It may not be a coincidence that the latex lovers’ club parted company with its popular north London home of Shillibeers after the venue management imposed a substantial hike in hire fees for last September’s gathering.
New venue The Alice is a bar/eaterie in Houndsditch, not a million miles from co-host Kim Rub’s old Club Rub venue Duke’s.
It’s also not that far from the various other financial district venues Rubber Cult tried out when, earlier in its life, it was forced to leave Shillibeers for a year when the Islington venue went into administration.
Some of these temporary locations were far from perfect. But as Kim and Rubber Cult partner Cynth Icorn rightly point out, they at least enabled the club to keep to its established schedule, and also to continue its tradition of Saturday night slots.
The Rubber Cult 2016 debut at The Alice will be marked by a ‘total rubber cabaret’ featuring four (or perhaps even five) performances from different strands of the latex community.
Drag artist Rogerio Alves, known both for his cabaret homages to Carmen Miranda and his day-job work for Libidex, will evoke the 1930s via a classic Hollywood glamour performance with a latex twist.
The first Rubber Cult 2016 party also sees the designers behind young Stevenage-based latex label Triple L return to Rubber Cult to present The Suck & Blow Shock Show — a new stage show featuring some of their innovative creations combining rubber and bondage.
Previously they’ve showcased their vac bed and vac cube at the event, allowing partygoers the fun of trying them out.
Rubber Cult regular Marnie Scarlet returns to the fold after having to miss September’s night owing to a clash with her Wasteland gig in Amsterdam. Marnie normally does two shows but we’ll have to wait to see what she has planned for February 6.
February’s rubber cabaret is completed with a fashion show from House of Harlot, who seem to have found a new taste for doing catwalk shows in recent times.
HOH will need no introduction to Fetishistas fans. Suffice it to say that this will be a great chance to see live on stage, and in an intimate setting, the label that has collaborated with brands like Luis Vuitton and Christian Dior, and provided costumes for recent movies such as The Zero Theorem, Jupiter Ascending and My Mistress.
Benz is an Icelandic photographer who specialises in shooting latex in outdoor settings, using Iceland’s amazing scenery and natural lighting to great effect.
Partygoers who turn up at the start of the evening will be offered a free glass of bubbly to celebrate the opening of the exhibition with the artist himself.
If February’s Rubber Cult will be your first event, you may want to get a feel for what the evening looks like.
Or you may just want to reacquaint yourself with what happened at the last party. Either way, you’ll want to check out the galleries from last September at the bottom of this article.
There’s a selection of colourful audience members, pictures of the evening’s performances by JoJo Bones and Crystal Star, and a gallery devoted to Libidex’s fashion show, based on a series of vignettes and a liberal amount of audience-mingling.
With Libidex directors Simon and Nigel both in attendance, and Rogerio among the performers, this was the first fashion show the label had staged for some considerable time. It was good to see the team letting their corporate hair down in public again.
JoJo Bones — one of the London scene’s most exotic creatures, whether onstage or just part of the party crowd — performed two turns including an impressive bout of fire-eating.
And Crystal Star (a new face to me) proved that however hard you bash nails into your nasal cavity and however determinedly you staple latex ribbons to your arms, you’ll still look very cute in an Am Statik custom cossie!
Rubber Cult reconvenes on February 6, 2016 at The Alice, 133 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX from 8pm to 2am. Nearest Tube: Aldgate. Nearest Overground and National Rail: Liverpool Street.
Advance tickets cost £25 (plus booking fee) online or £25 from retailers Liberation, Atsuko Kudo, Breathless and House of Harlot. Tickets on the door cost £28.
Dresscode: strictly latex or rubber, except for accessories (eg bags, hosiery, shoes).
Published December 26, 2015
SEPTEMBER 2015 GALLERIES: People, Libidex, JoJo Bones and Crystal Star (photos: Tony Mitchell)