Bonfires burning bright, pumpkin faces in the night
Yes, its Halloween again when strange creatures with facemasks come knocking on doors demanding candy.
A band which is never short of a facemask or two is our local macabre music specialists all the way from Witney, das Ghoul. They played full throttle at Klub Kakofanney in December 2018 and smashed out a dozen numbers in the space of thirty minutes. This is one of their longer songs from that night, a full two and a half minutes long, and its called "Something wrong with Sarah-Jane".
Bonfires burning bright
Bonus points if you recognised the subject of this email as lyrics from "Halloween", a song written and performed by US punk band The Misfits back in 1981. It has been covered by quite a few bands, including Alkaline Trio, The Dropkick Murphys, and Cradle Of Filth, but my favourite cover version is this polished performance from the Canadian band The Creepshow.
Hellfreaks and the Boogieman
Horror and psychobilly is a surprisingly rich sub-genre of the music scene, and often very stylish too. One of the best bands to come out of Hungary in recent years is Hellfreaks, and this terrific video, Boogieman, which comes from early in their career definitely deserves to be played on Halloween.
Slapping the psychobilly out of the bass
Another great example of the genre comes from the Danish slap-bass psychobilly band Horrorpops, formed in 1996. The footage in this video comes mostly, I think, from their 2005 world tour, and it features the song Walk Like A Zombie. Go on, put on a ra-ra skirt and stagger around the living room zombie-style. You know you want to.
The zombie horde
Do you want to know what a horde of zombies looks like? The first psychobilly band to come out of Chile in South America was Voodoo Zombie. Their debut single in 2007, "pyscho love" became a zombie-infested million-view youtube video. The prophetic track Pandemia in 2010 is a tale of a global pandemic which grows exponentially. And in 2012 they headlined the Zombie Festival in Santiago when 12,000 zombies turned out to support them. The imagery from that day is brilliant, but be warned, it is not for the squeamish.
It was a graveyard smash
There are so many great Halloween-themed songs but I started this mail talking about The Misfits, so let's finish with them as well. There is a record that gets exhumed every year by the mainstream radio stations and that record is Monster Mash. You must know it, it was a graveyard smash. Written back in 1962 by a Boris Karloff impersonator, Bobby Pickett, it was released under the name Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers. Personally, I much prefer this high-energy cover version released by The Misfits in 1997. How many monsters do you recognise in this monochrome movie mash-up?
There was an article about Monster Mash in NME just a couple of days ago, where the writer asks why it is such a Halloween perennial and concludes it is simply because: "aside from Thriller and the Ghostbusters theme song, how many good Halloween songs are there?" Really NME? Really? Is that the best you can do? Sigh.
Zocial distanze for zombies?
Oxford city is now in Tier 2, which means no sharing your pumpkins with people outside your household, don't turn into a zombie, and more importantly, don't turn anyone else into a zombie either.