Margate Meets: Tracey Ermine

Tracey Ermine is one Margate's hottest drag queens and part of the town's impressive and expanding drag scene. Fresh from her recent marriage to a stick of rock, inspired by her namesake, I caught up with Tracey to find out what she thinks of Margate and where we can see her performing.

How are you finding life in Margate? What are your favourite things about the place?

I love it, I'm so glad I washed up here. I'm always surprised at how many secret levels and things to discover it has. For such a small place, it's insane how many creative things happen here. I like the faded glamour, slot machines, back alleys, abundant art installations, street gifts and the absolutely ecstatic split-second breath-taking beauty of the place that hits you just before you step in some scratch cards and dog shit. 

How did you come to choosing your name?

I thought of the name a couple of years ago. It was at the same time I was toying with moving to Margate and was looking for a pun on a famous Margate woman. It has snowballed from there really...

What do you think Tracey Emin would think about it? 

I hope that she would get that it comes from a place of love, and that I'm not a female impersonator. I use drag as a vocabulary; I love mutating the traditional drag act with art references and I'm an unrestrained version of myself. Tracey is a complete inspiration to me, as much as Margate is. 

Tell us about the drag collective you formed in Margate.

'Untucked' is a pop up collective of Margate queens. We're going to disband after Cockles and Muscles but we've taken part in a catwalk show at Morgan's, Sink the Pink, a documentary (to be screened in Canterbury and at Margate Pride), various nights at Sundowners, private parties and birthdays. We've appeared at the Glass Jar, club nights at Underground and in the kissing booth at Dreamland. We got around! And will continue to do so, just as solo performers.  

Where can we see you next?

You can see my alter-egos in various states at Sundowners, but the next big performance will be at Cockles and Muscles at The Lido Cliff Bar on 23rd April. The theme of the night is Margate; it's going to be epic. I've got four or five looks for the night! It's also a fundraiser for Margate Pride, which is on 13th August, another date for your diary... 

It's great to have an ever-growing choice of alternative entertainment and nightlife in Margate. Cockles and Muscles comes from the creators of Sink the Pink, a club night based in London. I can't wait to go along again, especially as it's going to be at The Lido this time. Although a dream destination in its heyday, if you're of my generation and went there as a teenager, the idea of spending another night at the venue is one that might bring a slight sense of dread...but mainly nostalgia-based excitement. It's wonderful to see some life being injected into another Margate building that needs love and attention. Bring on the glitter!

Images by Ollie Harrop.

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