‘This Friday night, do it all again.’ Katy Perry, Last Friday Night

A night at Push The Button is a night dancing through gay pop culture and history.

There’s the venue itself. Royal Vauxhall Tavern in South London is Britain’s only listed LGBTQ venue which has seen police raids and Princess Diana on a drag night out with Freddie Mercury.

There’s the soundtrack dominated by pure pop songs that only seemed cool once before, at the Year Four Half Term School Disco.

And there’s my recent dating history: those I’ve dated, kissed or tried to kiss all on the same dancefloor as me

Me with PTB DJ Darren. I haven’t tried to kiss him yet. Photo from Push The Button.

Push The Button (not ‘Pull The Plug’ as my Mum called it before I gave her some Sugababes homework) has been playing the hits for eight years.

Every month focuses on a different artist with Janet Jackson and Carly Rae Jepsen featured so far this year, as well as a special live performance by Nadine Coyle.

Alongside lesser played album tracks and B-sides you didn’t think anyone else knew existed, there’s the best pop bangerz from the nineties, noughties and now.

Yes, The Saturdays counts in this category as well as schlager, scandi pop and Eurovision favourites.

I feel at home whenever I walk through the RVT doors to PTB, usually in a crop top. It’s my outfit of choice for feeling cute and cool. Whatever time of year it is, the RVT is hotter than the Chariots over the road.

The club reaches peak ridiculousness after midnight, with a drag show followed by a mass singalong complete with song sheets. Last month’s choice was I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys.

The joy in singing and sharing music you adore like you would at a gig doesn’t just happen when everyone has the words in front of them.

Even when I don’t know the song that’s playing, seeing someone else on the dancefloor living their absolute best life makes me happy.

For what other nights can you go and dance to X My Heart with people who already know it was Azerbaijan’s criminally underperforming 2018 Eurovision entry? (The answer is obviously Eurofest and Douze Points, which we’ll review on this blog in time).

With a mix of regulars and newcomers there just for one themed night, PTB always has an attitude-free crowd where everyone is respectful (most of the time, I’ve met some smiley guys who turned out to be dicks there)

It’s a night full of familiar faces I know from Twitter and London’s LGBTQ scene who won’t leave me standing by myself all night long. My friendship with Carlo started last summer when he screamed FUEGO! at me.

Me with Carlo (front centre) and all the Eurovision friends I’ve made this year.
Photo from Push The Button.

The night’s downfall is its popularity, making it heavily crowded and hot. But the the slight inadequacies of cramming into an iconic venue makes it more magical for me. And I’m always happy for another reason to get my top off.

Even on the nights I’ve been sober at PTB, I haven’t thought about leaving before 2am. Nowhere else mixes mainstream chart hits everyone knows with the niche tracks just for fans quite like it.

That’s why I keep coming back every last Friday of the month to do it all again.

The PTB dancefloor at RVT. I’m praying to the pop gods for them to play Neon Blue by Steps.
Photo from Push The Button.

The Essentials

The cloakroom is £2 cash

The club entry costs £8+booking in advance, or £10 cash on the door. There’s step free entry but no accessible toilet.

It gets very busy from 11pm and stays crowded until the stage is open after the drag show.

Drinks are averagely priced around £5 for a pint, single or glass of wine.

It’s a mixed crowd of LGBTQ people and allies where gay men are the majority. There’s no dress code.

The toilets are three gender neutral cubicles by the bar. On the other side of the stage is urinals and one cubicle.

The songs you’ll always hear are Cut To The Feeling and Fuego.

Joey’s kiss count (the number of people I kissed): Two. One was quite bitey.

Push The Button takes place at Royal Vauxhall Tavern on the last Friday of the month. Their Britney themed night is on Friday 26th April.

You can listen to Push The Button to the Max Martin! And Pride 2018 playlist on Spotify.