RECOVERY UPDATE:
The official Inquisition after-party, Rising Day Club,  will be held at the Oxford Hotel’s underground bar from 5.30am on Sunday, July 18. DJs include Troy Cox, Dan Murphy, Chip, Luke Leal, Adam Watts and Coxy, with a special guest performance by Australian Idol winner Natalie Gauci.

Sydney Leather Pride Week is in full swing, with the event’s biggest celebration, the Inquisition 18: Rebooted party at the Arthouse Hotel, coming up on July 17.

Sydney Leather Pride Association president Rod Spark told Sydney Star Observer this year’s party would be a definite highlight of the leather calendar.

“This year we’re at the heritage-listed Arthouse Hotel in the CBD, and it’s a going to be a mix of glamour and fetish unseen before.

“We’ve brought Sydney DJ legend Mike Kelly back from Europe especially for this event, as well as local legends Sveta, Stephen Allkins, Chip, George Roussos, Laird Hotel DJ Kam Shafaati and our SLPA DJ Competition winner [the competition will be held the night before at Saddlebar’s Dog Tag party, with the winner to open Inquisition’s second room]; it’s going to be one hell of a night,” he said, offering one instruction to punters: “come dressed up and ready for fun!”.

This is Spark’s first year as SLPA president, but he’s had a long association with the organisation and Sydney’s leather scene.

“After my first memorable Inquisition at the Dome many years ago, I volunteered at events which lead me to being chief photographer for several years, and along with my partner, who has designed many excellent

Inquisition posters over the last few years, we decided that it was time to step up and take our place on the committee.

“The great thing about Leather Pride Week is it gives people the chance to experience the scene and see how well it fits for them.”

Spark said organising Inquisition — and indeed, Sydney Leather Pride Week as a whole — was the result of a massive team effort.

“We’re a volunteer-run organisation and our committee and outstanding volunteers all chip in to tackle this massive event.”

Among the Sydney DJs playing at the party, dashing Melbourne DJ Kam Shafaati will make his debut on the Sydney scene. Shafaati has had a rapid rise down south (pardon the pun), going from a fledgling bedroom DJ to a scene stalwart in barely a year.

“I like things that are progressive and emotional, stuff that takes you on a journey. And I like clean, liquid sound,” Shafaati told Sydney Star Observer.

He said the specific tastes of the leather crowd helped him to tailor his set accordingly.

“The gay community is so hard to DJ for, because it’s not a certain demographic. Some of the subcultures, like the bear and leather worlds, help to guide you to figure out what the audience want to hear. Traditionally I’ve found the leather crowd tend to go for a darker deeper sound. And you can play beautiful dark, hard music – it can still have emotion, it doesn’t just have to be grindy.”

While several Leather Pride Week events have already happened, Inquisition isn’t the only chance you have to get involved before it’s all over for another year. Aside from the Dog Tags SLPA DJ Comp, there are a few events coming up this weekend and early next week for leather lovers of all persuasions.

On Thursday July 15, the Oxford Hotel will play host to a Leather Cocktail Party from 8pm to 1am, with DJs Matt Vaughn, Mandy and Feisty. The next night, while the boys are at Dog Tag, leather ladies can dance the night away at Hellfire, an eclectic mix of burlesque, cabaret and deep dark dance taking over The Gaff. Performances from the likes of ‘dirty housewife extraordinare’ Imogen Kelly and sexy fembot La Bec will break up the dancefloor action, with tunes provided by a hot all-female DJ line-up, including Mandy Rollins and Feisty.

On Sunday July 19, Phoenix is the place to be for all the hard partiers who aren’t ready to call it a night yet. The Inquisition Recovery party kicks off from the early hours of Sunday morning — 5:30am — with DJs Johan Khoury, Troy Cox and Dan Murphy.

Among all this partying, there are a couple of opportunities for less raucous leather celebration this week. On Wednesday July 14, a leading Sydney criminal lawyer will present a discussion titled Sadomasochism and the Law, while on Thursday July 22, Nikki ‘Diesel’ Follett will head a discussion on Butch and the Lost Art of Manners. Venue details for both of these evening sessions will only be provided to registered attendees – those interested can register by emailing education@sydneyleatherpride.org

info: Inquisition, July 17, Arthouse Hotel, Pitt St. Tickets $65/85 from www.sydneyleatherpride.org, SAX Fetish, Mannhaus, Maxxx Black and Daisy, or on the door if not sold out.

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