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Popstarz, London, England, UK (with Scott Flashheart from Probably True podcast)

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If you were queer in London in the naughties then you would no doubt have spent an evening or two at Popstarz, the alternative institution that is most well known for being held at Scala in King’s Cross.

I caught up with the host of the filthy, filthy Probably True podcast, Scott Flashheart, to talk all about his first days in London, nights out at Popstarz, vodka coughs, and the lost art of eye-banging…

If you enjoy this episode make sure you go and give Scott some love on Twitter – and, whilst you’re at it, give the Probably True podcast a listen too!

Scott Flashheart 0:00
It’s just that kind of when you’re really into someone and you just can’t stop looking at them. That’s eye banging,

K Anderson 0:05
like in a really creepy way.

Scott Flashheart 0:08
I mean, not intentionally, but like considering who I was and what I was like at the time then almost certainly was creepy to everyone but me. I was going for kind of like, smoldering and mysterious and sexy, but it almost certainly came across as just incredibly creepy.

K Anderson 0:26
Hello, my name is K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, the 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. Now, if you were queer in London in the naughties, then you would no doubt have spent a last evening or to add popstars the alternative institution that is most well known for being held as scholar in Kings Cross. I caught up with the host of them filthy, filthy, probably to podcast, Scott Flasheart to talk all about his first days in London. Vodka coughs and the Lost Art of eye banging across the dance floor.

So Popstarz.

Scott Flashheart 1:45
Yeah. was the first gay club I came to in London, the first proper gay club I ever came to. Unless you count NG1 in Nottingham, and no one really does because

K Anderson 1:57
I’ve been to anyone. Me too. Did they play? It’s raining men? I don’t remember. It was my boyfriend at the times brothers. stag do? Oh, who is your Who’s your boyfriend at the time? I probably slept with him. It’s Peter. Yeah, you would have slept with him. And for some reason, I don’t know. Like, I have no idea. I have no idea why I was even invited to go to this thing. But I went to this thing. And then so he’s so his brother was straight. And everyone in the stag do was straight except for one other person who was his brother’s friend. And so for some reason, they decided that they would go to this gay bar. So is this like bunch of straight man? LEDs, LEDs, LEDs slides, and, and they were all super awkward about being there.

Scott Flashheart 2:47
Alright, so it wasn’t like, Oh, yeah, let’s go into this. Yeah, it’d be great. We really go for the laugh. Yeah. Like they were actually really, they were kind of like, didn’t really want to be there

K Anderson 2:56
like me. Maybe they thought they were like, really cool to go. And then they got there. And they were like, Oh, shit. So I didn’t know. And then it was like this thing, like, so. You’re, you’re all really awkward. Shall we just go somewhere else? And then I think everyone had paid the entrance fee. So everyone had committed and then they just stood around and like looked miserable. So you know, standard night out? Yeah. But anyway, anyone forget that? Yeah. Your first night out. So when did you move to London.

Scott Flashheart 3:33
I moved to London in 2007. I’d already been to Popstarz a few times by then, actually, because I had a friend who lived in London. And I would come down and visit him and he would take me to Popstarz. And that was like one of the cool nights out. We do either Popstarz. G-A-Y when it was a story at the Astoria or the Ghetto which was the ghetto which

K Anderson 3:59
but like Popstarz has this kind of like, legendary thing, vibe. Isn’t it? Like? Anyone who lived in London in the mid naughties did something at popstars at some point? It was an institution, I think, Oh, yeah, that’s a much better way of saying it.

Scott Flashheart 4:19
But it moved around so much. It was an all of my memories of that place are very, very blurry. Because so what are we going to talk about? I don’t, I don’t tell you the bits I can remember. And you can like fill me in because you’ve been there and stuff. We will probably they’re on the same night sometime.

K Anderson 4:37
So. So why did you move to London?

Scott Flashheart 4:41
Because I felt like I was wasting my life in the Midlands, and at least if I was in London, I’d be able to make shag some interesting boys and maybe have some fun while waiting to die.

K Anderson 4:55
Okay, cheery and what are your strongest memories of that most Few months in London. Oh 2007 What’s this? This is like, when Amy Winehouse was big. Yes, it was big Lily Allen.

Scott Flashheart 5:11
Yeah. Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse. It was around the time of that MGMT song. I remember the first guy I properly dated in London. downloaded that, like rip the CD and gave me a copy of the CD. romantic.

K Anderson 5:28
I know, right?

Scott Flashheart 5:32
We just used to eat pizza. And we used to go, we didn’t even go out. We like, mostly stayed in my room. eating pizza and watching movies, which was great. I quite liked that as the time. Since then, I’ve kind of gone Oh, yeah, there is. There are other experiences beyond getting fat and watching movies

K Anderson 5:55
is life outside your apartment.

Scott Flashheart 5:57
And there was until the world ended now. That’s all now that I’m doing that again. Except not with this cute guy who’s covered in tattoos. It’s with my mother, who only has one tattoo and doesn’t like pizza. So doesn’t like pizza. Now makes it real. But that’s irrelevant. back to

K Anderson 6:18
how does it make a real? She’s lactose intolerant? Would you just get like a pizza without cheese? Sorry, anyway. No. Which but what about like they could vegan cheese? It’s not cheese. No, but like, you know, it’ll give her something to do with in her mouth.

Scott Flashheart 6:36
Yeah, but then I’d have to eat it to you get one each. But then but then I’d eat a whole pizza. does a lot of pizza.

K Anderson 6:47
And what’s your point? I mean, you make a good point. So. So you moved to London, you spent a lot of time in your room. How are we getting to? Well,

Scott Flashheart 7:01
let me let me let me tell, shall I tell you the story. Okay. Before I moved to London, I finished my degree in Darby, where I was living. I trained as a professional. So I was working in a place and being absolutely miserable. And my old housemate who had already who lived in London who was from like, Guilford, or somewhere just outside London, had already moved to Central London and every now and then I would go down and visit him and have a little bit of a life that I felt like I was missing. Back in Darby, where there were exciting people and interesting places to go and new things to see and do. You know, just kind of living the big city lifestyle that everyone wants to live. And Hi, I’d watched too much Sex in the City. So I was all kind of romanticized about it and all that kind of thing. And so I moved to LA and so eventually my ex my old housemate who’d moved down there. He rang me up one day to complain that he that his flatware flatmate was moving out. And I complained back at him that I felt like I was missing. I was miserable. And I was hating my life in Darby. And I felt like I was just waiting to die. Which is what you do in the Midlands, it’s kind of all there is, but I it wasn’t for me.

K Anderson 8:17
Wait till you were in your you were in your 20s? Or like,

Scott Flashheart 8:20
yes, if I would have been what

K Anderson 8:22
I would have been 23. And you were just like, I am just yeah, there’s no point living.

Scott Flashheart 8:28
Not so much no point in living, but I wasn’t enjoying anything I was doing. Darby is a very small, it’s a city technically, but it’s just a it’s just a medium sized town. There’s not much there. There’s not much going on. It was just not right for me. And I felt very kind of confined and lost. And like, I wasn’t like I wasn’t making the most of my youth and young manhood. Okay,

if you will.

And so we basically had this phone call where we both complain to each other. And he just went, well, why don’t you move down here and move into my spare room because now we have a spare room and we need to fill it and I’d rather you live here than someone else. And I just kind of went okay. And two weeks later, I moved to London with one friend. no job, no money, no plan, and enough rent enough money to pay the rent for three months.

K Anderson 9:24
That’s the way Yeah.

Scott Flashheart 9:26
Yeah. I mean, like, it worked out. I’ve been there 13 years now. I mean, Corona, may well end and I might have to move back to my parents permanently, or at least for a longer stretch, but up to now, like a 13 year streak is not bad. Really. as things go I suppose No. Yeah. So so so I went fuck it and moved and just took the leap, or whatever the that phrase is supposed to be. Yeah, and I’m really glad I did. Because I got to be miserable in a completely different city with a much larger cast of disappointing men

K Anderson 10:09
and much smaller flats. Yeah,

Scott Flashheart 10:11
yes, I paid more for my I paid more for my room in voxel in a house than I had paid for my house in in Darby.

K Anderson 10:20
Yeah, but let’s like, let’s just not focus on that, like this. Just not No, please. No, no, I just don’t give any mental energy to it. But like, do you remember those first few months? Like, how did that feel? Were you like, ecstatic? Were you terrified? Or were you something else?

Scott Flashheart 10:37
I, when I first moved, I remember the first night as I was sat in this room with these, and this new housemate, the guy that I’d moved down to hang out with my new best friend in London. I saw him on and off for the next three months, and then he moved out. And so I was essentially alone the whole time. But I remember sitting there amongst all these boxes on this futon that I slept on for four years, because there was no bed in this room, and I couldn’t afford to buy my own. And I just kind of sat down. And just as it all started to catch up with me, and I was just about to sit and have a really good cry, and really get it out. There was a knock at the door and my my housemates, my other housemate and his boyfriend had got a bottle of wine and a joint and they were waiting for me downstairs and they were like, come join us, we’ll, we’ll have a chat. And we’ll get to know you and stuff. And I was like, Oh, that’s actually really nice. And so I never got around to feeling sorry for myself about having moved. And it was exciting. And yeah, I don’t know if everyone does this in London, but I did the thing where I would explore I would explore using the tube, and like different tube stops would be like my point of reference. And I will kind of explore outwards from Tube Stations. And then when they started, when I started to get as far as another tube station, I was like, oh, wow, I know where that is. On the tube map, I’ve kind of it became this weird kind of each tube station was essentially this little village. And then as they spread out in my head and connected up, I could kind of I got a bigger feeling for the whole city. And I had a little this because this is in the olden days before. We had phones with maps and shit on them. Anyway, well, I used to have,

K Anderson 12:20
like I couldn’t. When I first moved to London, I couldn’t get the tube because it was too confusing for me, like when I got out. And like it was just completely like. Okay, so anyone who has never been to London, or like doesn’t live in a city where there’s underground, so many of the tube stations are so close to each other. And especially in especially in the center. And if you just go to this one station, get up, go to the place that you’re supposed to go to get back onto the tube, and then go away. And then and then do that for everything that you’re ever doing at any point in time. You just have no idea what the shape of the city is like, and how all the streets connect and how everything works. And so that’s what was happening to me. And I just had like, No clue. So I had to just start catching the bus everywhere. And then and then things made sense.

Scott Flashheart 13:15
I can understand that completely. I think I was I was more nervous that I would get on the wrong tube, or I would get on the wrong bus. Yes. Because there was no because the bus maps were even more confusing the tube map. Whereas with the tube, at least I could go Alright, I’m getting on a voxel. And if I get on this one, the next stop will be Pimlico. And if it wasn’t Pimlico, I knew I was on the wrong one. And I had to change right away and then swap over. Yeah, whereas like one time when I’d come down to London years earlier, I’d run away with an Australian, but that’s another story. And we were in London, and we were trying to get to Soho and we got on this bus. And we ended up in fuckin pinch or somewhere like and we it was going in the wrong direction. We got on the bus on the wrong side of the road, and ended up out in the suburbs somewhere on a Saturday night at like 11 o’clock, and it was terrifying. And this is long before mobile phones are a thing. So I think that kind of scarred me. So after that, like, I always wanted to know that I was like, Alright, so this has Pimlico. So the next one’s Victoria. And after that it’s Green Park. And after that is Oxford Circus and I’m getting off Oxford Circus. So it’s only for most stops. And then I kind of count them down. I have watch as we pulled in. Like there’s no way if we’re going in the right direction. And the first one that we got to was the right one, there was no possible way that the second third or fourth ones wouldn’t be the right ones. But I still would like nervously check out the window every time we pulled into a station to make sure it’s going

K Anderson 14:45
the right way have to have to be sure and if not, if the tube is so busy that you have to stand and you can’t see what station you’re coming into when you come into it because your eyelines cut off. That’s so stressful. Just to just want to put that out Yes. So what were we saying?

Scott Flashheart 15:01
So that was, so that was fun. Yes. So then I got a job in central London as a master working in a beauty salon in Soho. So yeah, I was a master who worked in Soho. And you can imagine all of the jokes that came out of that one. Yeah. But I was I was very, very good. And I, I very rarely gave happy endings. And I certainly don’t charge very rarely.

K Anderson 15:29
Yeah, what like, what kind of doing this as a percentage? What would it be? Oh, less than 1%. Oh, okay. Yeah,

Scott Flashheart 15:39
they had to be I had to be into that I had to fancy them. They had to be up for it. And there had to be the opportunity to make it happen. Because often, you know, it wasn’t it that like the massage tables were only separated by curtains. It’s not like we had a booth wall or any kind of what say there

K Anderson 15:57
were so there were other massage tables on either side of the curtain.

Scott Flashheart 16:03
There were three of these these kind of massage tables, but the place was also you was primarily used for beauty treatments. So a lot of the tables if the tables were being used, they were almost always being used for waxing, like leg waxing and Brazilian waxes and stuff like that. We were very proud of the fact that our girls could get a Brazilian wax done in under three minutes. No time for pain. Yeah, so it’s gonna hurt but if it’s gonna hurt you want it over with quickly and we could Yeah, so that was a that was the the Cylons thing was it was all about how quickly we could get shit done.

K Anderson 16:35
And and and so did that extend to Happy Endings?

Scott Flashheart 16:39
I mean, when you’ve had a massage, you’re very in your body anyway. So yeah, usually the happy ending does not take longer or bless them. I think there were only like four or five guys in the whole, like four years that I worked there. The ever got happy endings, and they were all guys that I fancied. Anyway,

K Anderson 16:54
so it didn’t really matter. And but then saying like, how do you know that they’re up for that? Is it? Is it like, for the obvious isn’t the offer? Yeah,

Scott Flashheart 17:02
it’s it tends to be the obvious way.

K Anderson 17:04
Yeah. But But like, Do men often just get bonus when you’re doing it?

Scott Flashheart 17:10
No. So that’s how you can tell like very rarely would a guy who I think once or twice, guys that weren’t after that would accidentally get bonus or like inadvertently get bonus. And very often, they were embarrassed and like tried to hide it or whatever. Anyway, don’t worry happens all the time and carry on because you know, it’s not a problem. But then the ones that were interested, wouldn’t be trying to hide it. And they’d be trying to nudge your hands up against it and stuff like that. And you just be like, I know where this is going. Yeah. And like, if I wasn’t into them, I just ignore it or say something like, I’m sorry. If I do that, I’ll lose my license. Sorry, kind of thing. And then if they did, if I did fancy them that obviously helped them out.

K Anderson 17:55
So did these men tip

Scott Flashheart 17:58
occasionally, but I felt I had a very I didn’t have quite as my attitude towards sex work at the time was a little less evolved than it is now. So it made me uncomfortable if they tipped. So I prefer I didn’t charge extra for it. And if they if they tipped and it was like two or three pounds, I’d be like, Well, that seems an insult more than anything. Yeah, I mentioned this to a friend of mine, who was Spanish. So English wasn’t his first language. And we were talking about this. And I was saying I was a master and we talked about the happy endings and stuff. And you are so you were a hall. And like no, I didn’t charge like I never charged. And he’s like, Oh, so you’re a stupid whore. I mean, harsh, but yeah, accurate. Ah, so that was that was my first four years in Soho, working running a beauty salon and massaging. Occasionally horny man was fun. I enjoyed it. And it was a good it was a good pickup line. If I’m honest. Like, I’m a professional master. Because then everyone just be like, oh, give me a rub. And then and then it would go from there. And I’d end up like, rubbing more than just their shoulders.

K Anderson 19:22
But was that not tedious?

Scott Flashheart 19:23
Yeah, yeah, it was because it was like that, I mean, it’d be like someone going, Oh, I’m a professional barista, and you’re going Oh, cool. Make me a coffee. Like,

K Anderson 19:35
yeah, yeah, we’re like, you know, I’m a podcast host. Oh, cool. Like, no, we have no useful skills. Like, yeah, no, people are just like, Oh, I don’t want to I don’t want to hear about this because I don’t want you to expect me to listen to this. Okay? So I’m popstars Oh shit. Yeah. So do you remember the first time that you went there? vaguely. Yes, very, very vaguely. Yeah. And do you want to tell you about that?

Scott Flashheart 20:03
Alright, okay. Um, yeah, I, I think I just remember it being

big. It was a lot bigger than I was. Because it was it was so big and it was I really liked the kind of it had a kind of faded decadence to it. There was a it was it was all kind of art deco he kind of I think it was Art Deco he like the building was Art Deco II and then it had this like, gay club happening inside it and you think, oh, the faded grandeur of it? Well, it used to be so much nicer than this last. No. Other mighty have fallen.

K Anderson 20:41
So for those who don’t know, Scala is a venue in King’s Cross in central London. And it’s like a big theater and they do like live gigs there. And, and it’s usually Yeah, it’s a gig venue. So it’s kind of like a big old ballroom II type thing. So you go Yeah, like a like an old dance hall or something. I think maybe Yeah. And and it’s like having as it’s incredible is the is when it was Popstarz, because that night was every Friday night. And they had the main dance floor was the alternative dance floor. And then there was a dance floor upstairs, that was like trashy pop. And then there was like a bar in the middle. I don’t know, ever, like really

Scott Flashheart 21:28
on genre. At that one in the middle, like it had this very small room that would now be about the size of you know, a medium sized living room or a one bedroom flat a studio apartment in central London. So not very big at all. That was that had like, light up walls and I think maybe a light at floor as well. And it was always kind of r&b and light or hip hop or something that just didn’t fit with the other two nights you had trashy pop, and you had the alternative kind of rock kind of night room. And then for some reason, there was also the the kind of I always thought of it the straight guy music, it was all kind of like I just it just felt like it was always for the straight boys. I’m sure it wasn’t I’m sure that was just me being a horrible person because I was a horrible person.

K Anderson 22:23
You know, your garden variety, hetero.

Scott Flashheart 22:27
hetero is so awful, but it’s not so much a phobia as it is a learned response. But anyway. Yeah, for me, I always remember it as being an r&b or similar, like, really odd genre to put with the other two that were kind of odd.

K Anderson 22:44
Anyway, like, Yeah, I just remember going into that room, because that was where you’d like got to sit down and chill out. So I don’t like I don’t really remember the music at all. But I remember that just being like, they’re like, Oh, I’m sick of the dance floor, shall we go and sit in that room.

Scott Flashheart 23:00
I was used to go and sit upstairs in the in the trashing prop room like against the wall. That’s always where I end up setting. But I was with this friend who absolutely loved to dance and dancing is not my thing. I don’t mind doing it a bit, but I’m not particularly coordinated. And this is why I don’t like clubbing

K Anderson 23:16
because I’m gonna say like, Why even bother going out?

Scott Flashheart 23:19
Well, because I had it because I didn’t have any other friends. So if I didn’t go out with him, I didn’t go out and I’m like, Alright, well, I still want to go out and I kissed a few boys. I mean, I came very rarely, but I did occasionally kiss a boy in there. And it was fun. And you know, we danced around and, and I’d be exhausted because I’d been at work since 10am. And I’d finish it like hopper six 7pm and by then a night go home, I would either ID to run home and get changed and then have to go straight out to meet my friend, and then go to popstars like we’d go to trash palace first probably and have a drink or, or depending on when and where I was meeting him. I maybe I’d meet him I go straight from work to trash, partly because it was just around the corner. And what have you and yeah, so I was always absolutely exhausted. And, you know, trying to like stay buzzed on a couple of pints of red stripe, a couple of cans of red stripe or whatever this crappy bar in La Scala was selling.

K Anderson 24:27
And so, uh, you so are you one of those friends? Like there’s just no way of me saying this politely. But he just overly spreads that then he just gets annoyed with because you’re not gonna dance and he wants to dance. And you’re just like, probably

Scott Flashheart 24:40
I mean, like I say he moved out three months after I moved into the flat belly.

K Anderson 24:46
The Popstarz.

Scott Flashheart 24:48
Oh, no, I’m sure I must be pretty annoying to live with at the best of time. So I’m sure he had plenty of reasons to not. But yeah, he loved to dance. It was like his thing and It was just not mine. It’s still not mine. In fact, if anything, it’s less mine now than it was then.

K Anderson 25:04
And said that what do you do in a club, if you don’t doubt,

Scott Flashheart 25:07
I don’t go to clubs and I just don’t. Unless, unless like, once, you know, when, when the planets align, and the spring is upon me, then I’ll go out and I’ll have a dance in a club, but it happens very rarely. Whereas we’d go to Popstarz every Friday night, I’d be completely knackered I’d also be quite poor minimum wage living in central London, not a lot of disposable income. And so I wouldn’t be able to get very drunk, I would be absolutely knackered and I just kind of like, sit miserably at the side and have a horrible time. But

K Anderson 25:46
But, um, so

Scott Flashheart 25:47
I was gonna say, but the memories I have of being in in Popstarz are always really positive. Like

K Anderson 25:53
I had a good time. Okay, yeah, they took me through like a general night. So you’ve you’ve been like, you’ve you’ve had your pre drinks you’ve got there so you can get in before like, full door charge or before like the queue gets, like, so ridiculous that you have to stand out. Yeah. For too long.

Scott Flashheart 26:09
We usually get there about 11 ish. 1130. Like if it was a if it was a comfortable night, then yeah, but 11 1130. So before midnight, I think it was more expensive after midnight. And

K Anderson 26:19
so you can’t remember you get through the door. You’ve passed the security guards arbitrary test. And then you pay your door charge or not. Because it’s cheaper or is free. I can’t remember. And then you go up the stairs. What happens? Do you break off from your friend immediately? Do you go to a dance floor he takes up dancing you stand again.

Scott Flashheart 26:44
I would always work the room I would always kind of like have a wander around, see whose I could catch and all that kind of thing. Bear in mind that I at this time I was not as stylish and charming as I seem. Now I was scruffy and angry and tired and not drunk enough. So often. I’m sure I put guys off. I don’t think I was a particularly attractive person in my mid 20s at all.

K Anderson 27:15
So how do you like how do you how do you scour the room? Don’t scour though. So what were the words then Terry,

Scott Flashheart 27:23
I would work the room, I would just kind of like, wander around, see who was there because there were so many like familiar faces that you just saw every time. And I’d say hi if I if I bumped into someone I knew and that kind of thing and just have a drink and look around and see who I thought was cute and who I was gonna obsess over or not actually talk

K Anderson 27:41
to. So if you thought someone was cute, is that what you would do? You would just kind of like linger. Yeah, cuz

Scott Flashheart 27:47
I didn’t have any kind of weight. But no one ever made a move on me. That’s not how this works. No. Okay.

K Anderson 27:55
But in your like, in your head at that point. Were you like, maybe if I just like stand here, they’ll spill a drink on me. And then they’ll have to talk to me because they will have to apologize. Or were you ever proactive?

Scott Flashheart 28:09
I was always proactive because I’d tried that before. Like I had. When I was at university, I had those kind of skinny well dressed like really horribly bitchy, toxic gays who were like the attractive ones. And I was the scruffy fat hairy, like Angry entirely the opposite of them in every way. So they would happily stand, they would never they wouldn’t. Some of them wouldn’t even dance. And they would certainly never make the first move. They’d stand at the side of the dance floor and wait for someone to come up to them. And I had tried this myself. And all that happened was I got bored, and I got lonely and all of my friends would would, would do that and would pull because they were all skinny and hot and stylish. And I would just be stood there looking dumpy and hairy and angry. Or I’d get like ruinously drunk and make a tear to myself that happened quite often as well. But I suppose but in Popstarz, I used to spend most of my time in the in the main room, I loved that big room, and the music was good. And the guys were always hotter. I’ve got such a thing for kind of alternative rock kind of guys. And so I would just be like, overall, these guys that I couldn’t have.

K Anderson 29:20
See this is so the thing that I always think about with boxers is I think that like the thing that is my main takeaway is that like, everyone who went with like art and alternative night’s alternative and queer, and like you’ve got to remember at the time, like that was a big deal, because you didn’t really have it. Yeah.

Scott Flashheart 29:37
But do we have anything like that now? I suppose like he’s London. Yeah. Dalston? Yeah,

K Anderson 29:43
I think you do have a glory. Yeah, anyway, sorry, carry on. But then you’d get there. And then everyone would want to be in the trashy pop room on the top of the war and the alternative floor was just dead. Yes. And everyone would have Yeah, skinny jeans on but like no one was that interested in listening to that music.

Scott Flashheart 30:02
Apart from there be like three or four like gay hardcore rockers with the actual like long hair and the beards and all that kind of thing who had found their place and we’re only at their happiest when they were mushing and the middle of is kind of like, Rocky kind of flow. I think they even used to do like an hour of thrash metal, or a few, like half an hour, maybe a chunk of the night that was that was thrashing that metal in the main room, or at least like heavy metal for these guys. And there was a little tribe of them, and none of them were attractive to me. So like, my memory of them is only kind of Oh, they’re playing that music. Okay, I should go upstairs now.

K Anderson 30:42
I don’t remember that. I remember. I just remember the alternative music was I mean,

Scott Flashheart 30:46
like alternative music is a little bit of a stretch. Yeah, like alternative music. It was like Mr. Brightside.

K Anderson 30:56
And

Scott Flashheart 30:57
did you ever go round round what would have been the backstage area back when it was a theater or whatever it was? Oh, yeah. Like it wasn’t. It wasn’t in any way cordoned off, but it felt very much like you weren’t supposed to be around there. And they were like little what must have been dressing rooms off of this. There was like a, there was a state. There was this like,

K Anderson 31:19
yeah, it was

Scott Flashheart 31:20
like a C shaped corridor, there was a toilet back there. which I think was why it was open to us because you know if you need to pee, but it was a C shaped corridor that ran all the way around the back of the stage. And there were some rooms that were like dressing rooms or similar and those rooms will always fall of the seen kids doing coke. Like if you if you were cool enough, you were in one of those rooms doing lines of coke while someone watch the door. But I was never cool enough. all I got was like, Oh, the only reason I knew that was happening was because as I came around the corner that

K Anderson 31:57
comes out angry looking guy.

Scott Flashheart 31:59
Yeah. And then they just kind of like silently watched me from the doorway until I walked past and then like they go back to the the fat rails or whatever. I remember like one of the guys who was always in the downstairs room, who I was madly in love with. Was sweaty topless guy. I remember he had I think he’s I think it must have dyed his hair black. And he would always

K Anderson 32:25
give him that nickname.

Scott Flashheart 32:27
Because he was always topless and he had done so much that he would sweat a lot. And he was kind of young he was kind of a Alterna twink kind of thing. I think his name was Baz. And I and he had that kind of emo hairstyle and I was in love with him. I never spoke to him, but I would like how

K Anderson 32:48
did you know his name then?

Scott Flashheart 32:49
Oh, because I think on the Facebook group or something like someone tagged him in a photo or everywhere everyone knew who he was because he was always there. And he was always the skinny you’re not even that skinny. He was like he had a he was very sexy boy with his top half who danced around to him so much that he sweat and has never had to stop on

K Anderson 33:11
Yeah. Get in touch.

Scott Flashheart 33:15
And did you ever go for the New Year’s parties at Popstarz?

K Anderson 33:20
I don’t know I’m not very like I’m one of those people who’s like oh new Oh New Year’s, I’m just I’m not gonna be able to get in I’m not gonna be able to use the toilet there’s going to be too many people there’s just no point I’ll just stay home.

Scott Flashheart 33:34
As Am I as we’ve discovered like my own feelings were never really a top of my list when it came to this kind of thing. So I would do what everyone else wanted because I wanted to be one of the cool kids which is exhausting and not much fun. But and then New Year’s Eve nights they would have these massive air cannons on the sides of the stage and huge like taller than me and much broader than me so they must have been like eight feet tall. cylindrical bags full of polystyrene balls like the tiny little the little white bubbles that they crush into shapes to turn into like the stuff that you put in boxes to keep your team safe or whatever huge bags of those before they got crushed. So these little tiny like smaller than peas but made of that like super light stuff. And someone’s job would be to shovel them into these air cannons that just blasted them across the room so it was essentially just like fake snow like falling on the inside this massive ballroom type area in the Scarlet every New Year’s Eve or every Christmas or whenever they fucking party was every year and I those things would turn up months later like I would be fine. In my in my room, these little white polystyrene balls in fucking April for no reason and I wouldn’t know where they come from but I know exactly where how they’d ended up in my bedroom because whatever I’ve been wearing that night had brought them home. With me, and bears bless him dancing around with his top on he be so sweaty that these little white balls just stick to him he was absolutely covered. Like any bit of any bit of flesh was was lost to a sea of little white bubbles that just that just and how I loved him I had such a thing.

K Anderson 35:20
And, and like you say he never talked to him forgotten about him until we talked to him or anything. never spoke to him never ever spoke in new there’s just like, on medicine

Scott Flashheart 35:32
in the distance this this beautiful young man that was out having a lovely time and amazing time. And I was envious of the time he was having because I never really got into it because it wasn’t my vibe and I hadn’t realized that yet. But also he was just he was he was handsome, and he seemed fun.

K Anderson 35:48
Would it help if I said that? He’s probably really dumb. Like, you’ve never talked to him, so you don’t know. But odds are I mean, most people are really dull. So, you know, most people are really dull. I mean, I’m really dull. Yeah, don’t do much. Yeah. rude.

Scott Flashheart 36:10
And you know, like, I’m getting old now I’m like, in my late 20s

K Anderson 36:18
Shut the fuck up. And I’m not saying anything you can identify whatever age you want. And

Scott Flashheart 36:26
I’m in my extremely late 20s because I’m I’m 38 is really quite late 20s isn’t it? anyway? Yeah, so bored like doll is okay now I mean, to a point

K Anderson 36:38
what you said you were still in love with them. I’m not like Dell as in like he stays home and like is into crochet. I just mean like he just has like really boring opinions and there’s not much fun to talk to kind of

Scott Flashheart 36:52
you don’t care Yeah, maybe I don’t know but he but he’s it’s that it’s that thing of he’ll always be perfect because I never got to know him he exists in potential only he the waveform was never collapsed. He’s both the the perfect particle and also the tedious wave at the same time, so Okay, and there’s no way to find

K Anderson 37:19
out. Don’t get in touch just like this episode. Oh, bugger off. No, no, no, he definitely shows God does not want to know you because he just wants this perfect. He really does. He does. No, Bad. Bad. Right. So you got to The Club. And then you did your little like, I’m gonna go off and like skulk and like, Look, I mean, in medicine,

Scott Flashheart 37:45
well, I enjoy the music like it while they were playing. While they were playing the music I liked I be in the big room downstairs. And I’d be hanging around trying to be cool and trying to be one of those boys and I could I could never get the eyeliner to work for me. So I wasn’t I didn’t even get Did you try hose? Probably. Yeah, of course. I tried.

K Anderson 38:03
I never tried.

Scott Flashheart 38:04
Yeah, I did. I did eyeliner. I i will i think my my favorite outfit. I don’t know why. My favorite outfit was a baggy brown pinstripe trousers. With a bright pink t shirt that had something gay on it. I think it said I want to be your cowboy or something like that. Or it was equally like campan silly t shirt. That was that was very tight. Which wouldn’t have been that flattering as I was a bit chunky but I worry I mean yeah, it was that like the thing was like baggy trousers tight t shirts before it became skinny jeans and like a shirt. Or do remember skinny jeans and waistcoat. Remember skinny jeans and waistcoat. Yeah. I tried that once I looked like a pirate lesbian

K Anderson 38:58
was not good. Like, why why is that not a good look? It just it it just didn’t work. Like had I wanted to be a lesbian pirate it would have been fine. And the the the like and the thing about the baggy jeans was that like you had to have them hanging hanging on you wore your American Apparel and parents underneath there were brightly colored. said yes.

Scott Flashheart 39:18
bright colored underpants. So that amazing, huh? I had some I had some red and black checkered ones because that was the proper kind of Fallout boys scene. scenes that kind of thing.

K Anderson 39:34
Yeah, and you just had your like bus showing over the top of the jeans. Yep.

Scott Flashheart 39:38
Because the change a little hmm hmm pants because they were always the brightest colors. Mm hmm. ones they were five pound pair. And they would change like everyone’s wore Shea

K Anderson 39:48
and studded belt

Scott Flashheart 39:51
and a skinny tie. And a bit of eyeliner through Pete Wentz. I think this was

K Anderson 39:58
a Pete Yeah, he’s For that, boy, isn’t he? Let’s say yes, I’m not waking up with he married to Ashley Simpson. I honestly don’t know. When I’m looking at it. I

Scott Flashheart 40:12
used to fancy. I used to fancy him and the dude from my Brian Molko as well.

K Anderson 40:21
I never got that with Brian Ryan. Yeah, so many people fancied him.

Scott Flashheart 40:26
Not anymore. Father time has really taken about to him bless him. None of us can help how we age of course, but I think all those all that drugs and partying in his 20s is kind of burnt out.

K Anderson 40:39
So So yes, just wanted to find is. Pete Wentz was in Fallout boy. And, uh, yeah, was married to Ashley Simpson. Wonderful Ashley Simpson is doing today. And so let’s get back. Let’s get back. So you went in? Okay. Yeah, like

Scott Flashheart 41:02
so I would go in, I would, I would like grab a drink from the bar. I would queue for like half an hour for a bowl for kind of warm red stripe. I would I would work my way. Oh,

K Anderson 41:13
can we just say can we just like, the bars in this gala was so stressful, because there were so long, and there was like, five or six, maybe maybe like three or four people working the bar. And so you would always be like trying to get someone’s attention and someone would show up, like after you showed up and they would get served before you and it was really hard.

Scott Flashheart 41:37
It was it was like it was one of those places where in theory, there must be a place where you can stand that will that will help you get served. But it was never the place where you actually end up stood. You always ended up stood between the beats have to have the barman you know, I mean, like they have their little areas. And somehow, wherever you stood, you didn’t have the border between. Yeah, so no one

K Anderson 42:04
would ever serve you. And it was just so horrible. And I would just like I’ve just got unnecessarily stressed about it.

Scott Flashheart 42:14
And they had the horrible vodka that gave me a cough. Like vodka cough was a thing. It was it was because it was cheap or bloody good. Yeah, the really shitty vodka. vladi good vodka. It would definitely wasn’t Smirnoff or anything not that smells particularly good. But it would definitely wasn’t anything that you’d heard of. It was the cheap shit that would make you blind if you drank enough of it. Yeah, horrible stuff. I can taste it. I can taste it. Now as we’re doing this, just so you So yeah, I

K Anderson 42:45
would do that, get your drink Off you go. Look angry,

Scott Flashheart 42:49
I’d go and I’d go and hang out in the main room and I’d dance around a bear and I’d like I bang some guy who would get intimidated and run away. I’d I’d go and pee in the toilet near where all the tweaks were doing their Coke, I’d go and queue up for another drink or something. And then like, as the music got too heavy, or they got bored, I kind of drift upstairs to the trashy pop room that I think was must have originally been like, the balcony and the looking down onto the main stage. And they’d kind of they I don’t think they even walled it off. I think it was just a massive kind of tarpaulin curtain or something. Because I remember, I don’t remember this hack. This never happened to me. But I remember like being told that like, if you pulled you could like, sneak off behind that curtain and get a little bit sexy. And no one could see you because you were like, tucked away in the dark out of the way. And so I was like, should it ever happen? That’s where I needed to go. And I’m like, Okay, good. I’ll remember that. And that that information is in my head. And it has been used as many times as like, how to escape quicksand, which at the time seemed when you were little seemed like escaping. quicksand was going to be a big deal in later life and something that you needed to learn. And so I committed like, Don’t thrash around, move slowly and deliberately try and spread your weight out is how you get out of quicksand. And you know, if you pull in popstar sneak off behind the curtain for a bit, that’s not gonna happen job. Neither those things have been useful in my life at all.

K Anderson 44:27
I’m sorry.

Scott Flashheart 44:29
That’s all right. Well, I mean, if you were at popstars then you didn’t like what to have a snog and I went with me there so you know partly is your like, always pick off with bass and broken my little heart.

K Anderson 44:43
Yeah, taking him away. Like on the night that he was like, you know that that angry guy keeps that eye banging me I’m gonna give him a shot. I came swooped in and I mean,

Scott Flashheart 44:54
I he was a cutie and he was a face. I think everyone knew who he was. So like I’m sure he he had his little hairy more his little his go twos. I mean maybe he had a boyfriend maybe he was happily monogamous the entire time. I have no idea. He just he just seemed to be he was so happy and so kind of having fun and it was adorable and he was hot and cute and cheekbones Wang to myself saw her I did

K Anderson 45:27
Oh,

Scott Flashheart 45:28
I know romantic in it. And so then then I then I’d run it then I’d end up in the

the trashy pop room upstairs for the last hour or so. And there’d be some Pussycat Dolls or were they around then or was that too early? Yeah, yeah. All kind of blurs I think Atomic Kitten. Yeah, and definitely girls. Yeah, some early girls will out push the button I think was one of my Yeah, that would definitely been around them that was like that. Yeah, sugar bed. But I remember push the button was one of my favorite songs. Yeah, around that time. And they probably played Mr. Brightside upstairs as well, because it was one of those songs that was just everywhere. And that you look back and you think Jesus fucking Christ, but at the time it was young

K Anderson 46:15
that sticks out for me is what you’re waiting for by Gwen’s Tiffani. Yeah, just like I just used to think that was so cool. And now it’s like, that whole album campaign is a little problematic. Oh,

Scott Flashheart 46:28
I don’t remember. I remember the song. And then so I wanted

K Anderson 46:31
to talk about eye banging. Oh, fuck, all right. Like, how do you do it?

Scott Flashheart 46:37
It’s just that kind of when you’re really into someone and you just can’t stop looking at them. That’s eye banging.

K Anderson 46:43
Like, in a really creepy way.

Scott Flashheart 46:45
I mean, not intentionally, but like, considering who I was and what I was like, at the time, then almost certainly was creepy to everyone but me. I was going for kind of like, smoldering and mysterious and sexy. But it almost certainly came across as just incredibly creepy. Cuz, you know? Because because

K Anderson 47:05
why not? Like I am. I never got good at flirting.

Scott Flashheart 47:12
I got good at flirting. I’ve always. That’s something that I kind of pride myself on is I know how to flirt. But only because I had to learn because like I say, if I stood at the side and waited for someone to come to me and never happened.

K Anderson 47:28
Like, do you mean flirting? Like after you start talking to someone? I don’t even I mean, in that, like, I’m just looking at you from across the floor and like, Oh, hello. Like, how do people do that?

Scott Flashheart 47:44
No idea. I’ve always said, I have to use my words. Like, what, like body isn’t gonna set anyone’s pants on fire. And like, my dancing certainly wasn’t. And I couldn’t smolder. I just looked stalkery. So all I had going for me was my words. So yeah, like going up and talking to someone very quickly lost any kind of fear around talking to strangers, because

K Anderson 48:11
I’m just like, because I talk so softly. I just couldn’t talk to anyone.

Scott Flashheart 48:17
But you have such lovely dulcet tones. I could I could doze off listening to you talk about anything.

K Anderson 48:22
Yeah, but in a club where the music’s really loud. And I’m like, you will be like, Oh, yeah, I can’t be bothered with this. Pretty much. So that’s why I just I had to use my body. I mean,

Scott Flashheart 48:38
whatever works. It was a tool in your arsenal. It was not one I had, like, Yeah,

K Anderson 48:44
but I just like, No, I mean, I was just so sweaty in every club. So even that didn’t work unless you know, you’d like profuse sweating. But some people really do like that.

Scott Flashheart 48:56
Yeah, I wore a lot of black to kind of cover that up, because I would sweat a lot to between the just kind of moist atmosphere and then dancing around a lot. And also having drinks spilt on you and everything else, like wearing a lot of black was really the only way to get through that black shirt with a red tie to match my red checkered pants.

K Anderson 49:21
Okay, getting the visual. I said then what’s your opening line? When you’re flirting?

Scott Flashheart 49:29
The one I used to use all the time was you look really familiar. I was like, You look really familiar. I’ve I spoke and I have we spoken before.

That would

K Anderson 49:41
know that.

Scott Flashheart 49:41
And then that worked. That worked? because they’d be like, No, I don’t think so. And maybe like, do we go to the same gym or do you live near me and it’s a good way to start a conversation and then like, within a couple of seconds, you’ll know if they’re interested enough to talk to you and if not, then they’ll just Whoa, no, no. Oh, right now mine, sorry, and you move on, like, as gracefully as you can. Whereas if they’re interested enough to talk to you, then you’re in with a chance all you have to do then is find a way to charm them or flirt with them or slip into conversation that you’ve got an enormous penis, something like that. Whatever works

K Anderson 50:16
like I mean, why wouldn’t you just start with our

Scott Flashheart 50:19
because dancing up just wandering up? So in a going, oh, I’ve got a big deck does not work. Also, then, like if they if

K Anderson 50:25
debate by the club, they said yes.

Scott Flashheart 50:27
Yeah. And had that actually worked. They would have been extremely disappointed when they got me home. So Oh, okay. Yeah, don’t

K Anderson 50:33
start with here. But like, do you? Do you ever do that when you’re saying to someone, oh, like, do we know each other? And they start to be like, yeah, yeah, you look familiar. And if they do, do you respect them more or less?

Scott Flashheart 50:49
If they say that, then I would start I mean, this barely ever happened. But I would have started to get excited cuz they’ve noticed me. They’ve seen maybe I am attractive to other people. And then they’d be like, yeah, wouldn’t you that guy that like, got absolutely hammered and made a tip himself here last week? No, that must have been someone

K Anderson 51:12
that follows bass around. Yeah, that was definitely less bass. So So having like the because the club moved around and kind of petered out. I don’t remember my last time there. Do you remember your last time

Scott Flashheart 51:34
I remember. I remember one time in sin. In the little alternative room. I there was, there was a stage for dancing on an all around the edge was like a shimmery gold curtain, like just against the wall. And I went to lean on it and managed to find the only part of it that was a door and fell through this door and down a flight of stairs. That was right next to the stage. And that for some reason hadn’t been properly secured. Which was painful and humiliating. Did you get no I didn’t know no one saw and I didn’t make a first because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want anyone to know. So I just kind of like scrambled back up, close the door. And then like lent against the wall until I could see straight and everything has stopped hurting quite so much.

K Anderson 52:22
Did you have impressive bruises though?

Scott Flashheart 52:25
I can’t remember. Probably. It was a long, long time ago. But the last time I was there it was it hadn’t hadn’t like completely closed down. It was still going and I left while the music was still good. And the party was stuck. I wasn’t there at the end of the night. And I didn’t pull anyone and I was alright with that. I’d had a good night my friend pulled someone in so he was in a good mood. And we staggered out of the end and down Charing Cross Road and onto the 88 or the 87 bus in Trafalgar Square that would take us back to our flats in Vauxhall and it was a lovely night. And

yeah, I think part of me definitely misses those nights. They were they were great fun.

And even for someone who didn’t like clubbing I used to keep going back. And so that that has taught you something I think

K Anderson 53:24
Did you ever go to Popstarz? Well, if you did, I would love to hear about it. Find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the username and K Anderson music. And tell me your stories. Share your photos. Tell me what songs you remember from that time. I want to have a conversation. And whilst you’re at it, go and give Scott some love on Twitter. His profile name is Scott flash heart. And on top of that, make sure that you give the perfectly true podcast spin or to last 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 next year. You can hear the first single which is called well groomed boys and is also playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you took a few minutes to subscribe. leave a review on Apple podcasts or just tell someone or some things that you know who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to. I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost space

 







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