Queereteria TV was last year’s third (and hopefully not final) part of Barney Ashton-Bullock and Chris Frost’s Torsten series. Starring Erasure’s Andy Bell, Ashton-Bullock and West End legend Peter Straker alongside a cast of bawdy accomplices, Queereteria TV imaged a post-apocalyptic (post-pandemic?) world of really, really bad TV and morals gone savagely to hell. It was a show of raucous, vivid brilliance featuring some of Ashton-Bullock and Frosts’ finest songs in the Torsten series and powerful, often heart-wrenchingly poignant performance from Andy Bell.
I watched the show at the series’ spiritual home of the Above The Stag Theatre in Vauxhall on April 24 2019 with Richard Evans from the Erasure Information Service, and it was one of the best nights out in London I’d had in a long, long time. Alongside some brilliant and truly memorable performances by the three principal vocalists, I remember alternately laughing uproariously and wincing uncomfortably at the antics of the show’s villainous Lady Domina Bizarre (brilliantly executed by Matthew Baldwin).
Etched in my memory those performances are, a convenient memento of the live Queereteria TV performances is now available in the form of an eight-song EP through Bandcamp, featuring recordings from the final three night’s of the show’s run. Here you will find stunning live versions of songs that appeared on the accompanying Andy Bell album, including his stirring duet of ‘Lowland Lowriders’ with Ashton-Bullock and his mournful, haunting solo piece, ‘A Hundred Years Plus Today’. The EP can be found at Bandcamp here.
“It’s so lovely to hear these songs again,” reflects Ashton-Bullock. “It made me very proud to be a part of such a pioneering, cult, theatrical production.”
For fans of Ashton-Bullock’s incredible vocabulary and borderless approach to poetry, two of his ruminative pieces on the topic of fame were recently published in Scottish periodical Dreich (‘Made in Scotland from words’). The ‘Fame’ edition can be purchased here.
Queetereria TV – Audio Highlights From The Theatre Show is released November 27 2020 through Bandcamp: https://andybellistorsten.bandcamp.com/album/andy-bell-queereteria-tv-the-live-stage-show-highlights
Words: Mat Smith
(c) 2020 Documentary Evidence