Corsica Studios, London
31 October 2010
Its Samhain, the time to dress as ghosts and devils, a time to watch reruns of old Boris Karloff films and listen to wind howling over bleak moors. However, I am doing none of these things. I’m at Elephant and Castle (ok, not too dissimilar to a bleak moor) about to see two Frenchmen [post=zombie-zombie-play-john-carpenter text=”play the back catalogue of 80s horror auteur John Carpenter“].
I was already a fan of Zombie Zombie’s work. Their album A Land For Renegades, a melting pot of 70s Goblin, Gallic disco and dark industrial oddness, is a must for anyone interested in modern electronica. The unfortunate thing is the name clash with Canada’s Zombi, another duo based around keyboards and drums that also mines similar progressive rock territory – which seems to baffle record shop owners when you try and ask for their records.
Corsica is bustling but certainly not packed for such a night of spooky goings on. The first act is Dave I.D.; he produces some interesting noises and at times strays into ambient soundscapes. However, this appears to be all performed on a laptop, and I certainly don’t feel that someone sitting behind a laptop playing sampled sounds constitutes much of a live ‘performance.’ The second act on are Solina Hi-Fi who played good standard early 80’s style indie rock that verges more towards Joy Division in sound. Even though they had all the set pieces there (guitar and keyboard sound) there was something missing from their performance and the songs just didn’t quite gel.
So to the headliners; Etienne Jaumet stood behind a bank of keyboards that were a mixture of old analogue and modern digital and began to play a low drone bass note. Cosmic Neman (what a name!) sat behind an array of drums that would have made Neal Peart of Rush envious and began a plodding beat that slowly worked into the opening of Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 soundtrack. This was frenetically played, a mixture of Carpenter’s original and progressive drum and keyboard wig outs that would give the guys from Goblin a run for their money. At the end of the number the band didn’t pause for breath as they made their way through their set. The highlight for such a night was obviously the soundtrack to Halloween and this got the biggest response from the audience. It was played with such intensity you forgot that it was written as a soundtrack piece as it hurled into its final section of deep Moogs and percussive flourishes.
All too soon though the set was over and I made my way back home, glancing over my shoulder occasionally to make sure no maniac in a William Shatner mask was following me.