Screw You Burly-Q | 11.22.08

la2.jpgIt’s like watching a saucy circus filled with pin-up girls.





The Wedge, St. Louis

If you are unfamiliar with the reigning queen of the St. Louis burlesque scene, miss Lola Van Ella, and her fabulous friends, such as aerial pole dancing duo "Gravity Plays Favorites," you are truly missing out on one of the most entertaining evenings this city has to offer. And if you want to see something really unique, then you definitely must check out Lola’s new venture, a monthly show called "Screw You Burly-Q" at The Wedge (resurrecting the High Point in South City), which pairs some of St. Louis’ hottest bands and loveliest burlesque performers. 


I was fortunate enough to catch the premiere of Screw You Burly-Q on Saturday, which teamed Lola and friends with St. Louis’ favorite garage band, Left Arm for a match seemingly made in heaven. These hard rockers never disappoint, but after Saturday night it is evident that Left Arm should always be accompanied by voluptuous, scantily-clad women dancing and eating fire.

The evening began with a truly mesmerizing "teaser" performance by the sexy and sultry Foxy LeFeline to the Dresden Dolls’ "Missed Me." After a brief break to replenish the drinks, the show went on with performances by Siren (the only not biologically female performer), fire dancer Sturdy Gurlesque and the incomparable Gravity Plays Favorites. These two pole acrobats will literally astound you. It’s like watching a saucy circus filled with pin-up girls – and they all prove that you don’t have to be a perfect size 2 to be sexy and glamorous. These real women have real curves that are far sexier than anything you’ll see in the pages of a fashion magazine.

Finally, Lola Van Ella took the stage and put her own special spin on the Sex Pistols’ "God Save the Queen." Wearing silver platform boots and a cheeky Union Jack mini-dress, she punked it up – a true departure from her more traditional burlesque style – and got the crowd primed and ready for some loud, live music.

Left Arm brought it as usual, playing songs from their new 7" Electric Babies, recorded in Detroit this summer with producer Jim Diamond (do The White Stripes ring a bell?). Lola returned to the stage to shimmy and shake her stuff with the band to the title track. Then Sturdy Gurlesque brought back the flames to heat up "Black and Bluetooth."

Burlesque and punk rock may seem like an unlikely combination – but trust me on this one, it’s a perfect fit. Release your inhibitions and go check it out. | Amy Burger

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