It is a tribute to Torture Garden, Pope of fetish parties, that even in sunny August weather it draws a crowd of dedicated pervs and fun seekers to its Summer Ball, and that it fulfills all their expectations and more.
From the flyer, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the August TG at Mass in Brixton would be a small, quiet affair. “New smaller three-room layout for the summer”, it said.
Luckily I’d been there for the Fetishistas-sponsored International Fetish Ball in May, so I was forewarned not to expect anything too poky. Luckily I avoided queuing for the Ninjattitude club happening elsewhere in Mass that night!
Some improvements had been made to the layout since the last night there, most notably in the dungeons and the opening of more seating areas, which were very welcome. This wasn’t really your average ‘quiet night’, however; the pulsating mixes of TG stalwarts Allen TG and Jimmy Mofo, along with relative (but much appreciated) newcomer Fidelity Kastrow had the crowd on their feet till closing time and beyond.
Fidelity is an habitué of Tresor in Berlin, and will be mixing at TG for the third time in September — something Josselin is looking forward to since, as well as being a very talented DJ, she is also extremely photogenic, as you can tell from his gallery (she’s the one in the doughboy hat and stripy sun dress).
London is one of the few cities that could support a summer party 600 perverts strong. Only London, and possibly only TG, could draw a kinky crowd from all over Europe and even further afield in August. Between beats (or in the more quiet areas) you could hear Spanish, French, German and Czech bandied around, and some definite transatlantic twangs.
But it’s easy to understand why they would make the hop, skip and a jump to come to one of the summer’s only big events. While many clubs close down for the hot months, Torture Garden just keeps going, even while planning bigger parties like September’s Skin Two special and its headlining event at the London Fetish Weekend in October.
Though we appreciate the effort and will undoubtedly much enjoy these big events, we’re very glad to have something to sink our teeth into in the quiet times too. London provides much kinky entertainment, but there is only one Torture Garden.
The crowd lived up to expectations, with a selection of beautiful outfits and wacky themes. Though there does seem to be a trend towards cheap lingerie, the quality and the effort put in by others more than make up for it. People-watching is always one of my favourite pleasures, and it makes spotting for Josselin great fun! Nurses, sailors, rubberdolls, marquises, military uniforms… there was something for every taste.
Eclectic and open as ever, Torture Garden isn’t your typical fetish club. This is often said as if it’s a bad thing, not ‘fetish enough’ maybe, but it’s a fact that even in down time, it encourages creativity and fun.
The shows, though low key, were entertaining, with Ruby Blues' strange masked nuns, and Lazlo Pearlman's sailor-themed show that was less ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’ and more ‘Popeye goes to Thailand’. Amrita and Kumi also provided some Lycra-clad suspension bondage.
All in all, this TG was less about the spectacle on stage and more about the atmosphere in the crowd, which was great. The fun was efficient, more socialising than play-focused, and of course you could argue that play is socialising anyway. As ever, a huge thank you to the dedicated TG team!
Only London, and possibly only TG, could draw a kinky crowd from all over Europe and further afield in August