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Subterfuge at Overdrive Studios 25/11/23


Subterfuge started as the brain child of freshly handfasted multidisciplinary artists funkcutter and Candiflip Blackwood, club promoters in their own right - having been instrumental in independant arts events in Leeds and London including Reality Check Presents..., ClubA&V, Dubshack, A&V Speakeasy, Triology, femi9product, and Micrology.

With the cabaret scene becoming more and more mainstream (aka vacuous), they wished to hang on to the gritty, political and edgy acts, not just those strutting perfect body shape and expensive clothes but clever, insidious and thought provoking pieces. These luscious oddities were combined with electronic music DJs and live PAs, theatrical readings, punk acts, acoustic pieces, film screenings and continual video art made by the arts (arse) crossed lovers, now under the name of Punkvert.

The first Subterfuge took place at Charterhouse Bar in Clerkenwell supported by Master of Ceremonies Tam Dean Burm, the continual involvement of the Burly-Q company and the loving Baz the Doorwhore. A heavily pregnant funkcutter VJed that Sunday night April 2004, comparing bumps with DJ Acid B, who was only a few weeks behind her. The next month she was celebrating her birthday, VJing, whilst breastfeeding the three day old Luka Dobermann de Sade. Much breast milk was squirted over Tam Dean Burn during the next few events - a constant source of amusement. A supreme set of acts had their wicked way at The Charterhouse Bar, including live music from Handsome Pete, a fashion show from Charles of London led by the riotous Gob$au$age and brilliant burlesque from Fancy Chance, Devillia de Dallas, Delilah, Roxy Velvet, Ernesto the Naked Poet A Valentines Day Feast with food served off the bodies of the acts was one of the special ocassions that had everyone chewing and grinning happily.

Subterfuge had several homes over the years and went though a few different stages. There were a few large standalone soirees also, particularly Bad Look Boudoir at Battersea Arts Centre, Bad Look Bordello at Murder Mile Studios and Subterfuge at The George Tavern which rocked many socks off. Superfudge disco vaudeville version as a one off at the Redgate Art Gallery in Loughborough Junction was one most chaotic happening. Inn On the Green off Portobello Road was a firm favourite in the days before it was shut down in the gentrification of W10 and hosted many Subterfuge events between 2008 and 2011. The community inclusive nature of the venue meant all ages was no problem for these shows, with several all day specials. Portobello Film Festival (PFF) used the space as one of their screenings spots, whcih worked well for combining Punkvert Film showings with a celebratory Subterfuge. The launch party for Rude Mechanicals Cyclops and the Wildebeeste Album, as recorded and mixed by Erreth Sondabeng was held here to glorious applause. The punkvert mocumentary The Beautiful and the Rare was screened as part of PFF 2009. Dave and Tina at IOTG were very happy to accomodate the party, before they got sashayed away and the Inn was converted into a juice bar and then into an Art Gallery. Strangely enough, PFF held their Horror screening (screaming) night there in September 2018. 

Once IOTG closed, Subterfuge had a short break whilst Candi & funkcutter collected themselves and looked for the next venue. A quick Apocalypse Eve was held in 2012 at a basement location in East London. This was swiftly followed by an investigation into The Others, a lovely space in Stoke Newington. The space is excellent for films, art exhibits and live performance, with moderately high ceilings and white walls for projections. Many lovely evenings and brilliant spectacles took place at The Others, with the assistance of Cornelius, ever loving door bitch Silly Cnut and sound person Eff Orff, who had recently been liberated from legendary punk venue The Grosvenor in Stockwell, by way of tricksy gentrification - yet again. (n.b. its a pub again now, but not as we know them.) Subterfuge had become much more loud and heavy in it's musical content and so the neighbours of The Others had their teeth rattled (with the exception of Miss Pink, who was as local as it comes!)

Occupied with Psyche Satyrdays and other fabulous events at South London hot spot Vinyl Deptford, Subterfuge was dormant once again. Vinyl shut its doors in December 2017, but came back for an encore in April 2018. Musing on the location again, the Punkverts had a brainwave. Overdrive Studio in Deptford is the rehersal space anarchistwood started using with several rooms. Small enough to be intimate but not too small to hold an indecent audience and performers, they asked the management, John and Sarah of P.I.G., if they would host a Subterfuge? Luckily they managed to talk them round the nudity and bodily fluids, as long as it didn't splash on the equipment and yet again Subterfuge has a new home at Overdrive. Long may it last! The family environment includes intredip Overdrive staff Justyna and Wayne, without whom we would be lost, as well as Scarlet Carsen and Barbara on the door plus our superb merch mistress JD.