POP MUSIC / Centrefold: Freak Show: Almodovars droogs turn out in force for Kika bash

When Billy Bragg guested on The Late Show to review Pedro Almodvar's High Heels, the Red Wedger got hot under his blue collar over the movie's 'non-consensual sex. He should catch Kika, Almodvar's latest fruity schlock-shocker opening on Friday. Despite (or because of) being slammed, bammed and thank-you-ma'amed by critics who took umbrage with its frivolous treatment of rape, it's soaked up dollars 300,000 over three weeks in Spain. Until Kika, the precocious director (right) was pet urchin of the critical fraternity. Pauline Kael described him as 'the most original pop writer-director of the Eighties. . . Godard with a human face - a happy face, and indeed, he has the look of a latino teddy-bear, golf-ball eyes popping from a Yorkshire- pudding face. He also introduced Antonio Banderas to the world, and to Madonna, at the Fellini-esque party he threw for the Vogueing One.

Thursday's bash at Brixton Fridge (to boost HIV and AIDS centre, London Lighthouse) can't promise Maddie but who needs her when there's Lily Savage, Yazz and Boy George, plus Almodovar and his cast, one of whom will sport the Gaultier-designed dress (a floor-length number with chest-plates blown asunder, grenade-like, to reveal cherry-nippled latex breasts) which London Transport banned from Kika posters. There'll be classy grub and a 'mystery band, but stuff your purses full: Almodovar and Gaultier rarities, and unique Levi's donations, will be up for auction, though Antonio Banderas won't, so you can stop rubbing your hands. Tickets are limited (you'll feel elite if you get in, and tragic if you don't). Get to the Fridge by 8pm, though, to see Almodovar and his droogs arrive by London Underground. On second thoughts, better make that 10pm.

8pm-3am Wednesday 30 June, The Fridge, Brixton Hill, SW2; call Ticketmaster (071-244 4444).

'Kika' opens in the West End on 1 July

(Photograph omitted)