Review by Corinna ‘Merms’ Tomrley aka Lezzer Bangs
We need camp in our lives. It is as vital as anger. Actually, it can be an expression of our anger every bit as much as screaming our rage. Camp is rarely frivolous. Camp is fucking subversive.
This is something that people generally don’t get. And this is why we need Camposphere.
When I first heard about Camposphere – an evening soaked in glitter with queer, camp performance and disco dance tunes – I thought I had died and gone to queer heaven, darlings. I had the absolute privilege to interview Camposphere founders Sam Pallis and Chris Nelson for Loverboy. Alas, my Jennifer Ellison/Bob Fosse knee injury* meant I couldn’t make it to the first one. A misfortune that has forever left me with sorrow and regret. But even though that knee decided to play up a bit the night of Camposphere 2 (and I subsequently couldn’t walk without pain the next day) I was not going to miss this again. Even if it meant being carried around by butch queers all night. (Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary. There were chairs)
As Sam told me (for Loverboy)
“The rise of normcore pushed Camp to the sidelines. Camp goes in cycles; at points it is seen as attractive and at other times it loses its currency. This time it feels different; the notion of being queer has started to question this cycle, by acknowledging the performative nature of all of these identities. Camp is at the forefront of this movement and through drag it has become a renewed subversive sensibility where anything goes. With Camposphere we want to bring the energy surrounding the London drag scene into the queer music scene.”
And, by glittergoddess, they have done this.
There is so much vital importance in fun. I adore the queercore scene with all my punky little heart (and there can be humour and tons of fun there) but with camp we sing a different, equally crucial song.
When I was chatting last night with Sam at Camposphere 2 I told him how essential I found Camposphere. He agreed, talking about the loss of our queer spaces, how we need a place for queer entertainment and performance that embraces and shouts about the politics of this happening.
It is so true. We need to celebrate and we need joy and we need to say fuck you, norm world, we’re here, we’re queer and we’re covered head to toe in fucking massive glitter.
So last night at Camposphere 2 I fell in love hard. I fell in love with JOEY FOURR, I fell in love with Georgia Tasda’s fabulously perverted performance. I was already madly in love with GIRLI and… the chance to see her live… with DJ Kitty… om fucking g. And I got to tell her she’s my hero.
And I fell hardest for Sam and Chris’s own discofunk collective band Latexxx who deserve tons of gigs, a huge cult following and to be heard. HEARD. I can’t actually remember the last time I’ve had so much fun and my heart swelled with so much joy.
Oh and I got covered by a BUCKET full of glitter. No wonder I fell in love. Glitter is the quickest way to my queerheart.
As much as it was a privilege to interview the whole schlew of Camposphere folk twice for Loverboy, it was an unequaled honour to witness Camposphere 2. Roll on Camposphere 3. We need this in our lives like we didn’t even know.
Read my interview with Sam and Chris for Loverboy
Read my interview with Sam, Chris, JOEY FOURR, and Georgia Tasda for Loverboy
*If you ask me about this I will bore you tell you all about my embarrassment which has left me with a lifelong disability. I’m such an asshole.