*This article is a dual authorship between the genius minds of Benjamin Spence and David Robinson.*"Your makeup is TERRIBLE!" The City of Newcastle (hometown of British Pop Princess Cheryl Fernandez-Versini) is located in the North East of England. Housing a vibrant gay scene, "The Pink Triangle," the popular gay village boasts its very own cabaret venue and LGBT hot spots galore. Upon arrival at SR44 Nightclub, we witnessed a sea of drag fans excitedly waiting outside. Heading into the club night aptly named SHADE we bumped into our host for the evening, Heather Phetish. She was dressed fabulously as Alaska Thunderfucks’s ex, RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 winner Sharon Needles. Hungry for a kaikai Heather? It was no surprise that Heather held a fierce presence after competing as a popular contestant in both Newcastle's Drag Idol and London's Meth Lab Ball with guest judge Michelle Visage. Frantically applying the final touches to the event, it was clear the queens of SHADE had gone all out. The bar area looked impressively gothic and super spooky. The club's layout is quite ingenious with the stage as the focal point and the rest of the bar built on a slant (like a modern Greek theatre). The stage was also level with the crowd, with only a roped-off barrier coming between us and Alaska's stage, making it feel deliciously intimate. The lively crowd was a mixture of scene queens sporting RuPaul's Drag Race t-shirts and others in full drag. One guest even went all out wearing the lion mask Alaska wore when first entering the workroom on the show. The hungry crowd were kept entertained by DJ Beauty Killer and the impressive support acts from the Queens of SHADE. Keeping it interesting, each performer brought a different element to the table. With an almost punk-meets-burlesque stage presence, Heather Phetish kicked off the party with a Sharon Needles lip-sync, dressed in the winner's gown from her Season 4 crowning. Taking to the stage were also fabulous performances from Anna Morphic, Crystal Meth and pink-haired Venus Dimilo, who made a stand out performance as she shocked the crowd with her Lady Gaga and Bananarama mash-up. Setting the tone for the festivities, it was clear nothing was going to be cutesy, feathery and fluffy. These girls were serving shady freak realness. Finally, the star of the show enters through the crowd, with fellow drag performers acting as bodyguards. Alaska makes no time making herself feel comfortable, launching into her trademarked “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!” greeting and informing her audience that she just made her dress using bed sheets from her hotel. “I’m the first Ru Girl to enter Newcastle; I’ve just been told,” stated Alaska as she exploded onto the stage in her distinctive messy blonde wig and bug eye sunglasses. “Why aye man!” she bellowed over the microphone to an already excited audience. Apparently she knows how to speak Geordie! She then begins with a medley of her hit singles beginning with new tune, “American Apparel Ad Girls" which features ex RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Willam and Courtney Act. During the performance she hilariously forgets the other queen's words. To the crowds enjoyment next up is “Ru Girl” and with a quick costume change she revels a white dress with "ANUS" spelled out in masking tape. Her prop toy gun from the video is then used to terrorise and titillate members of the crowd. Between performances she chats to us about her time on the show and how much her life has changed since she applied. We also learn how her appearance has led to her (thankfully) traveling the globe, with next day travel to Venice on a drag queen cruise. Erm, best holiday EVER? By the time her most popular tune, "Your Makeup is Terrible,” is performed, she’s accosted the stage security guards, with many of them running away from her. She tried to talk in a Geordie accent and made light-hearted fun of a fan who touched her hair earlier in the night. You can't touch a drag queen's hair and get away with it, to be fair. The catchy tune steals the show as she belts out the trash metal "TERRIBBBLE!" with glee. Newcastle's fresh club night SHADE is sure to be a popular hit in the toon. With appearances from Adore Delano scheduled in January and Willam will also be stopping by the month after. Gentlemen start your engines, Newcastle will never be the same again. You can keep up with the Shady Ladies on Twitter @ShadeNewcastle.
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