Student Life: OK, who nicked the toilet seat?
Never mind about the fetish party. The kitchen's already such a tip, it's been declared a no-go area. Week 2 at the Manchester student house
Tuesday 03 November 1998
His fetish party at The Phoenix club in Manchester went down a storm. It became not only the event of the week with the household, but also a red-letter day with the entire student population. "I was a bit stressed last week," explains Alistair, who has his own production company, Divine 69, as well as being a full-time student. "But the place was absolutely packed."
A particular student enticer was a free shot of vodka for the first 300 people to arrive dressed up in fetish gear. So did the evening go with a swing? "Social boundaries dropped," says Alistair enigmatically. "There was a lot of experimentation, especially girls with girls, and lots of people went home to spend the night with their friends... unexpectedly." There were no such shenanigans in this student house.
Perhaps Alistair should be nicknamed Mr Networker, as the majority of Umist's (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) movers and shakers appeared on the night. A photographer and reporter from The Student Direct, the university paper, and the Mancunian music mag, Pulp, turned up to cover the night.
Alistair even arranged a best-dressed competition, where the prize was a colour TV set (Alistair is only 20, but he is making Harvey Goldsmith look like Mickey Mouse). "Ali Kershaw won best-dressed girl as Catwoman, and Simon Reader won best-dressed boy, in a nurse's outfit. He looked very dangerous, showing off all his lingerie." All this and the excellent Manchester DJs Simon Pavener and Neil Jones playing trance and uplifting house. "It went down a storm," says a jubilant Alistair.
His house-mates rose to the occasion. Dave dressed up as a "sexy nurse", and Robbie wore a French maid's outfit, while Leona and Alistair went as a cave couple (lots of leopard-skin Lycra) although they are not an item. "On the way home Leona decided that she wanted a curry," explains Dave, "So we got the taxi-driver to drop us off. I was wearing suspenders and stockings and Robbie looked just as mad. We had the worst curry ever, and you can imagine the looks we got and fights we nearly got into." Perhaps they should have been wearing some dangerous lingerie.
The only house-mate who didn't make the fetish night was Ian, who was working at Revolution, a pub in Fallowfield. But he made up for it on Saturday night. "It was Hallowe'en, and everywhere was booked up," explains the hardest-working man in Manchester, "So I invited everyone back to our house. I brought in loads of booze, pizza and videos and we had a great laugh, although I can't remember much. People kept coming around with flaming Sambucas and Southern Comfort for me." But there was a price to pay for such generosity.
"The place is just trashed," reports Ian. "The kitchen is a complete mess. No one can be arsed to clean it up any more. It's a no-go area." This wasn't helped by the arrival of some Greeks who decided to do a spot of plate-spinning. "There are all these smashed glasses and plates. Somebody's nicked the toilet seat and all my bedclothes, although I think there's someone sleeping in them in the bath. Someone else is sleeping in my bedroom while I slept on the floor... and there's a bottle of vodka on top of my computer."
Meanwhile, Rosie and Tash are the latest members of the household to be extras in Queer As Folk, a forthcoming Channel 4 drama set in the Canal Street district. The girls worked from 7pm to 8am, walking up and down a street, being filmed.
Dave and Robbie have already done their bit for TV production, leaving Dave with a bit of explaining to do. "We had to do an audition where we introduced ourselves and it was boring, boring, boring," he says. "So I said: `Hi, my name's Dave, and I want to be the next gay icon of Manchester.' I was just taking the piss. Half the people there knew the way I carry on, but the other half thought I was gay!'
And Alistair has found more fame on a BBC2 documentary about sex and sensuality. "I can't remember the name of it," he confesses - or what he said. "We all went to a friend's flat in Manchester and the TV company brought lots of alcohol. We talked about our first times and past partners... I got absolutely ratted and fell asleep at the table."
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