Friday, 3 June 2016

Chapter 144: The Electric Pole Star and Frank Turner

 "Queen of Hearts" at The Electric, Brixton
Photo: Cheryl Teagan
There are days when I act my age. Luckily Friday night at the Electric Brixton recently was not one of them. My magical friend Anne had somehow conjured up a pair of tickets to a sell-out Frank Turner gig, and we were there to dance, crush and sing out at the top of our lungs - a time-honoured ritual for rolling back the years B.C. (Before Children - we have seven between us). We arrived at The Electric in good spirits, after a bartender earlier tipped a cocktail over me, and then mopped it up with a round of mojitos on the house. 

Finding that we had missed the small print on the ticket and that Frank wouldn't be on until well past midnight sobered us up (well, maybe a smidgen!), but then Anne nudged me and pointed upwards, as through a haze a vision appeared wrapped around a pole suspended from the ceiling. There you go! A bit of circus for you Lucy! Isn't that an aerial pole performer, like the one who'll be in your show? There are so few aerial pole performers around and I'd know that ponytail anywhere - it was indeed the Cheryl Teagann! I felt a warm glow of something akin to maternal pride (oh god, I am probably old enough to be her mother!) mixed with intoxicating delight. I had met Cheryl through my pole instructor Anna Milosevic, who runs Polefit London (, seen footage and knew she was fabulous, but I'd never seen Cheryl perform live before. The atmosphere was electric as her caterpillar crawls segued into splits, inverts slipped into hangs, and line after beautiful line was sculpted through sheer strength, grace and flexibility. 

"No-one gets remembered/For the things they didn't do"
The Queen of Hearts performance made my evening, so much so I almost forgot there was a concert to follow. But there was, and Frank Turner rocked. Basically this guy is a passionate and pumped punk-folk singer who gets out there and fucking tries. His music is moshable, liquid poetry and creates the type of energy that keeps us all going, quite frankly. Last time Anne and I saw him in concert was at the hugely majestic Alexandra Palace - read why it made such an impression here on Anne's superb blog (click here). This time round Frank was up for a more intimate affair, still 1700 people, but somehow Anne and I had slipped into the front row with plenty of eye contact. When he professed his love of vaudeville in the ghostly "Balthazar, Impresario", I smiled, and thought, Of course! He is a kindred circus spirit too! And when he smiled and pointed to the pair of us, singing "So darling, sweet lover, won't you help me to recover", it was a magical moment, the unlikeliness of it all making it even sweeter.

As for the mesmerising and exciting performer Cheryl Teagann, she has her own haunting piece of aerial pole devised for a certain vaudeville-inspired evening coming to a theatre near you on 16th July... Ssshhh!  

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