We caught up to discuss Just, a nightclub which was open between 1994-99.
Expect to hear about guncles (which are, if you don’t know, gay uncles), ways to keep cool on the dancefloor, and a healthy debate about the age old conundrum – who is better, Kylie or Madonna?
Find out more about Jamie’s band This Human Condition via their website. AND, he has a new act named Flux, which you can find out all about on Twitter.Transcript
Jamie Jamal 00:00
Though it was very traumatic, but then I was very dramatic back then as well because I grown up with these relationships around me that were all very dramatic so I thought that was how you got to be to me I thought that was love if you were you know like being like Den and Ang from EastEnders
K Anderson 00:17
Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, a podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories they created there, and the people that they used to know. Do you Jamie Jamal is the Bristol based lead singer of electronic pick and mix duo. This human condition which has been described as an early Depeche Mode meets a darker Erasure we caught up to discuss just a nightclub which was open between 1994 and 1999. in Bristol, England. We talk all about GM calls, which if you don’t know are gay uncle’s keeping cool on the dance floor and add to the age old debate. Who is better Kylie or Madonna?
Jamie Jamal 01:39
It very much had a cool element to it. Rather than the cheesy element of some clubs, you know, it didn’t have that. That thing of let’s just play all the cheesy game music.
K Anderson 01:53
Yeah, the gave love that,
Jamie Jamal 01:54
which I’ve always had a problem with. With that, because although I love some of it, you know, I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes, as I’m sure you are being a musician. I think what Barry’s my boyfriend, you know, he just likes is just a pop head. And that’s it. You know, where it’s I need a bit more from my music. I need to do a bit more work than just listen to Brittany. You know?
K Anderson 02:19
Yeah. You know, like, when you have like about one particular club in your life that you go to every week? Yeah. If they don’t if they play the same music every week, it just becomes like, Oh, fuck this song again.
Jamie Jamal 02:35
Because there’s so much great music out there. Why are you playing this shit? And why do you think that we deserve this shit? And more importantly, why aren’t you screaming about it? You know, and saying we don’t want this shit. I don’t want to listen to the vengaboys or no offence to people who like it, you know?
K Anderson 02:51
Oh, no. And if like if I hadn’t heard vengaboys in like three years yeah and so on came on. Yeah, like yeah, let’s get this done. What a week. Yeah, it’s week after week. Like shut this crap off. Yeah, yeah,
Jamie Jamal 03:05
I suppose that’s why I’ve got such fond memories of just is that he didn’t do what other clubs did in Bristol, which was the predictable kind of you know, get a drag act in you know, put on some Kylie, Kylie or some of Kylie evening or Yeah, funny story about Kylie Actually, I Figueres obviously, I was obsessed with the whole neighbourhood thing. And loved it at the time. And then I saw I famously when I moved to Devon, I was listening to a lot of the stock Aitken and Waterman stuff a bit of a, you know, pop head, and then went to Devon and then I, the chap next door was quite gorgeous. So we ended up smoking dope together. So within the space of two weeks, I went from listening to Sonya to Led Zeppelin music saying
K Anderson 03:58
your musical tastes because you fancy to man. I
Jamie Jamal 04:00
think so. Yeah. But I actually did also recognise that it did. It did sound better, you know, then you’re like, yeah, yeah. Although that, you know, and I still got some of those tracks. I still got affection for.
K Anderson 04:18
I was listening to Mel and Kim yesterday. Oh, yeah. He’s amazing. respectable. Yeah, because it’s so good.
Jamie Jamal 04:25
Those two in particular were really great. And they they had a cool element to that, didn’t they? Yeah, rissani was pure just grin and cheese. And Kylie is obviously amazing still is. Yeah, that’s a Kylie’s amazing at what she does. So for years, I would just say about this singing budgie. You know, I don’t like KB Kylie’s tonal quality. I would slacker off for a bit. And I love confided in me and you know, more of a way the raw wild roses grow some of our more experimental stuff. However, last cut to last year, I was at Glastonbury. I was I thought I’ll finally go and see Kylie because I was protested. I didn’t want to. And I was right at the front Anyway, it was. I just my phone kept buzzing off in my pocket. The camera man obviously took a shine to me. And yeah, there’s lots of clips of me enjoying myself to Kylie. Oh, mousing along again, everything like that Not loads of shots, and I’m even dressed. I can people still recognise me, so I had to finally accept my gay card again. friends used to joke that cousin like Kylie, that’s handling my gay card. But yes, She’s incredible. You know? I still don’t like her voice. But it’s the quality catalogue. I know. But obviously she’s she’s so you know, she wrapped into gay culture as she but I suppose Madonna was my real one. Back back then. You know, Madonna was
K Anderson 05:59
really out in the 90s was it that you had to choose? You had to pick sides? It was like a blur Oasis thing you had to pick Madonna or Kylie?
Jamie Jamal 06:10
Yeah, I think you did. Yeah. I think if somebody said they like Kylie over Madonna, you’d be like, oh, we’re talking to you know, because Madonna was cheated a lot for gay people. She knows she really stuck her neck on the line with with AIDS and stuff like that in the chute very vocal. Kylie never did any of that. She just smiled and got on with it. So for me, Madonna, how about you? What would you have been Kylie on Madonna?
K Anderson 06:42
I don’t know. Like, I want to know, there was never I really need to think about this. I think it might fluctuate. So I think growing up I wouldn’t have like been either one. I was just whatever about them both. Yeah, I was. I was never like, I think. Yeah, cuz I think this is thing when you’re a musician. Isn’t that where you have to go? You have to go through a period where you’re a bit snobby. Yes. And they went through a period where it was a bit snobby. And that meant that I was kind of like, I can appreciate, and I could definitely like, appreciate, like, confide in me. Yeah. And put yourself in my pocket. Yeah. And, and, and then from a donor I can appreciate like, secret. And you know, that kind of, yeah, they know that. That was kind of a slice in your own hand. I was like, Oh, I just got that. But yeah, and neither of them. I really cared about that much until like the last few years when I’ve like, how do you know you’ve got some really good songs in your back catalogue?
Jamie Jamal 07:53
Especially, I mean, the erotica era. I remember the sex book. Did you?
K Anderson 07:58
Did you ever see that book? No, I haven’t seen the book. I’ve seen like selected photos from it. But
Jamie Jamal 08:04
so it came in a foil wrapper. Um, it was released alongside the erotica album, which was about 93 I think you had to be 18 to buy it. So I was in town with my with my late grandmother. And I said, oh, I’ve got the money. Could you go and buy me this book? Please? bless her heart. She did. She just gave it to me and said, I don’t even want to know what’s in it. And I remember looking at it, and it was, you know, photos of guys together and probably the most pornographic stuff I’d seen at that point. Yeah. And some of them turned me on. And obviously, there was lots of Madonna, you know, the centrepiece of the book is just Madonna’s minge. You know, she really, but what I love about that is she was like, No, fuck you, I’ll do exactly what I want to do. If I want to take all my clothes off and do a sex book about my fantasies. I will. And she got vilified for it. She buys some people. Yeah, and their career did take a dip for a little while. But she, you know, didn’t stop her. And she said she, to me was a really strong woman that I could identify with. Like I said, I didn’t really have any gay male role models. So women were the strong ones in my life. And Madonna very much represented that from a point of view of me being into music, you know, really, really into music as I’m sure you are. Were. So yeah, what she was speaking about, to me really spoke volumes. They gave me a bit of fire in my belly. You know, whereas Kylie never really did that to just sweet and nice.
K Anderson 09:51
So you’re definitely can’t Madonna.
Jamie Jamal 09:52
Definitely. I would say overall, if I had to save one, it would probably be $1 sign Sorry, Carly.
K Anderson 10:03
Save say, Well, sorry, sir, I would save Madonna. You know? You were so like, so there’s someone who’s like kidnapped them both and is gonna murder one and you make the decision.
Jamie Jamal 10:17
We’re in a boat and it only saved What if they just had one hand on each, then you could only pull one back up? Who would you pull up? I actually know maybe I would go with Kylie because she would be easier to pull up.
K Anderson 10:37
Yeah, and which one like which one has the most silicon? Because they might just follow the Madonna. Yes. Yeah. This may be more like you chopping and changing. Okay. All right. All right. So back to just do you remember your first time there?
Jamie Jamal 10:59
Actually, I don’t know. But I’ve worked it out. So I was living in Lawrence Weston at a time. I just moved back from Devon. I lived on a farm for a couple of years in Devon. When I was 16, so I needed to come back, you know, starting to explore who I was. So my friend was family friend who was buried and then we called him Carl, but I called him patsey.
K Anderson 11:27
away his name was Barry. Everyone called him Kyle, but except for you. You called him. Patsy
Jamie Jamal 11:33
Yes. Jason, he changed his name from Barry to Carl, but I never like to call out to Him. But Patsy did, said he looks like Mick Hucknall, you will often get mistaken for Mick Hucknall. Gary’s was quite a character. So I think we went together for the first time. And coming back from Devon, I was smoking a lot of dope and stuff. And I remember, we smoked out together and drank, you know, when we went out. And I remember going in quite early and unsane Why is everyone drinking water? Because I’ve been in Devon I mean, literally, the the culture and all that really taken off down there. It was still about the hippie and the spliff. So it took us a few weeks to sort of completely understand what was going on, to be honest.
K Anderson 12:26
So you just thought everyone was sober? Yeah, what’s wrong with them? Why they drink water? But
Jamie Jamal 12:32
you know, so one of the problem is just that we noticed, but Well, maybe we noticed how much we were drinking.
K Anderson 12:39
And how much more awake everyone else was. Yeah, yeah.
Jamie Jamal 12:42
We both had long hair. And I remember we went to the toilets, we’d often soak our hair because we got so hot. We used to dance all the time without the drugs. And then we used to just shake our hair around. You know, on the dance floor, like a pair of dogs really. poppers. poppers was a massive thing that was smelt poppers and you could buy poppers behind the bar. Okay. Okay. So
K Anderson 13:07
let’s talk about this because poppers are a very gay thing. Yeah. And poppers. Originally, for anyone who doesn’t know, I’m just gonna assume I don’t know what it is. And they were. Huh. It’s a bottle of liquids. It’s called mo nitrate. It’s not amyl nitrate. It used to be and then they change today. Okay, something anyway, I’ve done a Wikipedia. Everything.
Jamie Jamal 13:40
Okay. Come I’ve got old knowledge. Like a room odour. Right. odour is one saying, Yeah, I never knew this though. I just thought it was it was for dancing. I learned the other bit after.
K Anderson 13:56
I’m pretty sure that
Jamie Jamal 13:58
my uncle always did it. Even when we were sat in it was like, do you want some poppers? You know, if we were because we danced this front room. And then it’s like, yeah, so it was just I thought it was just helped you with dancing. When I was quite young, when I started sniffing it, I guess I was probably 1415.
K Anderson 14:17
Okay, so I’ve just put it up on Wikipedia. And again, just for anyone who doesn’t know, proper use has a relaxation effect on involuntary sleeve muscles, such as those in the threat and the anus. So it’s used to you know, to enable to to get rid of your gag reflex. This I discovered much later, works lovely. Okay, so anyway, people were using poppers to dance, like part of their dancing routine. Yeah, I think so. I just don’t get that. Does it not make you like like headed?
Jamie Jamal 14:56
Yeah, it gives you a real kind of, but we used to go with it. Oh, Love it. Does it really spit you out? No. No, it may enhance the music and it didn’t last for too long. You know? It’s just like a heady rush wasn’t it? And if it was your favourite song and you were shaking your head around like we were great.
K Anderson 15:16
But you’re doing it with like all these people around you in a sweaty space.
Jamie Jamal 15:22
I did say I did remember set spilt some on somebody’s backpack that they had on the dance floor one, it was a small dance floor, and no
K Anderson 15:29
one had a backpack on that on the dance floor.
Jamie Jamal 15:31
Yeah. And that was everyone had a flag in their hand as well. And I remember I caught a bag on fire and then just through my pint ever, ever bag around.
K Anderson 15:39
Wait, wait, so how much I’m sorry. I was just like a flame.
Jamie Jamal 15:45
I think it’s a bit on a bag. You know, somebody sort of knocked your elbow as you went in for a sniff you had one flag in one and this poppers and the other end, somebody knocked your elbow went on her bag. And then there was a you know, another cigarette, I think probably with my cigarette. And then that’s got my pint off the shelf and throw it.
K Anderson 16:05
Yeah, lesson here and listeners. There is be careful.
Jamie Jamal 16:12
I mean, that would never happen. I would it because presumably you wouldn’t be able to do either in a club.
K Anderson 16:18
No, you can still do poppers Can you?
Jamie Jamal 16:20
Well, you. I’m sure you get people saying something new. Would you? You could watch you could? Well, maybe the gay place. But what did the younger generation are used to just fart smells and clubs, aren’t they not fact? poppers, you know, they don’t even sell it behind the bar that tells me that they don’t want it in their venue.
K Anderson 16:43
So anyway, describe the venue to me.
Jamie Jamal 16:46
So it’s a really small venue in Phoenix court, Fairfax Street. I’m reading from this bit. Remember, it was opened in late 94 by Winston bright and a guy called john I don’t remember his surname. And it was a former Scarlet coat premise, which was a restaurant run by two gay women and they had to disco twice a week. I never went to that or knew about it. Obviously not being lesbian either. But even my I’d never heard my lesbian friends talk about it either. So the last night just was on March the 28th 1999. Because the lease was sold to a developer. Winston then open winds in West st. Oh Barkat with a chap called Julian. I called that venue, the sticky carpet club. Anyway, back to just it was painted black from the outside in it from what I remember. And it just had a tiny little sign just saying just, there’s no windows. It was. So upstairs was a restaurant. And this was kind of downstairs on Fairfax Street. So it It didn’t even look like a venue really, you know, it wasn’t, I guess, gay venues where it was about being hidden one net sometimes. So you have a door that you went in. Now that was it.
K Anderson 18:07
And when you went through the door, what happened?
Jamie Jamal 18:11
Yeah, there was a little booth where they take money on the weekend, we often didn’t pay because we knew everyone anyway. There was ladies toilets. On the right, gents, toilets on the right, a big long bar on the left and then right, the awesome seats and then right down the NGO at the dance floor. And then that was it. So the dance floor probably could fit about 40 people on it, maybe. And that is stairwell behind the back of the DJ. The DJ was also on the dance floor. The way you could sort of go in sit and do other things.
K Anderson 18:50
Tell him other
Jamie Jamal 18:50
things. I don’t like snug in or blow jobs or I saw all sorts of things ran there. But most of the action to be honest went on in the men’s toilets. You couldn’t really go in there without being groped at some point.
K Anderson 19:08
Jamie Jamal 19:09
Yeah. So I used to get to the ladies if I just wanted to innocent way. And then some of the ladies would get a bit funny, you know, because there was only two toilets in there. And they were taken up by drag queens or bend. So I can understand it now. Yeah, I did actually meet meet a girl in there called Joe and I’m still friends with her to this day. But if I wanted to do other things, I would go into the men’s. I remember somebody saying what we need in here is a dark room and I punched the light out and
K Anderson 19:42
yeah, that was quite a night. You just punch the light out in the toilet.
Jamie Jamal 19:46
It was quite dimly lit anyway, I think it was a green or red light. So it was quite dingy and dark anyway. But obviously punch the light out just just meant that people could really go for it.
K Anderson 19:59
Make The puppies they brought with them
Jamie Jamal 20:02
for use. Yeah. Early on in the evening, people would actually get in the cubicle and be a bit more private. But later in the evening, you know, when people are a bit more confident, shall we say or anything went really. I got well involved. It was lovely. wasn’t always in the mood for it. But if I was, you know, it’s a great, great distraction from the dancing. That would often often be a really great true tune that would bring me back out to the dance. I’d be like, that’s the Patsy. We’d have to go out,
K Anderson 20:34
you know, just pull yourself away from the erect penis you were entertaining yourself with in Hartford or to the dance floor? Yeah. And so what was the crowd kind of like there? You said before that there were women, but was it like predominantly men or?
Jamie Jamal 20:49
No, no, it was a real diverse mix of everyone from I remember masculine guys are their tops off. Remember? Black people lesbians trannies, as we called them back then. They just seem to be guys that went out on Thursdays was training I and I still love Thursdays. We used to dress up a lot as well. Patsy and I, we used to make dresses, then we’d go out and those or I went out dresses Boy George one night, or? Yeah, so we were really into dressing up as well. So talking, Patsy was a real character. I was more learning back then I suppose I’ve become more more of a character. But he was he was showing me the ropes back then I guess because he was nine years older than me. And he was great with people people loved him. So yeah, that to answer your question, there were, it was just such a great mix. You know, whereas I used to go to this other pub called the elephant and that there was a lesbian corner and the guys would go in and he could be quite bitchy and intimidating, you know, but just never felt like that. To me. It was sort of anything when
K Anderson 22:01
Yeah, so let’s talk about you for a minute then. So what was going on in your life at that time?
Jamie Jamal 22:09
I moved to Devon when I was on my 16th birthday. So I was coming back weekends. So I was already starting to go to another club with with my friend Patsy called racists. Were in a room that I was very young when I went in there. So it must have been just 16 I remember this chap waving some money around in front of my face. And that was off chatting to somebody else. And he came back and said, Oh, he’s with me. And I was like why being horrible to me was just, you know, and he was a he thought I was a rent boy. But I was that innocent. But I just thought you’ve been kind kindly waving money in your face to speak like, Yeah, I remember they had a member go to an AIDS night. They play piano on often on Sunday. It’s all quite civilised. So I came back to Bristol in 92. Then obviously, we went to the elephant, the Gryphon, which were pubs. And he was really well known on the scene. So he used to introduce me as his uncle. He will he wasn’t really just my mum. My mother used to look after him actually, when he was a boy. So that’s how I knew him. I was lucky. I guess I had him to introduce me to everyone you know, and he was really well loved and light. So then when we heard about this just opening, we went there. That’s how that’s how I got there.
K Anderson 23:38
So I’m intrigued about Patsy, let’s talk a bit more about him. Firstly, why did you come up with that nickname for him?
Jamie Jamal 23:49
He came from absolutely fabulous, which started in 92. We used to go to this straight pub called the blaze in which was a really rough Cider House. And we would go there before we would go out clubbing. So we’d already get a bit tanked up on cider. The day he called us, Patsy and Eddie, they said we were like, you know the characters were just set the bar bitch and really lots of banter. That’s what it was about. Lots of laughter. So yeah, they actually gave us that name, Patsy and Eddie. So going into the straight pub where we were both out. Yeah. And obviously up five was really big back in 92.
K Anderson 24:29
And you said that he was really well known and well liked. What was it about him that kind of attracted people that drew them in?
Jamie Jamal 24:40
He was such a storyteller. Obviously, masses of ginger curls, then later sort of matted and yeah to look at like I said earlier, he looked like Mick Hucknall, who was also very big at the time, and he did actually get stopped in a garage And ask for his autograph and he gave it I don’t think he really liked people compared him to makeup. No, because I don’t think it was considered, you know, good looking. He was probably a bit better looking than Mick. But what was it about him? Good question. He was just really colourful and humorous. Lightning sense of humour. I guess he had, he could just make lots of people laugh and hold core. And he loved dressing up. And he was really out there. For me who was not a really shy back then. It was a great tonic, really, because I was able to go out and have the kind of night I wanted. But what I’ve done it without him Probably not. When I did venture out a few times on my own, and I was just, I remember just like reading a magazine about a quick pint and leave it and it was terrifying. So did he so he kind of took you under his wing? With he always there kind of supporting you? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he obviously knew from a young age that I was probably gonna turn out to be gay, obviously. So, you know, every dog knows their own and all that. Oh,
K Anderson 26:09
I don’t know, that phrase.
Jamie Jamal 26:11
I don’t know, I talked to him a lot about coming out, actually, because I wasn’t out. Back then only although I was out going out with him and being in these gay venues. I mean, that was just such a great escapism from life. Because I could be myself and I was out. But takeaway, you know what, I wasn’t going out. I was pretending to be as society, you know, made you feel.
K Anderson 26:36
So does that mean that you like you weren’t out? Or does that mean that you were just kind of keeping your head down a little?
Jamie Jamal 26:43
I was conform. I wasn’t comfortable saying I’m gay. I never really wanted to be gay. To be honest. I mean, I don’t feel that same way. Now. I’m really pleased. Now. But back then, no, I struggled. I mean, there was a lot of it was all around you. Wasn’t it all this? You know,
K Anderson 27:00
that’s really interesting, because I was gonna, I was gonna ask like, whether or not you had any reflections on how much easier it was for you having the presence of a queer man in your life. Because, you know, most people growing up in the 80s, and the 90s, they were Yeah, there was no representation, there was no kind of queer faces or queer voices that people could relate to. And, yeah, so I just kind of wondered whether having someone in your life that acted as that role model made it kind of easier in any way.
Jamie Jamal 27:39
Yes, in his company, totally. just accepted me for what I was, I didn’t have to pretend. He, you know, I could say who I fancied. I could talk about sex, we could do drugs together. You know, he was the perfect person for me back then, really. Actually, my mom had gay friends, she was quite cool with it. But interestingly, I still wasn’t comfortable. Being able to come out to her, not to anyone really, I just couldn’t say those few short words. Just couldn’t do it. I think I must have been about 19 1819 when I eventually did. So between 16 and 19 really struggled with it, actually. Even before that. Moving to Devon, I mean, who’s gonna relate to you and Devin? I didn’t find I didn’t find anyone. Hence, ways to come back on the weekends, you know, eventually thought I’ve got to move back. But so then between the ages of 16 and 19, you’re going to gay bars, but
K Anderson 28:39
you weren’t really identified?
Jamie Jamal 28:42
I think probably went in when I was about 14. I think about 889 was the first time I went into an oasis. Yeah, and nobody stood those men only as well. But nobody stopped me and said, You know, you’re too young or I don’t know I don’t remember going to the bar. But I said I was certainly drinking you don’t know the question.
K Anderson 29:05
And so then like 14 when you were going to these bars were you thinking Yeah, probably gay or was it just that you were going out? Because it was a bar and you wanted to drink?
Jamie Jamal 29:17
Oh, absolutely. No, it knew I was Yeah, cuz the minute I went in there I was a petrified how a half petrified half it really excited, you know, but I just didn’t have the courage to do on my own. Although I did try a few times. It was never the same. So when I was out with Patsy It was like, he would walk in and just be able to, you know, own the place as it were. But his humour, and people would just fall around, you know, chat and gravitate towards him, you know, because he was fun character to be around. And I loved that and I, I suppose that’s how I was learning. You know, I’m more like that now. As a person, but back then I was I guess I was just Learning from him in a very quick, clever wit he had.
K Anderson 30:04
So was he the person that you came out to first?
Jamie Jamal 30:08
Yeah, actually no. Well, yes or no. I didn’t have to he just said you’re gay. And that’s it. By the way, I
K Anderson 30:19
noticed that you okay?
Jamie Jamal 30:21
Yeah. Even a question or an option was to say you’re gay? And I’m like one? No, no. Well issue out that lie. It was more like that, you know, it’s like my
K Anderson 30:32
coming out story. Now is my mother just kind of kept saying, by the way, you’re gay? And like, I’m totally cool with that. Don’t worry. Did you find that awkward? Well, I don’t know. So it was kind of like, she would say it to me. Like, like, even before, before I knew I was kind of one of those kids that everyone would kind of come up to it in the schoolyard or just randomly point out and say, by the way, you’re going to be gay when you’re older. So it wasn’t like this happened. And when it happened, I was like, Oh, god, what? Oh, I’ve no idea what this is. And it was something that people had been, you know, giving me the heads up about. But anyway, so my mum was like, just before, before I had any inkling of my sexuality or any sexual thoughts, she kind of kept saying, oh, by the way, I just want to let you know that if any of my kids turned out to be gay, I’ll be totally cool with that. And we can learn, go hang out, and you know, I love you and accept you for whatever you are. And she would just bring this up randomly every, like, month or so. Until one day, eventually, I was just like, yes. Okay. I’m gay. Yes. And that was probably like two or three days after I figured it out for myself.
Jamie Jamal 31:57
Well, I remember driving in the car with a mother and she just said, so are you gay? That made it really easy for me. But like you said, I just wasn’t. I knew I was. I just wasn’t comfortable saying those words at that time. And I felt a bit cheated because I wanted to. I wanted to sit her down and okay. Ah, yeah. I think everything I’d read or not, the stories were quite negative. So I was expecting and I’m like, I was almost a bit
K Anderson 32:29
this is anti climatic.
Jamie Jamal 32:31
Yeah. Get my big dramatic moment. story to tell was really cool with it was a different story. He, he would call me Nancy boy and stuff like that growing up, or I’m my brother black girlfriend, primary school, and he would tease me about that. Yeah, so I was really didn’t want to come out to him. However, one night
K Anderson 33:01
with with where your parents together, and
Jamie Jamal 33:03
I’m sorry, no, they were done with almost two. So never remember them together. So, so I met this chap, actually on the dance floor of just called Lee. And he was crying. And I fell in love. Let me say, yeah. I was a rescuer. And, anyway, so he moved into my bed set. And we did each other. So he dared me to write a letter to my dad telling them I was gay. And I did, but I didn’t just tell him I was gay. I said I was a bisexual transvestite. And I wanted the whole world to know about it. Again, going into this real dramatic, you know, trying to get my moment because I didn’t get it. So yeah, I sent the letter as well. Because he was like, he went, I thought, if I leave it till the morning went do it. So I was I just went in posted it. And he actually wrote me back a lovely letter. Let’s be fair. Yeah, ruined it again. And
K Anderson 34:12
I’m so sorry. Would it help if I was like, somehow outraged at you right now? Yes, please. So what did you write back?
Jamie Jamal 34:26
He was very concerned that I wanted the whole world to know about it. But have friend come back to him at work. So he was sort of relating to it through that, you know, saying he was fine with his friend and but this surprised me, you know, because of course me Sure it left her Nanci boy when I was younger. I was really surprised by that. I thought he was just gonna, and he saw it as his duty to go around the family and tell them so I didn’t. I didn’t have to do it with my nan who’s
K Anderson 34:53
robbing you left right and centre of those dramatic moments. I know how much robbed you Isn’t it kind of really weird that like, it feels is that is this kind of weird psychology with some parents where they think that if they keep pointing out your queerness in your gayness and, like, mock you for it, that somehow will work as this kind of aversion therapy where you’ll be so determined to prove them wrong that you’ll end up Yeah. Yeah. Kind of a really fucked up way of bringing a child into the world.
Jamie Jamal 35:29
Oh, yeah. Well, I knew I knew from a young age, I didn’t want to be anything like him. The only thing about him I liked was the fact he was a musician. Because when he was doing music, he was lovely. Actually. He was happy. But take away the music. I don’t really relate to him like him, or anything. So. Yeah, the only thing I’ve taken from him is the music aspect, I guess. But as a young kid, I knew that what he was saying was not right. You know, and I didn’t really have any male role models growing up. I suppose. Patsy was filled that shoe eventually.
K Anderson 36:07
Anyway, so just just do you remember hearing about a closing? Yeah, I
Jamie Jamal 36:13
went to the last night. I looked back in my diary, actually, which is why I knew it. It closed on that night on the 20th of March 1999.
K Anderson 36:24
So wait, do you like have you been keeping diaries for the last however many years? Yeah,
Jamie Jamal 36:29
there’s a few years missing from when I was taking too many drugs. But yeah, pretty much do I want it? For some, you know, sometimes there’s weeks where I’ve written nothing. I might have written things like, just like a dead just closed last night just or fell out at Patsy or xx or something like that. You know, the highlights are kind of necessarily, right. Every detail
K Anderson 36:55
came twice. Yeah, yeah. Sorry, I’ve distracted us say. So you wrote in your diary about the last night? What What was it? Like?
Jamie Jamal 37:07
I don’t remember too much other than it was really sad. I remember just drinking, you know, the, I think the drinks were even free from the end. Oh, there’s another really interesting thing I forgot to mention. On a Sunday night, we had laws in this country I didn’t think could serve alcohol past 10 on a Sunday night back then. So they would there be these amazing lock ins. And there was a vending machine, like a coke machine type thing where you could get beer out of? I thought that was brilliant. So the bar would actually shut down. So if anyone came in, they could clearly see the barber shop. But yeah, we just used to get drinks out of the vending machines. But it wasn’t advertised as beer. It was just, you know, I thought that was genius.
K Anderson 37:55
Just the way of getting around.
Jamie Jamal 37:57
I’ve never been into any other club or place was like that. They usually did what they were told. And they Yeah. So you know, anything went really? That was what I loved about just I think there was there didn’t seem to be any rules, apart from squaring up to the bank, so that would get you kicked out. I can’t remember what that was over to be on it. Pretty much You mean, you know you could have sex in a toilet sniff poppers could pretty much do what you want it. Put your feet on stores, kicking the women out of the women’s bathroom, pry on the dance floor. You could wet your hair and shake it by the electric lights. You know there was nowadays I see people all these rules, you know, they just were no rules Really? I don’t I don’t think I ever remember any police going in there. Or any. don’t really remember any fights or any trouble either. Apart from with me.
K Anderson 39:04
Did you ever go to just well if you did, I would love to hear from you. Please tell me any stories or share any anecdotes or photos that you have from that time. You can reach me via social media on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc etc. With the user handle K Anderson music. And you can also find out more about Jamie’s band this human condition at WWW dot this human condition.com and on top of that he has a new app named flux, which you can find out all email@example.com slash flux music UK. Law space spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I’ve 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 this very second on all streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribed, left a review on Apple podcasts or just told people who you think might be interested in having a listen to. I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces.