The Pineapple Club has spilled its early morning crowd out onto the pavement. Two doormen are busy sorting the bad from the good. One of them, a massive nub of a guy whose head appears to be a crude continuation of his neck, has a man up against a shop window, one massive paw gripping his shirt collar.
‘It wasn’t me!’ whimpers the man.
‘Leave him alone’ shouts his friend, but doesn’t do anything else.
‘Let’s just wait for the police shall we?’ says the doorman. ‘You can explain it all to them. I’m really not interested.’
Meanwhile, the other one thumbs me inside.
‘One patient, bottled,’ he says, then carries on distributing a generalised kind of menace.
Just as we’re about to go inside, Amanda Holdmetight comes striding across the dance floor towards us, his make-up sliding off his face from the sweated heat of the place and water from the bar towel full of ice cubes pressed to the top of his head.
‘Take me away from this dreadful place immediately,’ he says. ‘It’s too embarrassing for words.’
He hurries up the ambulance steps and fluffs himself down on one of the seats. His assistant comes staggering after him with a couple of carrier bags of props and an armful of costumes.
‘What a crowd!’ he says. ‘Honestly, I thought they were going to eat us alive.’
As I clean and dress the head wound, Amanda tells us what happened.
‘I’d only got about half way through the show,’ he says. ‘They were rowdy, but I thought I had them, you know? It wasn’t too bad. Then I started my tribute to Cher and – I don’t know – this guy at the front. He was so drunk. He kept shouting out stuff – horrible stuff. So I thought I’d call his bluff. I stopped the track and said I’d like to see if he could do any better. I gave him the mic and he started singing and everything and it was funny at first but then he wouldn’t give me it back. So we had a bit of a tussle...’
‘A bit!’ says Amanda’s assistant.
‘It all got out of hand, anyway. And the next thing I knew he’d smashed a bottle over my head. Is it serious, do you think? Will I be scarred for life?’
I’ve finished cleaning it up. It doesn’t look too bad.
‘There is a cut that needs investigating, maybe gluing, Amanda, but I’m thinking your wig probably absorbed most of the shock.’‘You see,’ he says, wagging a bloodied finger at his assistant. ‘The importance of a good costume.’