20-something nightlife entrepreneurs Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling have opened a new 80s style club in London called Maggie’s which is named after Britain’s notoriously unpopular former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

“People probably don’t think about politics when they go clubbing, but as for Thatcher, love her or hate her, she is undeniably an icon of the 1980s,” Gilkes explained in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor.

“It was an amazingly vibrant era and now, 30 years on, elements of it are creeping back into pop culture. The ’80s are definitely back,” he suggested.

Branding herself an ‘iron lady’ Thatcher combined a winner-takes-all free market philosophy with puritanical authoritarianism which saw her devoting vast police resources against the workers then later the acid house movement as it swept Britain in 1987.

One year earlier, killjoy party police stormed London’s first weekly all-nighter the Kit Kat in a surreal raid in which cops dressed up in drag to blend in with the off duty pop stars, punks, strippers and squatters who packed the club each Saturday with (up until then) minimal attention from the media or anyone else.

“Some of the policemen wore make-up and carried warrant cards in handbags and some of the women wore black suspenders and plastic dresses,” Kit Kat regular Jock Wilson told yellow press tabloid The Sun days later.

“I was arrested with Sex Pistols guitarist Glenn Matlock by a bird (girl) wearing an extremely revealing get-up (outfit),” he added, “It was quite a shock to discover she was a cop.”

Kit Kat promoter/resident DJ Simon Hobart (who went on to launch Popstarz and Nag Nag Nag’s home the Ghetto) described his arrest to the Daily Mirror in equally vivid terms.

“I was a bit suspicious about some of the new faces in the club. They looked like vile tourists who had dressed up for a night out,” Simon explained.

“I heard an officer say: ‘don’t let the DJ get away’,” he continued, “I can’t understand why they should be interested in me- I was only wearing my bumless leather trousers, thigh high leather boots and a studded jock strap.”


Article by Jonty Skrufff (http://skrufff.com): Follow Jonty on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jontyskrufff

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