In perusing the wonderful selection of club nights Leeds has to offer, one might be forgiven for misinterpreting Stretchy Dance Supply as a new age yoga class. In some respects, this examination is not entirely misguided. Their opening night took place earlier this year to great success in the ever reliable Wharf Chambers. Ahead of their second night, this time at Hyde Park Book Club on 16th March, we spoke to those behind Stretchy Dance Supply to see what it was all about…
First off, who are the brains behind Stretchy Dance Supply?
Stretchy Dance Supply is Loyal Hardware, Sourpuss, Breaka & Cuil. As well as each having our own individual projects, we have a monthly show on KMAH radio and are the Resident DJs at the Stretchy events. Visual Design comes from Jennifer Metcalf, Toby Elwes and Marcus Christensen.
Your aesthetic is very strong and yet totally unpretentious – there’s almost an element of Wii Fit in it, how did this come about? Was the humorous side to your image and name something that came about intentionally, or was it merely a natural by-product of your night?
We were greatly inspired by the ‘Radio Taiso Workout’, which is a popular exercise routine in Japan. First introduced in 1928 with the intentions of keeping Japanese Soldiers fit and healthy, it is currently used all over Japan as an early morning exercise.
We decided that this would be the perfect basis for a high intensity club night to help people get in touch with themselves. At our first party we were amazed by how people responded to our ideology. The entire room was transfixed by the workout video and spent hours stretching themselves to their limits. It feels good to run events which people have fun at and express themselves without a highbrow pretence.
You launched your first event at Wharf Chambers – was there a particular reason for picking Wharf Chambers? What about the venue appealed to you?
I (Cuil) really fell in love with Wharf after running the House for the Homeless parties there. It’s such a great space with a very strong ethos behind it. It’s run as a co- operative which supports more DIY events. I am a huge advocate of their safer spaces agreement and feel that it needs to be common-place in all venues.
A number of new nights have been cropping up around Leeds, many gravitating around Wharf and Hyde Park Book Club. Why is it that you think people are starting to take greater interest in the DIY, low-key nights that these spaces offer?
For us, the DIY Approach has been such a crucial reason that Leeds’ has this incredible music scene. Gone are the days when you had to have loads of money and resources to run something great. It reflects a shift in the wind, wherein you don’t have to fly-in some huge headliner just to get the numbers. Spaces like these are the lifeblood of the scene.
It’s great to see new nights and talent are popping up, many of them supporting a huge list of fantastic charities across Leeds such as MAP, Simon on the Streets, Community Kitchen Garden, Leeds Mind and Real Junk Food Project.
A few of our favourite DIY events are Equaliser, Tight Lines, Cosmic Slop, Basement AV, Treehouse, No Way Back, House for the Homeless, Super Hexagon, Brudenell Groove and Artificial Barriers. Definitely worth checking these out if you haven’t heard of them!
With this in mind, how does Leeds’ scene currently appear to you from what you have seen from behind and in front of the decks?
Leeds has given rise to some of the greatest influencers and tastemakers. It’s always been a very inspiring place to be involved with dance music. The collaboration between a very diverse set of promoters and artists across the scene is where its strength lies.
And finally, what can we expect from Stretchy Dance Supply as 2018 rolls on?
Stretchy is back on the 16th of March at Hyde Park Book Club. Joining us will be the performance art collective HalliGalli. We don’t want to give away too much but are excited for our stretchy workout to become more immersive. This event will be powered by the Crispy Aromatic Sound System. We are planning many more workouts for 2018. Expect bouncy castles, yoga robots and pyrotechnics!