Readers Wifes
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Bourgois & Maurice

August 20, 2018 0

So, when I arrived in Hebden Bridge back in 2003, if you mentioned ducks, it was in the context of the quaint tradition of the busiest day of the year, where a river of yellow plastic ducks are chucked into the river and encouraged to compete with the real ones, on a short journey down river, every Easter Bank Holiday. Let’s not knock it, it draws crowds annually. But this year, we re-defined Duckie in Hebden Bridge.

The anticipation was palpable.  As soon as it was announced, tickets sold out in just 48 hours. The Trades already having a reputation for hosting some of the best nights this side of the Pennines, joining forces with a club night that has successfully ran for over two decades. It was the perfect combination of people, place and undoubtedly, occasion.

Happy Valley Pride’s loyal contingent is a true mixed tribe. Often commented on is the fact that so many have ‘escaped’ the city to move here, renounced by many locals as ‘oftcummers’ – it’s always a balancing act.  Being part of the community, whilst nostalgically reflecting on a misspent youth in the UK’s cities.  And for the LGBT+ community in particular, that obviously comes with a doubtless, crumpled ticket to the clubs of the 90’s and 00’s.

So, did it live it to expectations.  As they say in Yorkshire, “By gum”, it did.  Outfits were planned, yet discarded on arrival due to the first big downpour in weeks, coinciding with a crammed and sauna-like dance floor.  Monster Munch hanging from the ceiling and Readers Wifes playing long-forgotten tunes.  It was reminiscent of Narnia meets Nightmare on Elm Street.  Dark, sexy, tribal.

Interspersed with brilliantly original cabaret performances from Bourgeois & Maurice (last year’s sell out), new friends, Barbara Brownskirt – (“Judy, Judy, Judy …. Dench” is STILL being repeated as a highlight), Victoria Sin – who knew sandwich-making could be an art form and finally the vision of Ursula Martinez streaking down Holme Street will live on as legendary.

We didn’t want it to end, but of course it had to and it all felt like a dream. There’s talk of turning the tables, with rumours of a road trip – Happy Valley Pride Goes to Duckie.  We’re already clicking those red heels and channeling Dorothy ‘There’s no place like Duckie’.


Camille O'Sullivan
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Bourgeois & Maurice
ursula

May 26, 2018 0

Now in its third year, the festival will be united by a Revolution theme with performances, art and outdoor entertainment.

A strong theme, with their best headliners yet, who have eagerly signed up to participate in the revolution, recognising the unique flavour of Happy Valley Pride’s tone in a town that does things differently.  The festival will provide world-class entertainment throughout the week bringing class acts and clubbing together. Headliners already booked to appear are:

Duckie – Legendary London Club Night @ The Trades Club, Saturday 11th August

Whilst most club nights last a few years, Duckie has happened every week for 23 years. For the first time EVER, the original Vauxhall veterans bring their rock’n’roll performance disco-bar to Yorkshire on Saturday 11 August to The Trades Club.  Legendary DJ’s, The London Reader’s Wifes will be joined on stage by Happy Valley Pride favourites’ Bourgeois & Maurice, drag artist Victoria Sin and comedian Barbara Brownskirt.

Camille O’Sullivan @ Hope Baptist Church, Friday 10th August

Irish/French Camille O’Sullivan is now an internationally-renowned singer with a formidable reputation for her interpretations of the songs of Cave, Brel, Waits, Bowie, Cohen, Radiohead and more. She has stunned audiences around the world, including a ten-night, award-winning run of shows at Sydney Opera House; London’s Royal Festival Hall; The Roundhouse. The Telegraph recently named Camille one of the top 25 performances of all time on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland BBC.

Ursula Martinez – Comedy and Performance Artist @ Hebden Bridge Little Theatre, Thursday 9th August

An established international artist, regularly supported by the British Council, Ursula Martinez produces live performance, both solo and collaborative, for theatre, cabaret, site-specific, installation and nightclub. She will present her critically acclaimed show Free Admission which celebrates the inconsistencies and contradictions that make us human, whilst having a dig at some of the mess that is of our own making.

Newly-appointed Chair, Tim Whitehead said “We believe Revolution gives a soul-stirring theme, which will fire up our festival visually, artistically and create comradery amongst our festival performers and supporters.”

Tickets and full programme details to be announced in June 2018