The feedback that we’ve had from people, the one thing that keeps coming back time and time again is -˜it’s about time’, James Rennie tells me. He moved here from London nine months ago with friend and business partner Steve Blair, keen to set up a monthly nightclub fetish event. It’s taken a while to make the connections and find a venue, but now DV8 has become a reality, and opens this Saturday 1 February.
Rennie certainly seems to have the credentials: he used to manage the Coleherne in London, back when it was a perfectly (dis)reputable leather bar. A brief chat about the Gay Games Black Party is also telling: Rennie found the party a bit tame, given that he’s a fan of London’s (now defunct) Fist club.
DV8, however, will take a somewhat different approach to a fetish night.
What we see with the fetish scene at the moment is that it’s quite compartmentalised, explains Rennie. You have your rubber scene, you have your leather scene, you have your uniform scene -¦ What we’re trying to do is put the broadest sort of interpretation on the word fetish, open it up to men, women, kinky heteros, make it much more of a real place, with a real crowd.
Visit their website at www.clubdv8.org, and the focus becomes clearer. The word -˜fetish’, in the minds of many, conjures up a negative impression of sleazy men wandering around in a dark dingy environment that appears rather unfriendly and out of date, reads the website. We aim to break down barriers -¦ and create an underground melting pot.
The definition of fetish may be broad, but it’s not without its restrictions. A dress code will be enforced: no plain denim jeans, no trainers and no sneakers.
That’s something we feel quite strongly about and will enforce, purely to protect the integrity of the evening. It is after all a fetish event, Rennie says. It’s an opportunity to get dressed up in their favourite gear with like-minded people in a very relaxed environment.
Sensibly, Rennie and Blair have even taken their commitment to providing a relaxed atmosphere outside the confines of the venue. They love the Dendy as a space, but acknowledge the safety issues surrounding the club’s location.
A number of people have had bad experiences about walking around the city late in the evening, because of the bars that are there, Rennie said. What we’re planning to do is post security guards at either end of Martin Place, so that as soon as people approach the venue, there’s someone there.
People are advised to enter Martin Place via the Elizabeth Street entrance, and the producers have also arranged for a shuttle bus to run to and from the Courthouse Hotel at Taylor Square every 15 minutes between 10:30pm and 6:30am.
We also don’t really want people to leave at 4, 5, 6 in the morning and wander around trying to find a cab. We’ll have security guards flagging down cabs, so people can wait by the entrance to the Dendy and cabs are ready for them. We want to make sure everybody gets home safely.
The night itself is intended to be as hardcore as you make it. The Hellfire Club are working with DV8 to provide pervy entertainment, and a DJ line-up that includes Sveta, Mandy Rollins, Mark Murphy, Buck Naked and Ben Drayton over two rooms promises everything from chilled to hammering, I’m told.
From laidback to strapped up, it will be a night that’s not quite for everybody. Which is, of course, half the point.
DV8 is being held at the Dendy, 19 Martin Place, on Saturday 1 February. Tickets are $40 plus booking fee, and are available from Karnal Leather, Reactor Rubber, the Toolshed at Taylor Square and S(a)x Leather. Visit www.clubdv8.org for more information.