Hemelvaart translates as ‘ascension’, which is truly fitting with the arrival of Lourde Godd herself. No, that’s not a misprint or a spelling mistake, one of the top Drag Hosts in the UK has taken up residency in the Scottish Borders, at Hemelvaart Bier Café in Ayton.
Lourde hosts regular nights at Sapphires, the premier cabaret and party venue in Blackpool.
She has performed professionally all over the world, hosting, singing and dancing. She has also hosted a number of Gay Pride events, introducing many top artists to crowds of thousands.
John Atkinson, who runs Hemelvaart Bier Café, approached Lourde after his partner, Phil, saw her hosting a night in Sapphires, while on holiday earlier in the year. Phil had been impressed with her interaction with the crowd, her wit and how popular she seemed to be with everyone.
“She’s very well known on the circuit in Blackpool, is the envy of other venues and is well respected by her fellow drag artistes. She has a real following and people go to Sapphires on the nights when she is performing just to see her.”
She has made a huge impact in the last month since arriving at Hemelvaart. “She is stunningly beautiful as well as being warm, funny and big-hearted”, explained John. “She has brought something really special here and created a fun, lively atmosphere that has got everyone talking.”
The profile of drag has risen recently, with the popularisation through ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, which is coming to the UK this year. When asked about her aspirations to appear on the show, Lourde was not convinced that it is for her.
She said: “Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the show, especially the earlier seasons that seemed more real, but I don’t feel it’s for me. Some of the contestants over the years have been sensational and I’m actually friends with a couple of the UK entrants. But I’m happy just being me and doing what I do without trying to be better than anyone else.”
Her aspirations include seeking out new experiences and overcoming challenges. The Scottish Borders meet these criteria, and she’s enjoying it very much. Hemelvaart is primarily a craft beer bar, proud of the interesting beers it serves, and attracts a diverse yet inclusive clientele: quite a change to the usual gay bars, the traditional haunts of drag queens.
You can catch Lourde at Hemelvaart this week on Friday (September 20) then every Saturday night thereafter from 8pm.
Lourde is also looking forward to a spectacular climax to the year at Hemelvaart presenting the Old Year’s Night celebrations, which will include a ceilidh, games, prizes, street food and a tap takeover by an exciting craft brewery.
Tickets for Old Year’s Night at Hemelvaart are on sale now. They are £25 and include your first 2 drinks and food. You can get them on the website at www.hemelvaart.co.uk or by calling John on 07377364266.