Bad Bruises London No.1

Well, well, well, it has only taken me about 4 days to recover enough to finally sit down and write this review. Well, this is a tad dramatic as I have been busy enjoying the sun, so priorities changed for a few days.

Bad Bruises, a well known night in Berlin, finally made the jump and decided to host their first event in London. How was it, you ask? Well, let’s delve into the finer details.

It was held at Electrowerks last weekend, over the Bank Holiday weekend. I don’t think I need to comment at this stage how much I love this venue, because I have said so quite a few times, but what I will say is that I like how each “brand” decorates and uses the space differently. BB had access to the entire venue, which was a nice touch as I am never too keen when events only have partial access to it.

Before we proceed, I guess I should explain what Bad Bruises is all about. Well, I’ve never attended their Berlin parties so it is hard to say. From their website and social media, I would like to think that it is an immersive fetish club night, delving into themes of dark circus with a touch of 1920s flare. To quote their website:

“Combining art, theatre, sex and music they transform the infamous Wilde Renate into a wonderland of fantasies”

So basically on paper this should have been everything I have ever wanted in an event (my dream event would be The Great Gasby meets Moulin Rouge, meets The Fifth Element….. the waiting for this event continues). However, I wouldn’t necessary call this event fetish, as there was no real dungeon. One of the small cages were used for scenes, but it was tiny, so only one couple could play at a time, and that was it. Luckily we kinsters are creative when finding spaces for play, but if you claim to be an ‘art, theatre, sex and music’ event and have consent reminders everywhere (which is a nice touch) then we would like to see an actual play area.

As their first event in London, it was an good first attempt and I would definitely go to future events as I think they have the potential to nail it, but the night was too random and all over the place for me. Let me explain.

The first thing that stood out to me was the music. They had three dance floors, each playing different genre, which was good in a way because we all know how I feel about techno, but there was no consistency or theme. So for example, the dance floor which was by the courtyard (a place usually used for play in events like TG and AC) they were playing what I can only describe as Latin drums over techno beats. I particularly liked the sound, but this was not the event for such music, and I was not the only one who thought this was the case as the floor was practically empty the entire night. The main two floors were a mix of techno, drum ‘n base, industrial, rock and I swear there was a bit of jungle thrown in at one stage. Again, I have no problem with any of this, as long as you keep it consistent – so don’t change the genre of music after every other song. There is a reason why most events have one floor or a large segment of the night dedicated to one genre before moving to the next. It keeps the people “in the zone” and connected to the music for longer. My friends and I keep moving around the floors, trying to ‘chase’ the music, which is far from ideal when you are trying to immerse into the night.

Another thing I wished they played with more was the use of the space. Electrowerks is quite a big space, and the beauty of it is that you can convert it to suit so many different nights and themes. I was disappointed to see that there was almost no decor. If their theme is dark circus (or in this case it was Sodom & Gomorrah, aka, Religion), then I would have expected the place to be converted into some Cirque Le Soir, Moulin Rouge style decor, or into a big church. But there was nothing of the sort. Okay, I am not saying they have to be all out like Fox and Badge (which funnily enough had the theme Religion for their party two weeks ago), but I would have expected more. You want people to walk in and be transported into a different world.

On a more positive note, the acts were really good, and there were so many of them! As usual, I think I did miss the majority of them, but the ones I did watch were amazing. My favourite was the opening act upon the opening of the third floor (the third floor opened at midnight) which involved beautiful black feather needles and a naughty apple.

I have to of course mention the people – which were a friendly bunch as usual. People really went all out with their outfits (even though I did see some cheeky people wearing the same outfits from the Fox & Badge party from the week before) and it was just nice to sit down and people-watch for a while in between the dancing and the chatting.

Overall, I think it was a good night, but it is one that has potential more than anything else. It needs to have a strong personality, a unique look so that when you walk into the venue you know exactly what event you are at. So far the only events that have that are Verboten and Fox and Badge. I do hope BB come to London again and do things even bigger and better, because we really need a Dark Circus in town.

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