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Every Wednesday, like a not-so-secret guilty pleasure, pings the MACHO CITY newsletter WEEK IN MACHO, into our email inboxes. Written by fashion scribe, Charlie Porter, Dave Kendrick and DJ, Dan Beaumont from Disco Bloodbath (and aided by a seemingly inexhaustible list of correspondents from all over the globe), WEEK IN MACHO is sublimely ridiculous, filled with in-depth dissections on everything from Pop Idol, Eurovision to rating hot cross buns and tributes to Bea Arthur. And if Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly newsletter, GOOP offers puritanical tips like “eliminate white foods” and “police your thoughts”, MACHO CITY provides infinitely more hedonistic solutions. Not just a newsletter, the trio have also been responsible for many sick days called on Friday after their infamously wild Thursday nights at gay hotspot, the Joiners Arms.
Dazed Digital emailed with Charlie and Dan to get the lowdown on what it takes to be a man of MACHO. Missed their 1st birthday party? (held on 14th May at the Joiners) No matter, just pop down next week or turn the lights down in your living room and turn this exclusive mix up loud! Disco ball optional.
Dazed Digital: Why did you start MACHO CITY?
Charlie Porter: It was a combination of love for the Joiners Arms, and also wanting to put on the sort of night that we’d love to go to. It came about because I’d asked Dan to play records of Hi-NRG ferocity at a party I put on at the George and Dragon on Hackney Road last March to celebrate the MAN designers. Dan had already had the idea for the night, already had the name, and was just looking for someone daft enough to do it with.
Dan Beaumont: We both found it remarkable that there wasn’t already a Hi-NRG night at the Joiners Arms called MACHO CITY to be honest. It seemed totally fitting to the Joiners that it should exist!
Charlie Porter: MACHO CITY has turned out to be the jolliest, most joyous way to spend our Thursday nights, and to get ready for it we send out on a Wednesday the WEEK IN MACHO mail-out that is full of utter nonsense and sheer triviality. Here is an example of the depths of triviality to which we stoop:
Things That Would Be Nice To Happen at Fashion Shows
*** A tea trolley to appear, about look 18, doing a full round of the front row
*** Barbra Streisand in a special guest appearance, singing
*** Poppers followed by balloons
*** A quiz involving real cash prizes – maybe a round of front row Play Your Cards Right?
*** A buzzer for each editor like on Britain's Got Talent so we could vote off an outfit we hate
*** An entrance to a show that involves going down a slide into a ball pit
*** A designer to come out at the end to apologize
DD: What are some of the top moments in MACHO CITY history?
Charlie Porter: I think it was week five that we had our MACHO CITY mooner and we knew we were on to something. It was an amazing moon, very well considered: the DJ booth is quite high at the Joiners, and this guy got a bar stool, then stood on it, and then very slowly, slow enough to make sure he’d got our full attention, he bent down, pulled down his trousers and slightly parted. It was extraordinary. We think we now know who it was but he denies it.
Dan Beaumont: To be honest every week has small but perfectly formed moments of total magic. Even down to monitoring the comings and goings of the make-out and break-up sofas, waiting for a visit from Mel B’s butler, looking forward to a Luke Howard/Kenny Campbell dance-off plus the many obligatory drag shade-throwing incidents that seem to punctuate the evening. It’s also amazingly gratifying to share these incredible records to excitable gays on a weekly basis.
DD: What does it take to become a man of MACHO?
Charlie Porter: Well we end each newsletter with a MAN OF MACHO, and these have either been:
a) men we grew up fancying
b) men we grew up fancying who used to be on Dynasty
c) men with particularly hairy hands
e) women who may as well be men
Dan Beaumont: We should probably add,
f) men with unfeasibly voluminous hair
g) WRONG CRUSHES we have known
DD: MACHO CITY’S correspondents go where others fear to tread. I’m thinking in particular of DASHA CORRESPONDENT (who tirelessly chronicled the antics of Pop’s incumbent Editor-in-chief, Dasha Zhukova). How do you find such fearless correspondents and which is the next hot spot that MACHO CITY would most like to infiltrate?
Charlie Porter: We love our DASHA CORRESPONDENT! Did you know Dasha’s boyfriend’s wealth is enough to buy 2,166,666,667 bottles of poppers? Our staff of correspondents is vast and ever growing. We’re still actually looking for an INTERNATIONAL FILTH CORRESPONDENT, we’re obviously desperate to sign the exclusive rights to Marc Jacob’s wedding, and basically will take grotty tales from any old sex club anywhere. Some of our current correspondents include:
DOG CORRESPONDENT, LORRAINE KELLY CORRESPONDENT, HOT CROSS BUN CORRESPONDENT, BATH HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, FILTH CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN IDOL CORRESPONDENT
DD: Are you aspiring to become as successful as Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter? If GOOP’s motto is “nourish the inner aspect”, what would MACHO CITY’s be?
Charlie Porter: Actually Gwyneth has already been a MAN OF MACHO for the vortex that is GOOP - she was MAN OF MACHO #34. And THE WEEK IN MACHO shares much in common with GOOP - we both have recipes (Gwyneth has antipasti, we’ve had a recipe for Diana Dors’ apricot chiffon), we both recommend places to visit (Gwyneth has kid-friendly restaurants, we suggest the “monthly rubberfest” Gummi), and we both offer spiritual advice (Gwyneth deals with “frenemies” and suggests anyone who talks potty about anyone else should “wash our mouths out with soap”, we advise what to do should you find yourself lucky enough to be in the same room as the filthy one from Big Fun). We already have our motto and it’s at the bottom of every newsletter and it’s taken from a painting that hangs in the Joiners Arms and, although Gwyneth’s is soul-searching and ours inevitably means the consumption of too much alcohol, we mean it sincerely whenever we say: “JOIN US AT THE JOINERS!”
MACHO CITY, Joiners Arms, every Thursday night, 116 Hackney Road, London E2.
To get the WEEK IN MACHO, email firstname.lastname@example.org