Before , gay venues in London came in two categories. And there were the small dives with postage stamp-sized dancefloors where young queens would boogie their tits off to the latest 7-inch soul, funk and proto-disco imports provided by DJs such as Talullah , AKA Martin Allum, at Shanes in West Hampstead where the DJ frequently doubled up as cloakroom attendant and Chris Lucas at The Catacombs in Earls Court. DJ Tricky Dicky was one of the first promoters to grasp the idea of the one-nighter — hiring out a pub or bar for the night, just to put on a gay night. With his pop and soul music reviews and disco chart in Gay News , Tricky Dicky received coverage from a gay press more interested in politics, cinema, theatre and opera than the commercial gay scene. The venue also boasted its own lighting engineer, opening up the possibility of a string of dramatic lighting effects.
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With a population of 8 million, London is the second largest metropolis in Europe. London extends over 44 kilometers along the Thames river and has a moderate climate with its summers not too hot and the winters not too cold. Throughout its history London has always been a center of attraction for different cultures and religions whether it be Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs or Buddhists. At the beginning of the 20th century, mainly Irish, Poles, Italians and Eastern European Jews came to London, while starting around the majority of immigrants comes from former British colonies such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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The number of venues for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer Londoners has fallen to 53 from , a loss of nearly 60 percent since , according to an audit by the Urban Laboratory at University College London. London's mayor, Sadiq Khan said urgent action needed to be taken in light of the "shocking" statistics, as the British capital prepares to celebrate Pride weekend. Many LGBT pubs and nightclubs are thriving businesses but rent hikes from landlords and construction for London housing and public transport projects have forced many to close their doors, the report said. Some of the city's iconic gay bars, such as the Black Cap pub in north London and the Joiners Arms to the east, have closed down as part of plans to redevelop them. Petitions and protests at the closure of historic central London venues have drawn support from hundreds of patrons, but they have limited power to resist large property owners and off-shore investors leading redevelopment projects, the report said.
They survived homophobia and Thatcher. But is gentrification now sounding the death knell for gay clubs and pubs? We meet the artists battling to save them. Each performer was wearing an architectural model on their head, and instead of lip-syncing, they were reading out snippets of planning and licensing documents.