This was our second visit to Memphis Tennessee USA and it was even hotter than the last time. That's saying something. Coming over from a wet and windy UK it was more than a little bit of a contrast in conditions for us. The first thing once we were at our hosts was to get some supplies, we looked on google maps and found a local Walgreens (I think it was a Walgreens) and headed off. Man it was hot! We noticed fairly quickly that we were getting some odd looks and that we were the only people walking. The walk was only 10 minutes but... Man you've got a lot of churches in Memphis! We must have gone past 7 in that 10 minute walk. Dudes! Insane! The walk was fairly uneventful but we did hear some gunfire! This is very unusual for UK people where guns are the exception not the rule. (Later that day when we our hosts got back we were told that that wasn't the best neighbourhood and walking that way was probably a bad idea. They did register some surprise that we'd heard such a small amount of gunfire and yes, there are a fuck-tone of churches in Memphis.) So anyway we'd gotten some sun block (Hey did you know that they aren't allowed the chemicals in the USA that we are in the UK and that therefore our sunblock is much more effective?) and bits and pieces. So suitably protected Clover decides to keep her training up and go for a run... and nearly dies of the heat and gets sunburned. Protip: People from Europe, take sun block with you. Happily our hosts had stuff for just such [...]
We had what I can only describe as a very intense and emotional time performing at the first London Festival of Rope Art. It was a wonderful time with my love and we'd like to thank everyone who shared this time with us. Here is the first gallery of that show by Amaury Grisel.
I meant to blog about this event right after it happened and was frankly unforgivably lazy about blogging for the longest time. Now I've blogged about an event since the guilt pressure is finally high enough that I'm going to actually write this up. This was our first time in Vienna and our first time in Austria. Aside from the fact that we would get to see some of Vienna we were excited to see some friends for the first time in what seemed like ages. Wildties, Redsabbath, Saki Kamijoo and her model Mayumi Sumi. It's incredible to think that over the last couple of years we've met up with each other variously in London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Chicago and now Vienna. It frankly is incredible to think that this kind of thing now seems so perfectly natural. As usual I'm going to have to take a moment to mention the people that organise events like this. I have to say that they very probably do a better job than I could and we were well looked after being collected from the airport and well informed about everything that was going on. I especially have to say thank you to those that spared their time to show us round some of their magnificent city. It's really spectacular. But before that the festival itself. We were really pleased to be asked to open the festivals shows and the venue was great being in a brewery in the city. The bar section where the opening was held was dark and filled with old blackened wood. It provided a great setting for the opening and a great atmosphere for the performance with the audience close around [...]
Une soirée de performance, sous le signe du semenawa, à la Place des Cordes avec Akira Naka & Gorgone.
This was an unexpected little trip for us but a really nice one. We were asked to perform in Paris with Naka Akira and Gorgone. at Place des Cordes which is a very nice rope dojo. We live 15 minutes from an Airport but in usual style appropriate flights to Paris weren't available so we first had to drive to Birmingham to catch a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airport btw is a bit big and sprawling and it took a while to get to the appropriate customs, passport control and baggage. And then to find the exit and train. Once we'd found the right way it was only an hours journey on the train to catch a tube to get us close to the venue. Once there the first job was to get cleaned up from the unfortunate ordure of travelling. Sweaty and exhausting. It's a big of an unfortunate thing that though the flight to Paris is only about an hour, getting from your home to your destination can take over 8 hours of actual travel. Our first impresson of Place des Cordes was that it was a really good space and had a great feeling. The second was the huge grins that attend seeing Naka san again. Hugs, back slapping and greetings that make you realise how much you can miss people but also make you realise how many of your friends life far, far away. One friend there we hadn't seen in something like 4 years. It honestly didn't feel that long but when you look at it the time flies by. Not huge amounts to report on the afternoon that was left as most was spent on [...]
The after party performance night! I wanted to give this one a blog to itself as in the end it's a bit of a saga. To start with we'd had something like a total of 8 hours sleep over 3 days and frankly we felt like ass! I can't think of another way of describing it. We felt so bad that we had to say to DK (DallasKink) that we might not be able to do a show. We felt terrible, we looked worse, we had no music and hadn't any idea if we'd even make it through to the evening. We felt really bad for doing it but we were in truly terrible shape at that point. Five hour energy however is a thing and really helped out with a temporary boost. The more we thought about it the worse we felt. We really didn't want to let anyone down and for us we didn't want to let the event end on a flat note. So once we'd made it past the closing ceremony we went back to the room for showers and some preparation. I got a list of songs together and mailed them off. Then we just went to sleep for a couple of hours. I have to say it's amazing what even a couple of hours of sleep can do to revive you. We were ready in time and at the hotel when there was nearly another disaster. I had probably made a mistake about if we were getting a lift from the hotel. We were worried about time but then someone going to the party said that the shows didn't start till 11 and we relaxed a bit. This could [...]
Saturday, BED is now in full swing. Breakfast at the hotel and then on to teach our first class. It's an early one and we have to be there right at the crack of 10:45 in the morning! Pressure and time is about rope bondage torture and the class was packed. I've got to say that we had a great time teaching the class and especially towards the end when people had questions arising from the class. Some as usual ran slightly off the class topic but if it's contributing something useful I never mind that in the Q & A section. It's really great when a class has a positive effect for people and leaves them with something that helps them get more out of their rope play. I want to take a line here to say how very much I appreciate everyone who's said and written to say what the class gave them. It certainly also lead on to some excellent follow up conversations in the next couple of days. The next class that we were personally involved with was the Kinbaku 360 class co taught by Demonsix, Kazami Ranki, Ojipan, Faviola, Osaka Dan, Blue Risk and myself. The concept of this class looking at the development of the TK over time and the differences in execution and style even amongst today's practitioners where there is probably more variation than ever before is a very good one and I think made the point that there isn't really such a thing as a correct way to do a TK, though that of course doesn't exclude the fact that there are plenty of wrong ways to do one. As Kazami san said during the class [...]
Well, I'm sitting here wanting to write about my experience at BED (Bondage Expo Dallas) this year and I really don't know where to begin. This event once again was just amazing. I really haven't been to a better run and friendlier event than this one. The team behind this event really go out of their way to make this event go smoothly and to take care of everyone there and I can say as a presenter that we've never felt so taken care of and welcome. I really have to mention not just the organisers but also the volunteers that make this event so special. People really give up their time and their own chances to take classes to make other people's Expo go well. Last year we extended our stay around the Expo to have some time where we weren't teaching or performing and to hang out with the people behind the event and some of the other presenters. The hospitality we get in Dallas is second to none and we love hanging out with the friends we've made there. I'm searching for a good way to put this, the team that run this event are really nice people. That's really an inadequate description though. There's not a single person running this event who isn't someone that you'd gladly hang out with. I've never known such a concentrated group of good people in one event. The event itself has a great atmosphere and never feels too crowded. One thing I love about it is that it's still small enough to have time to talk to people and pretty much everyone fits into the classes that they want. It can be a nightmare organising [...]
In excellent news we'll be heading back up to Glasgow in 2015 to perform with Hajime Kinoko (一鬼のこ) at STORE's January event 'Twisted' It's going to be great to see Kinoko again and it's always a pleasure to see him perform. We're excited for this! Kinoko will also be teaching a two day intensive before the show night so if you are a rope enthusiast in Scotland you should definitely try to make it to that if you can. (Tickets) Check out Hajime Kinoko's stite here.
I don't even know where to begin with this blog. BED was a complete blast from start to finish. The people of Dallas were great to us and the people of BED especially. This event really has a special atmosphere and has won a special place in our hearts. I'd like to say right off that this event treats presenters better than any conference I've been to in the USA. The team really made an effort to make us welcome and at home. I can't tell you how much we appreciate this kind of effort. It really made a difference to our stay. Highlights of the event include our first show in 6 months. Dinners with friends and seeing people improve in classes. I honestly do love it when you see someone make real progress right there in a class and take away things that can help them improve for a long time to come. It's a cool thing and I never grow tired of it. My sincere thanks to everyone that came. Next of course seeing Kinoko Hajime san perform again for the first time in a couple of years. BED has a really personal atmosphere, while there's quite a few people there and you cannot of course spend a lot of time with everyone but many people became familiar and more familiar to us. When we left we were really aware that we were leaving friends behind. The after party! The after party at TheChurchDallas was an amazing blast. We really had a fun time performing. Thanks to everyone who came and gave such amazing reactions, you really contributed to the atmosphere and our own experience on stage. I can't tell you what it's like to [...]
Back in 2012 we had the great pleasure of staying with Hammer, Roxy and Lochai in Baltimore after that year's Shibaricon. While this is something of a late blog I wanted to catch up some of the writings I always meant to do while I have the chance. We really enjoyed Baltimore and rarely for us had a chance to wonder around a little and see a bit of Baltimore and have some excellent wine and food. We especially enjoyed sea food on the harbour where in typical style we ended up in a Japanese restaurant (recurring theme emerging here). Great crab none the less. Our hosts had told us that we must try the crab in Baltimore and they were very right about that. We also did a little bit of shooting and tied and shot the lovely Bella. Click here to see the full gallery! We'd like to say thanks to everyone that made us feel so welcome in Baltimore. One cool thing there was visiting the Baltimore Play House and giving an impromptu show there. The Play House has since fallen victim to a fire and that's a shame as it was such a friendly place. This video is thanks to our good friend Murphy (BlueRisk). Thanks to everyone who came to see us at the Play House we had a blast. We really appreciated your kind words and hospitality. D & C