The Niallist - Bollox @ Legends, Manchester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Niallist - Bollox @ Legends, Manchester

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

You may not be aware that Niall O'Conghaile, alias The Niallist, made one of the best party records of last year, but he did. It's called AKA and he's now offering it as a free download. To celebrate that and just because, well, why not?, he gives us a live performance as part of a club invasion of stalwart alternative Manc gay scene night Bollox by his own queer-drag-ball-unhinged-cabaret-madness night Tranachy, featuring such wonderfully and evokatively named performers as Joyce D'Vision, Kurt Dirt and Sheela Bilge.

As soon as The Niallist hits the floor and his body-popping mix of old school house, late 80s hip hop and squelching synth-pop pumps out the speakers, it's clear this is less a run-of-the-mill gig and more of an irresistible invitation to party. And the call is instantly heeded by those at the front; by the second song, The Niallist, trucker cap pulled low over his shades, is surrounded by wriggling revellers including some frankly randy looking ladies who spend quite a bit of the gig dry humping The Niallist's legs. It's funny and oddly life-affirming to watch.

Guest vocals come from Pam Grier, who turns in a strong vocal on the self-explanatory 'I Came' and the aforementioned Kurt Dirt, lipstick-smeared grin glinting through his beard, on bitch-fest 'Avoiding You'. Other highlights are Niall's skittering take on Missy Elliot's classic ode to a big lunchbox, 'Work It', and his own, monumentally funky, Prince-sampling tribute to big lads, 'Like 'Em Fat' (The Niallist doesn't mess around with song titles).

If you're the kind of muso, heterosexist bore who thinks a gig's not a gig unless a man a regulation indie-boy bad haircut is playing an instrument made of WOOD, then it's probably easy to dismiss this kind of thing as silly. But it's not - it's vital and liberating and a huge amount of fun. Just like The Niallist's album. Which you'll already have download by now if you've got any taste.

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