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Life After Spanky Van Dykes

22 March 18 words: Benjamin Knight
illustrations: Emmy Smith


The sun rises and sets, empires rise and fall, and Spanky Van Dykes has closed. Even though it’s been a few months since the alternative bar – the big, dark place that projected He-Man episodes in silence – closed its doors unto wooden boards, its regulars still find themselves in a lost state. Those dejected lot who once found their homes - and their lives - in Spanky’s now wander the street in utter confusion. We wrangled as many of them as we could to ask how they’re getting on.


Ada LoveLatex, 24, Drag Queen
“I did my first show at Spanky’s. Not at Dirty Filthy Sexy, no – it was my own one-queen show called Springtime for Shitler. Unsurprisingly, nobody came, which is a shame because I spent the weekend making gallons of Nickelodeon-esque gunge to throw at the audience.”

What am I doing now? “Well, I’ve got a pretty cosy job at a local laboratory as a guinea pig. Apparently being a scientist-themed queen worked in my favour, and I get all the experimental drugs I can eat!”

MC Big Ugly Boy, 32, DJ
“It’s been pretty tough getting gigs and the big S.V.D since it closed down. It’s mainly because I never actually had any equipment of my own; I just used the stuff they had there. I didn’t even know how to work it, I’d just stick on ABBA’s greatest hits and then go for a piss for three hours straight.”

What am I doing now? “I tripped and broke my ABBA record on the way out of the New Year’s gig, so now I just bag at Aldi. You’d better believe Dancing Queen is on the shop playlist, though.”

Mark Hopper, 26, Barfly
“Since Sprunkus Von Dunkus closed down, it’s been hard for me to find a place that quite matches its panache. I keep going into Horn in Hand and insisting they let me play Tekken 3 on the Playstation One, but they just tell me to leave.”

What am I doing now? “I downloaded a PS1 emulator and drink Amstel in my house hoping to recreate the magic.”

Scarlett LuvWilly, 23, Another Drag Queen
“There were drag shows at Spanky’s? I only came for the disappointing burgers.”

Raven De La Crow, 19, Full-Time Goth
“I used to come for the goth nights at Sponko Van Drumpus, it was one of the only times in my life I felt like I truly belonged. I went there for an unbroken streak of 24 months in a row until I was kicked out and banned for wearing an outfit made entirely out of iron spikes.

What am I doing now? “Hanging out in alleyways, mainly. I’m hoping to save up for a gingerbread house to lure in and cook German children.”

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