To Hell and back…

11 11 2009

So the other thing that happened on the weekend of October 17th was Grange Hell. Two days in Birmingham with Bonnie D Stroir (the one who makes difficult things look easy on youtube) and Estro Jen (the one in the booty shorts) and a vast amount of rollergirls, orchestrated by Central City. Yay! What could possibly go wrong there?

We split into two groups, with some of our team in each, ready to do what the big girls told us and soak up the learning. Bonnie and Estro’s coaching was ace, and it was all going well until Voodoo Doily fell during a transition drill.

After being out for a few months with a fat pad injury, Voodoo missed out on playing for Team East Angrier at Roll Britannia; she did an awe inspiring job as our lineup manager, but we were now two weeks from our game against Glasgow, and she was on our roster. So we were praying for something a bit of rest would fix, maybe a bruise, something that would get better in time for her to play her first game.

gas and air

We waited for her to get to her feet, and when she didn’t we gathered round and started freaking her out with our crumply worried faces. The medics arrived, we started to get a bit teary, things weren’t looking up. It was time to remove the skate and knee pad.

What occurred next was quite harrowing, and may well put off any potential new recruits who happen to be reading our blog. Let’s just say Voodoo has an impressive scream. There was gas and air, there was hand crushing squeezing, there was morphine, and then they wheeled our beloved Voodoo away on a little cart with her leg all safely strapped up in one of those orange inflatable devices.

lovelies

not so lovelyWe thought it was bad going to new cities and only seeing their sports halls, but what’s worse is seeing their sports halls and their hospitals.

Some of us were hardcore and went back for scrimmage action on sunday, but the rest of us were a bit traumatised and went on a mission to buy Voodoo colouring books.

So this is roller derby. You spend hours travelling to sports halls in other towns, in cars, and on trains. You kiss your weekends goodbye. You wear ridiculous outfits. You find yourself sitting in a hospital car park with some of the best friends you’ve ever had, but one of them is inside the hospital because she got snapped like a twig. And all because you can’t stop skating around in circles.

You can see how people might find it strange. And when they ask “so what is this derby wife thing all about?” we usually say, “oh, your derby wife is your buddy on the track, the one who encourages you to push yourself, the one who looks after you when you get too drunk – and if you get injured, she’s the one who goes with you in the ambulance” and then they laugh nervously like they hope we might be joking about the last part. But it’s true. She’s also the one who gets to stay behind when you’re injured in another city and everyone else has to go home. We’re really glad that Voodoo has Angela Momentum as her excellent wife, and very grateful to all the other skaters who came to visit her in the hospital later, and who contributed to the collection Central City very kindly organised.

We were hoping they’d release Voodoo from hospital in time for her to come with us to Glasgow. We were thinking we might wheel her around the track in a wheelchair on our skate out, but it was not to be. She had an operation to pin her bones, the prognosis looks good, and she says she’s determined to get back on her skates, but she’s staying with family and still getting mobility treatment as an outpatient in Birmingham.

We held another collection (see informative doily below) at our Day of the Dead fund raiser last weekend, and we hope we’ll get her back soon. Voodoo says she wants the doily set in carbonite so that when she dies it can be combined with her leg pin into ‘some sort of sick trophy and bequeathed to CCR’.

doily2

Thank you to CCR for organising such a superb event, and for all your support during this traumatic episode. Unfortunately, Voodoo isn’t the only Rollerbilly to sustain damage recently, so to honour our constantly falling comrades and to lighten the tone, here is an INJURY QUIZ!

Questions 1, 2, 3: Whose asses are these?

asses

Question 4: Whose leg is this? Question 5: who destroyed this helmet? Question 6: What the f*ck is this?

injuries quiz





We love guest skating!

3 11 2009

Saturday 17th October was an eventful day for us. Whilst some of the team were in Birmingham for Grange Hell (on which more later), Hermaphroditie, Darmonatrix, and Tara Bitch Down were guest skating for our TEA mates, the Bedfordshire Rollergirls, against the Royal Windsor Rollergirls. It was a first bout experience for a lot of women on the track, and although BRG got into their stride in the second period, Windor’s experience won out with a final score of 168 – 60. Huge thanks to BRG for letting some Rollerbillies join you for your first bouting, well done to both sides, and happy 2nd birthday to Windsor!

montage

Thanks to Daryl Seeley for the photos!





NICE ASS. Want to hit me with it?

2 09 2009

The Rollerbillies are recruiting – and we want you to join us! Our team has gone from strength to strength over the last year – we’ve been part of the awesome Team East Angrier, we’ve done a bit of guest skating, we’ve celebrated our first birthday, and we’ve been to some great bouts. We’ve had a lot of fun meeting new people, learning more skills, knocking each other over, and sinking ever deeper into our torrid love affair with roller derby. We’ll be playing our first bout against Glasgow Roller Girls’ Maiden Grrrders on October 31st, and we’re looking forward to getting out there and playing more teams in the year to come.

If you’re interested in roller derby, come and meet us! It’s an amazing sport, and the UK scene is full of inspiring people – come and be part of it! You’re welcome to come along to a training session to watch, we can lend you equipment if you want to try it out for real, and we can teach you to skate. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm. And if you’re interested in supervising or facilitating the hurly burly rather than being in the thick of it, we’re also looking for referees and non-skating officials. Get in touch!

You can leave a comment here on the blog, or email us at info@rollerbillies.com. You can also check out videos and more information on the game on our about roller derby and how to play pages.

flyer aug09





About time!

23 08 2009

Another super double bout experience, derby fans – this time it’s the lovely Glasgow Roller Ghouls‘ travel team, the Irn Bruisers, against Manchester’s Rainy City Rollergirls. And us! We’re playing GRG’s B Team, in our first bout as the Rollerbillies. This means our newbie skaters who didn’t get to play as part of Team East Angrier at Roll Britannia – and Violet, who trained the hardest and then got the stupid swine flu – will be skating in front of scary paying public people for the first time. Exciting! We won’t be in gold spandex, but it’ll be Halloween, so we can dress up as zombies. Which are sort of green, and probably love leopard print (who doesn’t?), so that’s perfect. We can’t wait!

carrie on skating





Disco not Tesco!

12 08 2009

On Saturday, Violet, Quad, and Mollie headed down to get stroppy with Tesco about their plans to turn our former venue, the ex-Mill Road Social Centre, into an objectionable supermarket. Tesco still don’t have the requisite planning permission to trade on or deliver to the site, but they claim they’re opening the store anyway. So now they’re getting sued for making a mockery of the planning process and endangering public safety in Romsey. Go Romsey! We thought we might meet some angry women at the protest, so we headed on over with flyers. No such luck, but we did see this angry dog: obviously so annoyed at Tesco that he glued a sign to his own fur. And later at the museum, we saw a woman who had a leopard crawling out of her ass. We resisted the urge to mug her for her trousers, but we did give her a flyer.

random montage





TEAM! EAST! ANGRIER!

24 07 2009

Tournament time! Team East Angrier were drawn against the two longest standing leagues in the tournament – London Rollergirls and Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls.  Lucky us! After the swirly gold special effects wore off, we did start to doubt that She-Ra’s good advice and our gold spandex were going to get us out of it alive. We may be powered by unicorns, but we were shitting ourselves.

However, taking the philosophical view, when we saw derby for the first time we weren’t thinking ‘let’s do this so we can win and get prizes!’ We were just thinking LET’S DO THIS. As X-Ray pointed out, LRG are the reason we got into derby; we started skating hoping one day we’d be good enough to play them. So all we needed to do was take the ‘be good enough to’ out of that sentence, and our dreams had come true.

melee

jam mollie

And anyway, 12 teams of skaters would be coming to London to make history. History! So we put aside our (very real) fears of being snapped like twigs, and embraced the momentousness of the occasion. And the excuse to make badges. Or, in Bettie and Cherry’s case, the excuse to make a SCARY GOLDEN ZENTAI MONKEY. It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the making art.

happy us

Aside from the making art, it’s a bit blurry. We did a bit of hitting, we took a lot of hits, we went down, we got up, we had a laugh, did some shouting, Munchin delivered the transition whips, and we even scored some points. It’s true: we played LRG and we scored some points! It wasn’t like in our nightmares at all. The crowd were amazing, Voodoo make a kick ass unicorn flag, our crew waved it, Bane-ana was our mascot (we are now a bit in love with him), and we wore our seriously tasteful gold leggings. We loved it. We loved being part of it. And we sold all our shirts. Does it get better than this?

awesome montage

And the final score?

this woulda been great

Not really. LRG exceeded the scoreboard’s capacity to display points. Le sigh. Voodoo says she’s going to get 11 tattooed on her ass.

If you missed out on Roll Britannia, go kick yourself. Or better still, get a rollergirl to kick you in the shins with her big old skates on. Failing that, watch the trailer by Baron Von Strange and just weep quietly. If you look carefully you may see some shots of us falling down. Score!

So yep, at the time it was a bit terrifying, but now it’s just awesome. Want to be having the time of your life? UK derby is the place to be right now. Y’all are going to look back on this some day and it’ll be like that weepy scene at the end of A League of Their Own where the old ladies are in the baseball hall of fame. Your knees may be busted and your legs may be partially made of metal, but your grandkids will be impressed.

Thank you to LRG and Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls for being so great on the track – and props to SVRG for having great defense, and the most respectable LRG points differential of the entire tournament. As usual, massive thanks to the LRG crew, this time for making European derby history and bringing Sunday’s games to a worldwide audience – and for inviting me to help boutcast LRG vs BBDD for DNN.

And, inevitably, congratulations to London Brawling for becoming Europe’s official roller derby champions! You are indeed awesome, but we may have to insist you go calling to some more, uh, faraway towns. Europe can’t handle it. But in the glass-half-full sense, pitted against you, we all score roughly the same. We are one derby nation, equal under LRG.

glory teshi

Team East Angrier would also like to thank our sponsor and landlord, Dave, for sponsoring our tasteful kit. We love you Dave. And we also love Pat the Butcher for making us bags of spangly panties.

All the ace photos here were taken by Andy Stubbs, Teshi Tailor, Neal Humphris, and Daz. Cheers guys!





Get Angrier!

20 06 2009

Cast your mind back to March: it was cold, and summer was ages away. The Rollerbillies were debating whether or not to field a team for Roll Britannia. Just when we’d figured we wouldn’t have enough skaters for a roster, the pub lit up with golden lightening and our fairy godmother appeared. “Oh Rollerbillies,” she said, “you shall go to the Tournament!” Golden sparkles filled the air and five skaters appeared. “Behold!” said She-ra, “from the distant kingdom of Bedford, the Brawlin’ Angels Rollergirls will aid you in your quest – and with your forces combined, you will be TEAM EAST ANGRIER!”

“Awesome!” we replied, “but what will we wear?”

“White and gold works for me”, said She Ra, “but you know what, I think some leopard print spandex would really complete the look.”

Such a vision! Our eyes glazed over with rapture as She Ra mounted Swift Wind, and the pub was filled with white light and swirly gold special effects. “You have the power!” she cried, and was gone.

And so it was that Team East Angrier entered Roll Britannia. Inspired by the awesomeness of our new team mates and bestowed with She Ra’s magical powers, we have developed super human strength, acquired catlike agility – and achieved dazzling styling sophistication. We’re ready! Really! Can’t wait! Rarrr!

TEA1 gold small

team bw