Meat is not only a hot man flesh loving magazine but a regular Friday night club sensation at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. They have been knocking it out of the park for five years and this Friday are launching their 2018 calendar. Dave Cross had a chin wag with meat’s Adrian Lourie about this tasty clubbing treat.
Hi Adrian, can you sum up what meat – the party is?
The parties always attract a very beery, beardy, up-for-it crowd. We’re the only gay party in London that alternates our venue, we jump between The RVT, The Glory and Dalston Superstore monthly. So whilst we have quite a hardcore following, it’s constantly changes and evolves at every party. My fellow promoter Fannar and I are resident DJs playing as ‘the meat boys’ we’re the constant and we hand pick guest DJs and acts who we love.
And what about the magazine?
Its heritage comes a little bit from BUTT magazine (which I adored) but it’s very much inspired by the 1950s male physique and pin-up pictorials. The difference is I try and photograph guys that you wouldn’t necessarily see in that context and they are always untouched. I aim to make it as inclusive as I can and use ordinary blokes that I meet down the (gay) pub or who get in touch through social media.
Can you tell us how the magazine came about?
When I started publishing it seven years ago you didn’t see guys with bellies or skinny guys or really hairy guys in the context of being ‘gay pin-ups’ in the press or online. It was frustrating to me that the narrative was generally that the only way to be seen as attractive was to spend every day in the gym. I didn’t see guys like me or the guys that I fancied represented very often, or not often enough anyway. I wanted to redress the balance a bit. It was also about wanting to produce something in print when we seriously all thought it was a dying art. Thankfully these days the tide is turning a little in terms of the visibility of ‘regular’ gay men in the gay media and also for printed matter, which is still going strong.
How did the parties start?
I started the party with my then boyfriend, DJ Fannar Gudmundsson five years ago at Vogue Fabrics in Dalston. We initially held them every three months as a sort of launch party for each new issue of the magazine. They were pretty crazy and popular nights and we soon outgrew the venue and wanted to expand. Being South London boys it was a no brainer to move to The RVT. After our first year there we started getting asked to host and play other venues and gradually we’ve taken over the London gay scene (haha)! I think we tapped into a hunger for something a bit different.
The RVT and meat seem a natural fit, can you tell us about why it works so well there?
There are no pretensions with the RVT. It’s a little bit spit and sawdust and you get very much what you see. That suits us. It’s just about shaking loose on a Friday night to some great tunes and having a few beers. South London gays are always so up for a good time. It’s such an iconic venue and there’s a certain kudos to having a night there these days.
This Friday you are launching your 2018 calendar, tell us about that?
For the past three years I’ve been producing a naked calendar, but as with the magazine, I wanted to do something a bit different. There are no glossy pictures of towering gingers, muscle-bound bears or impossibly god-like men hiding their knackers behind rugby balls. I’m not knocking that aesthetic at all, but staring at them month in, month out does nothing for my self-esteem or my body image so I’m presenting a bit of an alternative view. I thought about when we’re at our most comfortable and decided to photograph the guys in bed. OK, they were all in MY bed, but you get the idea! We’ve had quite a lot of press already and our use of #notobodyshaming #noretouching has certainly started a debate about what we as a community regard as ‘normal’.
What can we expect at the actual party?
We’re launching the calendar at the RVT with TheMenWhoFell2Earth who are our other favourite DJ duo. They’re always loads of fun and know exactly how to get a crowd moving. There’ll be some exciting cabaret and our host, and meat associate editor Danny Polaris will be encouraging a few of the calendar boys to get on stage in meat t shirts and their underpants.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
We have a few more meat parties and I’m off to Barcelona to shoot some Spanish boys for the magazine. I’m also planning a special issue for December focusing on guys living with HIV to mark World AIDS Day. It’s pretty relentless, but after seven years it still gives me a buzz and there’s always more dudes to photograph in their undies.