I attended Velvet Tongue’s Literary Soiree. I had been told about it by The Game Cat, Ant Smith as something I should definitely do and had ummed and ahed about it for nearly a year!
I’m glad I went. I arrived really early to try and get my waiting list slot and met Ernesto who recognised me which made me feel happy.
The upstairs bar was full of suits and I didn’t fancy it much so went to the pub next door 'The Cornershop', the guy who served me was lovely, chatty and informative. They have an open mic there on Mondays and I said I’d come back later. Nice pub, but off point.
The rest of this may not be in the correct order.
I returned to Bar Kick and went downstairs. A delightful sight (Pippa Dee) was ‘doing’ the door and the basement room was full, on stage in a rather gorgeous outfit spouting poetically in a delicious European accent. I must admit I was zoned in on his costume more than his words. Suffice to say, his knickers looked full and he stood quite tall in the high heeled shoes.
A great woman took to the stage to read a regular’s piece about Madam and her highly polished paddles. Well read indeed by Cathy Flower.
Ernesto introduced headlines from around the world between calling the acts to the stage. He called Kass Man up who delighted us with a rap/song, which we all felt compelled to join in with. The laughter in his eyes made me smile in my heart.
Sado-Judaism isn’t something I know a lot about, I am now quite well informed now by Ivor Dembina, with laughter as my tutor. “..I’m on a budget...” is now the most stereotypical Jewish phrase I know.
There was a break at some point and when we returned the stage was covered in plastic, a bucket, a washing up bowl, some dark sand and a blank board were set up. Sunshine Faggio laid down and our earnest host blindfolded her, tied her wrists and her ankles together then left her there. The lighting changed and music began. For a while nothing happened, then words began to filter through the music “...We are all just bodies...” has stayed with me. Sunshine released herself from her shackles and blindfold and flung herself around the stage in a state of pain, anguish and desperation.Writhing in the sand and the blood coloured water in the washing up bowl, occasionally clawing at the board daubing the paint and sand on to it. In a short time she was naked and even more vulnerable. At the end of the piece sher insed most of the pain away with the bucket of clear water. We are just bodies.
A young Canadian woman (Ashlee Christofferson) recited a story of pain and reward that occurred between a student and teacher, both female, both excited by the spanking that was given for introducing the subject to the student.
Four short pieces from Nic Argent, a debutant (a virgin if you will) were delivered with erotic fervour and sensual manner, she was good, for a virgin. Her shyness over come by her joy at getting them out.
All the while Ernesto entertained us with various outfits, nakedness and short pieces from his repertoire between the acts.
P-s. Artiste,Elegantly dressed and erudite, the next up had written a piece especially for Velvet Tongue which was velvety ALL OVER. Her other pieces were too and it was good to find out that she ran her own night of poetry and performance.
Next up was a young man (Pat Cash) whose piece about the joy of sex was as open and honest as I’d heard all night. The poignancy of it was his desire for it not to be special because it was a piece about sex between men. It was erotic, it didn’t make me want to have sex with men but it filled every aspect of erotic poetry.Desire, passion, imagery and deep feelings were brought to the surface via his own passion.
The gentleman (Volker Renato) from the beginning of the night was back, this time in a clean white cotton suit, forthright and confident he took the stage and offered a member of the audience to draw blood. One did, but his knowledge was dangerously close to no knowledge whatsoever. Our performer drew his own blood from a vein in his arm, all the while reading information and misinformation about AIDS as blood dripped from the works in his arm.
I must admitt hat by now I was getting agitated and nervous about my own performance,particularly whether I was going to get a chance to!
Cathy Flower took to the stage again, this time to perform her own work, which is always a pleasure to hear. She has a unique delivery which is both posh and dirty, A slutty ma’am rather than a Madam. Erudite randomness washes over and her mouth savours each word.
The world of English language is often spoken with the tongue of intelligent foreigners and a young Brazilian man (Antonio Karezza) came to the stage and shared his work.
Ernesto continued to change and next was his version of Father Christmas, naked apart from a false beard and a hat. There was something pleasing about his red lipspoking through such a white beard.
He introduced the next person and I remember the word ‘shocking’ in the intro,shockingly honest was what he was, consensual pain inflicted by himself on women was his penchant and Paul Ebbs let us in on a few of the desires he had sated.
After these revelations (to me) the next performer played havoc with my joy, I like ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ mixed with ‘these are some truths’ in which butter wouldn’t last a second. Graham Buchan was quickly in my heart and ‘Miriam’ and ‘Harold’ are my new friends, I like them very much. I hope to hear their story again, if I don’t I shall always have it and I look forward to hearing anything from this regular at Velvet Tongue.
To perform a piece, the opening line of which is ‘I want to fuck feminism’ is going to be difficult in many situations, at Velvet Tongue it didn’t need too much of an intro but Gideon Kahan performing it allowed us into his relationship with the piece before performing it. By the end I completely understood where he was coming from, I understood his desire was pure and loving, connected and accepting.
The last performer of the night (Martin Sanderson, I think) was brilliant. Rhythmical,intelligent, open and honest. It kind of summed the night up.
At some point near the end, I performed 3 pieces chosen specifically for the night and one for the love of the limelight, I stayed within the 5 mins allowed and would have been semi-naked if my shirt cuff hadn’t stuck!
Really enjoyed the evening and hope to return in the new year.
Thank you Ernesto and the Velvet Tongue posse.