot of clubs, they want the DJs to create moments, every moment. And that’s not what the kind of DJing I was brought up with I was, I was taught that the moment is set, it’s a journey. It’s, I mean, as corny as that sounds, it is a journey. It’s a musical experience. You know, you’re trying constantly, you know, and that’s why the the length of songs has gone down. That’s something a lot of people have noticed, even when they’re not DJs. You know, years ago, you’d have long dance songs now that about three minutes long. It’s not even enough time to pee. So now you have to make a premix Oh, so you know, like, back in the day, like, back back back in the day. You know, when I was younger, you could just stick a really long song on, but now you have to have an actual MC.
K Anderson 44:11
Oh, yeah. And because you can’t just go to the urinal and pay. Like, that could be like 15 minutes.
Craig Law 44:20
Okay, I left that I don’t have like a prostate problem that I know of. No,
K Anderson 44:23
no, no. The comment I’m making is on the propensity for gay men to wait to use the cubicle or to do drugs or have sex in there. Yeah. Oh, which then how else? Yeah, and I think this is the reason that I can use the urinal because I did used to be pee shy but then I’m also really impatient and I hate queuing. So getting over the pee shyness one.
Craig Law 44:48
So do you like kind of just kind of stand there you know, like Dick in hand and kind of like willing the pee to come out like demanding it comes out?
K Anderson 44:55
No. Well, so it used to be like I used to do that. thing where you’d go up to the urinal and get your dick out, and then like nothing would happen and you’d be like, I know I need to pay. I know you’re in there come out, and then it just didn’t. And I really don’t know what changed in me, but now I can just be like, Yep, here we go. And pay this. Damn, I wish I could do that. Maybe this is how I make my million. Yes. training coaching. Yeah, become some kind of P shyness coach. Would that help if I stood behind you shouting? No.
Craig Law 45:37
I’d probably show back but no, no. The problem is dang
K Anderson 45:42
to your penis. Like, you know, come out, come out wherever you want
Craig Law 45:48
me to take my penis is big enough to be a microphone. But
K Anderson 45:52
no, I’m singing to it. I’m like, you know, coaching the pee out? I might need to workshop this idea. But I think you
Craig Law 45:59
probably will. I mean, it sounds like Germany would love it. I mean, if anything I feel about Germany is true. But I
K Anderson 46:05
think you know, if I know anything about toxic masculinity, if there is a straight man who cannot be at the urinal, I’m gonna be able to make tonnes of him. I don’t think he’s gonna like you sing into his dick, though. Yeah, might need to change my man. You
Craig Law 46:20
must say like, you know, you know, what was it? No homo. No, no.
K Anderson 46:27
I could do that. Yeah, I mean, a boxer back. Right.
Craig Law 46:29
Well. But yeah, Kiki,
K Anderson 46:33
so yeah. Back to Kiki. Yes. My, I’ve said that a few times already this evening? What would like to how did you find out that it was closing.
Craig Law 46:44
So I remember finding out when I got kind of tipped off by someone that it’d been bought, you know, and that it was going to be rebranding into this, this new bar. And my first instinct was obviously sadness, you know, it was kind of like, you know, that place meant a lot to me, it meant a lot to anyone who’s played there. You know, you ask a lot of Manchester DJs about what their favourite time playing was. And they’d probably say Kiki, because it’s so chaotic and so much fun. And, you know, it was, it was an awesome place to play. without it being too big, you know, like, a lot of DJs a size Queens when it comes to the clubs, but Kiki was never about being massive, it was always big enough to be good. Without it being like a cavernous warehouse. You know, it was great. It was a lovely space to play. But then I remember, you know, it got bought by a by a huge group, and they were going to turn it into a, you know, a really upscale kind of cocktail bar. It’s, like I said earlier, it’s just the way it is in Canal Street, you know, venues evolve, then you change what the customer wants changes. So, you know, the venues have to adapt or die.
K Anderson 47:51
So, at the time of finding out, did it seem like a big deal? Oh, yeah.
Craig Law 47:56
Early on, I was sworn to secrecy, you know, because it wasn’t public knowledge. But I remember just being like, you know, it’s a huge deal. You know, car streets losing what I consider to be the best venue on the street in the in the anti gay village, you know, is one of the best and, you know, a maybe one that you know, what’s what’s what’s it going to be like, but then Canal Street adapts, you know, other venues start doing things differently. And, and that’s just the way it is. I mean, that’s why the Gay Village in Manchester is amazing, cuz it doesn’t matter what you’re looking for a night out, it’s got everything for everyone. You want to go to a big banging club, they’ve got that you want to go on here, Kylie and Madonna classics on loop. They’ve got that health. They’ve even got a bar dedicated to music from musical theatre, you know, Oscars, which is amazing. And they do really nice gin that as well. Yeah, I mean, and that’s why I always say to people, you know, when I talk to people, and they say, you know, where are you recommend I say Manchester, because even if you’ve got quite a diverse group that have different things they want from a night out, the Gay Village really does cater well for that. It has so many different bars, so many different experiences. And it’s not the kind of place you can just go for one weekend and say I’ve done it now. You’ve got to go again and again and again, because it’s different all the time.
K Anderson 49:17
Are you paid by the Manchester tourism board?
Craig Law 49:21
I should be shunned. I should be like a Gay Village ambassador.
K Anderson 49:26
Do you have any memories of Kiki or clubbing from your own cuisine that you want to share? Well, if you do, please get in touch. I want to create the biggest online record of people’s memories and stories of queer clubbing, go to LA spaces podcast.com and find the section share a lost space to tell me all about what you got up to. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has lost spaces pod and why Radek go and give Craig some loving. You can find him on Twitter as DJ Craig law or you can listen to his mixes on mixcloud.com/dj Craig law. Law spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I have been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the coming year. You can hear the first single well groomed boys which is also playing underneath my talking right now on all streaming platforms. If you enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribed, left a review on your podcast platform or just told people who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces