Blood, cuts and tits – Backstage at the Bizarre Ball + The Psycho Cyborgs get ripped off their tits (literally!)

Having toured with bands for a number of years I get many requests for access backstage but I rarely oblige, this is not because I am a nasty bastard, it is because I don’t want to ruin their fantasy. It would come as a large disappointment to most gig goers to find out that what goes on behind the scenes is often really rather dull. Of course sex, drugs and booze does go on behind the rock and roll scenes but the reality is that this consumption is a necessity in order to deal with the boredom and repetition of touring: Long drives followed by unloading, setting up, bashing on instruments repeatedly for ages to check that the mics will pick up the sound correctly, then waiting around for the gig. A flurry of activity that is the gig and then pack all the stuff up again, carry it out to the van and set off to the next venue to do it all again…

Last night Electric Eel Shock were the headlining band on the Bizarre Ball and the night proved to be one of the beautiful exceptions. It reminded that it is possible for backstage to be a wonderful exciting place… Out the front across three stages there was a smorgesboard of bands, freaks, wrestlers, dominatrixes (or is that dominatrixi?), contortionists, acrobats, fettishists etc. This meant that the large single backsgtage area was a giant changing, preparation and cooling down area with more exposed flesh and oddities than you could shake a stick at. A man with breasts even let me have a little fondle which was nice!

One of my favourite moments was sharing a beer with fiberglass headed Frank Sidebottom sans head but with gaffer tape around his nose, around us a naked lady was covering herself in talcum powder so that she could get into her rubber suit, behind her the circus of horrors contortionist was limbering up to climb into a bottle and another freak lady was wiping blood off her tits (I am not sure if it was fake or real but I suspect the latter). Frank took all of this in and turned to me in his squeeky voice and said: Of course I have seen all of this before… but never quite so much of it in one place!

Apart from Electric Eel Shock and Frank the stand out ‘performance’ of the night was without a doubt the show ending Psycho Cyborgs, after a night of excess it was not that shocking for their set to start with a half naked woman suspended by four meat hooks above the stage. But when one of the Cyborgs cut through the chain attached to the two hooks in her legs, she fell with a jolt into a vertical hanging position and the skin above her tits ripped and bled. It seemed that this was likely to go beyond anything else we had already seen.

Every other show on the night had been served up with a high level of showmanship but not so with the Psycho Cyborgs which could be best described as repeated deadpan, physical and emotional abuse of two near naked women. Skin was cut and drilled, tits were pierced and eyes and mouths were sewn shut. Eventually the girls blood drenched bodies were thrown to the floor in a huddle and literally sewn together. The cyborgs then set about themselves with spikes, knives and electricity. Many people had not been able to stay through the entire gruesome event but an equal number had not been able to turn away…

Backstage I returned to sit with Frank where we shared more beers and watched as one of the Cyborgs spend the next half hour sewing his victims lacerated tits back together. Now this is something neither of us had seen before! When they were all cleaned up I shook hands with the Cyborgs who remained deadpan and I hugged both women, thankfully both were happy and insisted that there was no lasting pain. I in return insisted on a snog from the one whos mouth had been sewn up earlier just to prove that it was working – I am not sure if I was relieved or sad that the cyborgs didn’t come along and sew us together…

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