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I CAN'T STAY AWAY FROM GAY CLUBS!; MY WILD FLINGS: dance diva Mary Kiani does it her way after split from lover.

Scots dance queen Mary Kiani has become a gay club junkie since her split with soul star, John Reid. The stunning singer admitted: "I can't stay away from gay clubs.

"I'm a huge fan of the gay culture and I love hanging around the clubs because I can just be myself."

Straight Mary - who is part Sioux Indian - said she feels safer on the gay circuit ...

Because she doesn't have to worry about men chatting her up.

She said: "I have a lot of gay male friends and I enjoy the clubs because I can relax there."

The 27-year-old dance diva blamed hectic work schedules for her split with Nightcrawlers frontman John last month after seven years.

Now she says she's too busy to think about a relationship and prefers to hang out with old pals from Glasgow.

Since her move to London eight months ago, they've become regular visitors.

And Mary - whose early success with ravers TTF included Real Love, New Emotion and Ultimate High - loves taking them to the capital's trendy gay haunts where they can hang out with some of Europe's most flamboyant men and women.

She said: "I recently took a lot of my Scottish friends to Trade, which is London's best gay club.

"Although there was a huge big queue, we just walked straight in - right past Jean- Paul Gaultier who was waiting in line to go in.

"I thought that was pretty cool. I just can't be bothered hanging about."

The unorthodox nightlife is a major plus to Mary's move to London.

Brought up in Glasgow's Drumchapel scheme, and latterly living in Lenzie, she admits she misses Scotland.

She said: "It's a different world down here. I have a little semi-detached bungalow in Lenzie with a loch at the back. At night you can hear the ducks quacking.

"In Scotland you open your back door and breathe in Scottish air, but here you open your window and you get London air. It's not fresh.

"London will always be a place where I stay. Scotland is my home."

Nevertheless, since going solo and moving to the Big Smoke, she's done her best to settle in to the studio apartment she shares with pet dog, Symbol.

Her pooch has claimed the sofa-bed in the living room of the modestly furnished Chiswick flat - Mary prefers to sit on the floor.

The stunning singer - whose third solo release Let The Music Play is still enjoying a chart run - said: "Symbol just lays on the sofa asleep most of the time.

"But if he sees me putting on my shoes he's up stretching and yawning because he knows he's in for a walk.

"One of the great things about staying here is that we're just a stone's throw from a couple of parks and lots of greenery."

Mary's career has blossomed in the past year with hits like When I Call Your Name and I Give It All To You. But despite her success, her Scots roots are paramount and her home is bursting with mementos.

Pointing to her wall she beamed: "There's a picture of my friend Gary who runs a kissogram business.

"There's my Babe of the Year award from M8 magazine. There are thermal photographs of the video to When I Call Your Name."

On her bed are a tartan blanket and pillow cases which, she says, let her take a bit of Scotland to bed with her. A self- confessed flower freak, her home is filled with blooms of every kind.

She beamed: "I love flowers of every kind because they really brighten the place up.

"I haven't had to buy any recently because friends sent me bouquets for my birthday last week and I keep getting flowers wishing me success with my single.

"I better watch out or the wee man I normally buy my flowers from will fall out with me."

It's only when she looks into the microscopic kitchen that Mary winces.

She said: "It's more like a cupboard really. I don't cook because it doesn't inspire me to cook. Instead I eat out all the time."

Her lemon-coloured bathroom is Mary's oasis in the desert.

Mary said: "I relax in the bath with my rollers in. I've got a great selection of creams and lotions because I just can't resist buying them."

Her other obsession is shoes. Known as the Imelda Marcos of Chiswick, Mary has a huge collection.

She revealed: "I take a size nine. My feet are so big that, if I find shoes that fit me, I just buy them right away.

"I've got the biggest collection of shoes you'll ever see."

She'll probably pick out a pretty dazzling pair for her next gig - ironically enough, at a gay rally in London this summer.

It will give her a chance to Let The Music Play - something her Chiswick neighbours frown upon.

Mary explained: "I was playing my ghetto blaster one night when a neighbour told me to switch it off.

"The lease says we can't play music after 11pm."
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Dingwall, John
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 3, 1996
Words:841
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