The Wild Writers deliver masked musicians, battles between cunning linguists and wrestlers grappling in their speedos, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh tucks into the action (plus some chillis) and is left feeling all tingly.
We’re not sure if anyone, even some of the organisers, knew what to expect when The Wild Writers took to the ring for their latest literary shindig at The Kazimier.
Sancho Panza, a wrestling themed writing competition, brought a flair of Mexican festivity to the Kazimier, filling the dance floor with a real life combative ring and with the tantalizing promise of masked writers going head to head on the keyboards, music from Spanish Announcement Team and live slam action courtesy of Infinite Promotions.
Fixed up and looking sharp in full tux, host for the evening Michael Fowler was only missing a drop down microphone as he opened proceedings, introducing the judging panel and referee Brett Janes who wins top marks for a very professional demonstration of ‘winging it’ throughout the evening.
But the unrehearsed quality of the literary half of the night was perhaps its greatest charm. Masked writers took to the ring at their own peril, given three key words and five minutes to deliver some knock out flash fiction, ‘strictly no semicolons’.
A reverent hush fell across the Kaz as all eyes turned to the split screen above the stage where our first contenders Mullar and El Dandy battled it out, Referee Janes offering top quality commentary despite not actually being able to see the play unfold.
It seems there was a spectacle thief at large on the evening as Janes and half the judging panel admitted to being visually impaired without their glasses – theft rather than vanity, we’re sure.
But regardless, it was El Dandy who emerged victorious and despite his over confident early finish and double knot tie, Mullar underwent the public shame of unmasking.
Mullar is shamed as the losers unmasking begins
Without any further adieu, apparently Fowler‘s favourite phrase of the night, the next pair of aspiring champions were introduced, Los Bichos, making the greatest effort in costume with some blue lycra leggings, and Glamoroso, making the best effort in milking it from the crowd.
With everyone now at little more familiar with the concept enthusiasm was high for the second battle, and both writers fed off that energy but it was the Joker masked Glamoroso who powered through to the next round.
As the writers withdrew to mentally prepare for the next battle and revellers tested their taste buds at the Chili Shack, something in The Kazimier made a conscious shift toward a more authentic wrestling atmosphere. The wrestling faithful had arrived in wait for Spanish Announce Team.
Things had suddenly gotten very niche. The band were decked out in traditional wrestling masks and spoke in gruff impersonations of Christian Bale as Batman (maybe its a mask thing?), playing a set made up entirely of wrestling entrance themes from WWE wrestlers.
All of a sudden there were homemade signs being vaulted into the air, chants, trash talk, and the always hilarious ‘It’s great to be back in Manchester‘ banter. Having never been much of a wrestling fan Getintothis was feeling incredibly out of our depth with all these in jokes but even we could recognise the infamous themes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Ultimate Warrior. And from some hazy schoolday memory all the lyrics of Shawn Michaels‘ Sexy Boy came effortlessly back.
Wrestling geekery aside it was back to our comfort zone, the literary geekery, and an exhibition battle from the Wild Writers themselves as the British Bastard went up against the robotic duo Wrestledroid 0657 and Mech Series 236 958. If the first half of this writing competition was under rehearsed this second installment was overdone to the point of hilarity in typical wrestling style.
Wrestledroid 0657 received one of the biggest cheers of the night as he ticked ‘steel folding chair’ off everyone’s Wrestling bingo card flooring The British Bastard while the ref was distracted by technical difficulties. And the crowd went wild. But amid all this hilarity, we’re sure you’ll all recognise a very serious message – the machines are taking over and they will kill us all.
Glamoroso hailed as the winner of the writing competition
And so we came to the grand finale of the Sancho Panza writing contest as the fiendish El Dandy and melodramatic Glamoroso went head to head for the coveted Sancho Panza World Heavyweight Title.
In a vicious, ruthless display of literary finesse the writers adopted two diverse styles – Glamoroso favouring humour while El Dandy went rogue with a brutal attack on everyone present, had he hoped to win over the audience with sheer badassery he failed miserably with an offhand racial slur, bad form El Dandy, bad form.
The judges were torn, one distinguishing between the two wrestlers said: “One person wrote a story, and one person shit on a laptop” and threw his weight behind Glamoroso. But another countered with: “Some say shit on a laptop, I say art” declaring El Dandy the superior writer.
However it all came down to a judge’s call as El Dandy was disgraced with disqualification for shameless, unbridled and illegal use of the semicolon. Glamoroso took his rightful place in the spotlight, the people’s champion.
He was awarded a bottle of Baronessa Tequila and bravely resisted the crowd’s shouts to “down it“. Getintothis‘ slightly more sensible shout to “drink responsibly” was thankfully adhered to.
Glamoroso presented with the winners spoils
As the writers were returned to the dark solitary lives from which they came, the ring was cleared, the ropes checked, the lights lowered, it was time for the main event.
Local lad Zach Gibson, and good grief what a lad (welcome to the Carry on Gigging section of the review), initially won the crowd’s favour with his six foot ripped body and itty bitty red shorts but it was his noble contender, the pint size Pyro who became the favourite, proving that everyone loves an underdog, even more than rock hard abs.
This was our first experience of live professional wrestling, and although we’ve never been to the ballet, we imagine it’s something similar. Perfectly choreographed combat, well timed hand claps and melodramatic dives that would put premiership football to shame, this showcase of wrestling is perhaps one of the greatest displays of amateur dramatics to have graced a Liverpool stage, dancefloor, stairway and balcony.
Some dirty tricks amongst the writers – Pallo and McManus were never like this
Zach Gibson about to launch Pyro into the crowd
As the fighting spilled out into the venue, tumbled up the stairs and, inevitably, over the bannisters and onto the unsuspecting revellers, someone out back regrettably ripped up the health and safety rules.
Exhausted, sweating and battleworn Gibson and Pyro managed to evade several count outs each before, much to the crowd’s disappointment, Pyro finally succumbed to Gibson‘s superior strength and endurance. Exhausted, sweating and wielding giant foam hands, the audience happily dispersed into the darkness safe in the knowledge they’ll never see anything of the like ever again.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Simon Lewis
Further reading on Getintothis:
The Wild Writers spring slam as Sancho Panza takes to The Kazimier
Used Vinyl Club present 28 Costumes, Spanish Announce Team
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Getintothis presents Jon Hopkins and stellar Merseyside show at Nation
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Jagwar Ma, Factory Floor, PINS and more set for May festival
Liverpool International Music Festival 2014: ‘LIMF will be *the* UK festival for global music’