Queer Mutiny and Jean Genet

Richard remembers legendary parties organised by Queer Mutiny where he first saw queer duo Jean Genet performing, wearing 'gaffer tape on their boobs, in their pants with raccoon makeup'.

Duration 04:29


RM: Yeah, so that was really good and like I said they [Queer Mutiny] put the, you know, they put on these really, really amazing parties that were just, that were just, you just, you didn't even know what, you never knew what was, you didn't know what was going on; you didn't know what kind of people you were going to meet; you couldn't assume people's gender identity; and you just, you know like, I sort of went to one and then I ended the... went in normal clothes, ended the night wearing a little black cocktail dress and just going home like that [laughs].

INTERVIEWER: How did that happen? [laughing]

RM: I don't even know [laughter] because... I don't even know, but they were quite big on they had a lot of clothes. I remember that. And they were quite big on just, just wear whatever you feel and I think, I think there was just a moment where everyone started taking their clothes on and putting on different clothes and I was a lot slimmer then, so I was able to wear this little dress and just go home like that.

INTERVIEWER: How did that feel?

RM: Really good! But I was off my tits so everything felt really good [laughing]. So I think at whatever the next morning when I was still awake it probably didn't feel so good. I've no idea what happened to that dress, absolutely no idea. [laughing]. So, you know, it was, it was very, it was sort of like very much... At the time I was living in Hyde Park and Hyde Park – probably still is – but it was this, it was very kind of like hippy and sort of, sort of a bit wanna be bohemian but it was, you know, there were a lot of, a lot of white people with dreads; there was a lot of, there were a lot of parties; there was you know, there was, you know, a lot of, a lot of drugs and all that kind of stuff. So in a way Queer Mutiny was sort of an extension from that but it was also slightly separate from that because it was more political.


RM: And, and... they

INTERVIEWER: Did you say that, that, was it a squat that they were living in from Queer Mutiny? Did you say...

RM: Yeah...

INTERVIEWER: ... it was up near the Swarthmore...

RM: It was near the Swarthmore ...

INTERVIWER: ... Centre?

RM: Yeah. It was near the Swarthmore Centre. It was this old like church hall. But it was like a warren in there. It was like, there were people living in just every space and there was so much going on. And then, and then they squatted in this old, they squatted in this old pub near the Tetley Brewery called, called The Crown – but the N had fell off so it was called The Crow – and they were putting on loads of gigs there, which is where I first saw Jean Genet who were this completely amazing duo who used to go onstage just with gaffer tape on their boobs, in their pants with racoon make-up and do really amazing songs like Shit Job and Domestagay and stuff like that [laughing]

INTERVIEWER: So I know you know some lyrics [laughter]

RM: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Do you want to tell me [unclear] [laughing]?

RM: So Shit Job would go kind of go, kind of go [reciting] 'Got a shit job but you're punters are hot. Got nothing to do but work out if they're gay or not'.

Then Domestagay was kind of like:[singing] 'Hey hey domestagay I only met you yesterday. But I've moved in and I'm here to stay. I've brought a, I've brought a matching breakfast tray'. [laughter].

And they were, they were just so much fun!


RM: And we kind of just fell in love with them and we would go to all their gigs and we would wear like gaffer tape on our nipples and loads of other people started doing that as well. So like when Queer Mutiny put on, put on this kind of like festival in this, in this old nunnery in Burley, Jean Genet played that and we were like the whole, there was a massive crowd, we like all had gaffer, we were just handing round the gaffer tape basically. There were, yeah, you know... and they were having, there were also like there were workshops on bondage. There was loads of stuff going on like during the day and in the evening there were just these huge parties with, with loads of, with loads of bands playing.