Incorporating The Music Fix
25th February 2011 18:00:00
Posted by 

Queen & The Night We Got Tranny-Stamped

We never say no to a free event here at TMF; arguably that's because invites are so rare that we pounce on them in a fashion similar to the people later tonight who besiege anyone foolish enough to carry out platters of freebie food. And so it was that when we received an invite to the launch party of the new Queen exhibition, Stormtroopers In Stilettos, we felt it'd just be bad manners to turn down the free food and drink chance to get a sneak preview of the exhibition, charting the first five albums of Queen's career.

After taking a wrong turn down one of the side streets of Brick Lane which almost certainly led us into the hands of a cult or gang, we arrived at the entrance of the exhibition and proceeded to get tranny-stamped (quite possibly the largest door stamp ever in the design of Queen's logo) by the very burly trannies located at the entrance. As starts to nights out go, it was a fairly surreal one it must be said, but after we let ourselves get snapped by the paps (we're big time, don't you know), things started to get more normal as we made our way into the exhibition via a free glass of champers, as you do.

The exhibition itself is divided into several sections with each one dedicated to a key moment in the early stages of Queen's career, with the majority focusing purely on one particular album. Supplementing the blocks of text describing the creative processes and the obstacles they had to overcome (such as Brian May's illness during the early creative phase of Sheer Heart Attack), there are also various items of memorabilia (cassettes, magazine covers, an early transcript of a Queen biography etc) and exclusive, unseen archive footage on various laptops located around the rooms. Design-wise, it's a very stripped back style but effective, with all the walls littered with quotes from the band and other artists as diverse as Lady Gaga to Dave Grohl meaning there's always something to focus on.

It's obviously an exhibition that would appeal to Queen fans, but there's every chance that, given the sheer amount of information and detail put into it, you could go in as a neutral bystander and still be fascinated. And, after all, everyone knows 'Bohemian Rhapsody' so it gets its own little section in the A Night At The Opera area, going into the difficulty the band had in persuading the record company to go with it and even that the making of that album was "life or death" for the band. But even if that's not enough to persuade you to go, there are several of Freddie Mercury's outfits scattered around the rooms for the fashionista inside of you.

After taking in the exhibition and getting into the final room, via some great footage of the band's free Hyde Park gig from 1976, we found ourselves in the final party area. Here the night transformed from a battle to find space to read the exhibition uninterrupted, to a tactical battle to find the best spot for freebies. For reference's sake, it turned out to be the left side of the bar, where they put the cocktails, and opposite the toilets where the food started its route around the room, thankfully not coming from the same area as the toilets, of course.

Things here came a surreal full circle with the trannies making a welcome (?) return, only this time carting around mops instead of stamps, and the projections on the wall generally consisting of breasts...lots of breasts and cavorting women. Once we'd had our fill of the food (a veggie kebab being our particular fave), cocktails (all named after a particular album, but we weren't fussy) and celeb spotting (Brian May, Dave Grohl and, top of the lot, Paul Whitehouse), it was time to call it a night. Now it's just time for us to sit on our hands and wait for the next chance to enjoy free food and drink a sneak preview of the next major musical exhibition.

Stormtroopers In Stilettos is now open until 6pm on March 12th. Entry is free and it's open seven days a week from 11am to 9pm. For more details, visit their official website - www.stormtroopersinstilettos.com

Related Forum Discussions

Finding an actor to play Freddie Mercury
Queen live at Hammersmith Odeon 1975
Sky Arts Sofa fest
Queen - the long awaited box set! News at last - release date confirmed....