The venue, the WesterUnie nightclub, is notable for actually being in Amsterdam. This is no small achievement in a city that is closing down coffee shops, red light windows, domination studios and any kind of sexually-orientated events as fast as it can.
The WesterUnie club is interesting also for being one of a group of industrial conversions in the grounds of an old gasworks, situated to the immediate north-west of the city centre, just off the main route to Haarlem.
The whole site is now a sizable green space, with its original industrial structures including the big gasometer repurposed as shops, restaurants and bars. This gives the place an atmosphere reminiscent of the kind of groovy conversions found in Berlin and other German cities.
On a mild October evening, the walk from the site’s taxi drop-off point to the club’s doors was a voyage of discovery, made all the more of an adventure by the fact that no one in the group I was with seemed to know where they were going.
The same walk back to the taxis at freezing-o’clock in the morning, performed in sweat-soaked latex with only an inappropriately lightweight jacket for cover, was closer to torture than anything else I experienced during the entire weekend.
And I was sleeping in a dominatrix’s dungeon!
I kid you not. My hosts for the Europerve Resurrection 2015 weekend were Amsterdam’s famous Mistress Madieanne and her partner, photographer and web designer Erik Paulsen.
This couple are fetish royalty in Holland and beyond, and Madieanne’s studio is one of only three of the city’s original domination establishments to have survived the zealots’ purge.
What a place it is too. Within the dedicated studio area, every square inch (sorry, centimetre) of wall space is hung with ‘items for the use of’. Even in the loo, you can hardly turn around for cuffs, spreader bars, tubing and chains — and that’s true even when you’re not wearing any of the stuff!
All this kit represents a lifetime of enthusiastic collecting for Madieanne, a woman who clearly loves her job. I felt very privileged to be given the freedom of this hallowed space during my stay. Though of course I realise that freedom is the last thing on the minds of most of her visitors.
Madieanne and Erik are close friends of Anton and Louva, the couple who took over DeMask from founder Steve English a few years ago. They relaunched DeMask’s legendary party brand as EuroPerve Resurrection in late 2012, in collaboration with Vault Productions’ Rene Meeuwessen, organiser of the Wasteland parties.
Tonight at EuroPerve Resurrection 2015, Madieanne was undertaking wardrobe mistress duties for the DeMask fashion show, in which Louva would be debuting her brand new latex collection for the label.
That’s why our group were all arriving at the venue a couple of hours at least before the doors officially opened.
Once inside, therefore, there was time to kill. And thanks to the magnificent Tido — best known perhaps as aide-de-camp/driver at Dominatrix — there was beer to kill it with.
Soon other familiar faces began to arrive for their jobs tonight, among them Karin ‘QT’ West, warming up for her gig as the evening’s MC, and Domina Productions head honcho Ayden Dark, preparing for his DJ-ing stint.
From a little further back in my Amsterdam partying past, I was also delighted to see the unforgettable Suzy Pasyon on doorbitch duties.
As the Europerve Resurrection 2015 venue began to fill with paying partygoers, I spotted more people I knew or recognised from earlier times in the city.
Some were folk I would be just as likely to see at Dominatrix events. Others, I have learnt, prefer EuroPerve to Dominatrix on the grounds that for them, the latter event has become too fashion-centric and model fixated.
The very strictly-enforced rubber and leather dresscode of EuroPerve, like the strict latex code at London’s Rubber Cult nights, certainly helps ensure that all those who come through its doors are proper pervs.
Mistress of Ceremonies QT summed up the appeal of Europerve Resurrection 2015 and its predecessors thus:
“What’s brilliant about EuroPerve is seeing a bunch of people in extreme rubber sitting together, being completely relaxed and gorgeous.
“Not all of them are talking — due to masks, hoses and snouts — but they’re all interacting on a very special level.
“I always look forward to it because it’s one of the few parties where the love of fetish defies the rules of aesthetics.
“You want to combine a latex burka with waders? Go ahead. You want to wear stockings with your chemsuit? Why not? You’re not taking off your gas mask? Lovely.
“Not only are extreme outfits allowed, they’re encouraged. And that’s fucking awesome.”
For example, this autumn, both Europerve Resurrection 2015 (in October) and Dominatrix (in November) commissioned performances by the same Japanese shibari artist, Mistress Hibiki, who has become well known on the European scene.
But in this case, the duplication was no bad thing. More of this anon.
Among other old chums I bumped into who take their fetishism very seriously was the lovely Anna Rose of Alterpic (who would be performing later). She was chatting with Ronald Pony, who went on to achieve a high success rate in persuading various fetishistas to lead or ride him during the course of the evening.
There was also designer Sebastian Cauchos, accompanied tonight by his German model/muse Mary Jale, who was dressed, Gummiklinik-style, in several layers of transparent natural latex.
Also in attendance at Europerve Resurrection 2015 were some very stylish international dominatrixes — another similarity with London’s Rubber Cult parties. And I must not forget Irresistible Iris, who has written articles about the Amsterdam scene for us.
At the appropriate hour, MC QT took to the stage to introduce the first official entertainment of the evening: the DeMask fashion show featuring Louva’s new latex collection.
Presented by a coterie of models who easily out-talled Torture Garden’s Tall Girls (not so hard when you remember the Dutch are the tallest people on earth), it was a bold, modern rubbery homage to 1964 and André Courrèges’ groundbreaking Space Age collection among other inspirations.
Mini-length hems and geometric panels à la Courrèges were the order of the night, and several of the outfits were topped off by latex hood-hats (hoots?) with eye-holes in their low-slung brims. Very distinctive — and very well received by the audience.
For an event that is not even officially about fashion, Louva managed to pull off one of the chic-est fashion statements I’ve seen on a fetish catwalk for a long time. But then, she is French, you know.
After a break, it was Mistress Hibiki’s turn in the Europerve Resurrection 2015 spotlight with bondagette Sakura. The show began with black-latex-clad Hibiki climbing into the centre of her trademark suspension ropeladder, to pose languidly like the domme in the moon. Or perhaps more appositely, a spider in her web.
Beneath her, Sakura danced onto the stage, naked except for strategically positioned bindings of black tape, wafting two billowing lengths of red silk around her as she moved.
But her freedom was shortlived. It was not long before the pervy predator descended from her perch above, and started to bind the nubile dancer with rope.
Hibiki’s shows are exquisite pieces of theatre combining oriental styling with lightning-fast ropework, and it was only a matter of time before the pouting Sakura had been suspended fully off the ground.
For many bondage suspensions, this would have been the climax of the act, but anyone who had seen Hibiki do this show before knew there was more to come.
And sure enough the ropemistress took things to another level by clambering up the rigging like a pirate, standing directly over her suspended slave and then riding her backwards and forwards like a trapeze artist or a child standing on a playground swing.
It was a spectacle that deserved all the applause it received.
The third show at EuroPerve Resurrection 2015 was a double act by Anna Rose and Rubber GiGi that I was very much looking forward to watching and shooting.
Unfortunately though, someone made the classic fetish show error of deciding that the atmosphere would be ramped up if enough smoke was pumped onto the stage to render the performers practically invisible.
Smoke, please note, is the enemy of flash photography. Dehaze filters exist, but they can’t work miracles.
So I’m afraid my attempts to shoot this show were a washout, and I have no pictures of it to share with you. Which means, sadly, I can’t give the two artists the coverage their performance deserved.
For me, this was the one disappointment of Europerve Resurrection 2015. Everything else about the night was extremely enjoyable. (Well, everything until the walk back to the cabs, anyway.)
It confirmed to me that Louva, Anton and Rene have found a workable formula for a contemporary Amsterdam event espousing the pervy partying traditions that many fans of the old Europerve are clearly nostalgic for.
This more traditional approach may ultimately limit the size of the crowd this annual event can attract to hundreds rather than thousands.
But for its fans, the audience perv quality at EuroPerve Resurrection 2015 was always going to be more important than the sheer numbers of people attending.
Published November 30, 2015