Sunday Soiree last night in Primitiv Bar – a hot night out in a cold cold town


As we drove over Warschauer Brücke the lights reflected from this 21st Century version of Berin fracture on the water and the snow, falling lightly before, gusts briefly sideways. As we speed up past the station and over the bridge that passes above the train tracks I reflect that the weather doesn’t bode well for people to make their way out on a below-zero Sunday night in what is barely mid-January, whatever they hope to find waiting for them.

But we park and as we near the Primitiv Bar the door opens to admit someone and we hear the unmistakeable sound of a large number of people packed into a small space where they’re serving alcahol.

And as we push through the door I’m surprised to see that indeed the place is packed to the rafters: I was hoping that some people at least would brave the elements to come and check out this Sunday Soiree – I’d figured before now that when word got out about what was going down here in this unprepossessing bar down the wrong end of Simon-Dach-Strasse on the second Sunday of every month, people would be packing the place out –  but I didn’t know that the response would be so quick or so overwhelming. The only complaint here I can imagine them getting is what I’m thinking to myself right now: That I didn’t think to make sure I was here early enough to get a seat.

Now the two things that I find far too many nights out in Berlin miss are just this: warmth and personality.

And that’s exactly what there are bucketfuls of here: the hostesses of the evening, Lady Lou and La Viola Vixen, are not only two larger-than-life characters who both have a huge smile for everyone and anyone that comes their way, they’re also two raucously beautiful and gorgeously dressed-to-the nines women, and in this as in everything else they do, they are surely a celebration of what’s so wonderful about the whole neo-/burlesque scene growing up so quickly in Berlin: recklessly flamboyant, outrageously colourful, decked out with stunning attention to detail in on-the-button vintage fashion and, oh yes, sexy as all hell.

The dancers at previous Sunday Soirees have all been highly talented and very impressive performers and tonight it’s no different, in fact they seem to be taking things up a notch or two.

Tonight it’s Xarah von den Vielenregen, Roxy Diamond and Lady Lou on stage: Each of them have their own highly individual style. Xarah von den Vielenregen moves slowly, ever so slowly, gyrating her way across the tiny stage only feet from her audience, fixing them with a heavy-lidded, impossibly seductive stare as she oh so slowly divests herself of her heavy golden outfit, until at the end she pulls a lady’s sixgun from her garter and shoots.

Roxy Diamond’s act is mesmerising: she wears a long black veil that hides her face while she slowly strips the rest away, moving sinuously to a heavy triphop track – until finally the veil too comes off to show a painted skeleton face, and the act finishes with her pouring melted wax across her arms and chest before wiping herself all over with deep, dark fake blood.


When it’s Lady Lou’s turn she shows why she’s so beloved a performer: her performance is pure exuberance – rock n roll – outrageous, over the top, winkingly saucy, and she reaches out and grabs everyone and pulls them in with her, holds them in the palm of her hand and then shakes glitter all over them.

This is the thing with the Sunday Soiree: everyone, and I mean everyone, had a whale of a time. By the end of the night (performances are wrapped up by eleven – take note, job-possessing people!) the whole place is happy, loud and satisfied.

And all this on a snowy Sunday night in January.

I would advise everyone who’s planning to come to the Sunday Soiree to keep an eye on where it’s taking place, because this show is quickly getting too big such a small, albeit cool, venue.

If you want to catch an amazing burlesque show by some stunningly hot and talented dancers as up close and intimate as this, come down to the next Sunday Soiree – mark it in your calendar now – on Sunday 10th February.

Review by Noel Maurice, photos: funkyrotic art

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