Every now and then friends of le cool come to us with a quandry. They whisper, looking around them to make sure no one is listening, “We’re thinking of moving to the countryside” they say. Normally a stern look or a raised eyebrow is enough to put them off but some, more deluded types, need more disincentive. “It’s just so lovely out there, and cheap, and healthy” they continue. These people you have to sit down and talk to very carefully. You have to explain “OK, it might be all those things, but where in Dorset, or Hebden Bridge or wherever are you going to find a late-night erotic, burlesque themed literary night, eh? It might be good for the schools but where are you going to rub shoulders with a Spanish anti-novel writer, an Australian writer-turned drag queen called Pat Cash (no not that one) and experts on the African Orisha of dancing, lightning and male virility? And is it likely that down the local pub the open-mic slots for people to discuss their fantasies, clothed or unclothed, would be filled weeks in advance? Of course not – it’s nights like Velvet Tongue that made the empire what it is today….