It’s been a while since I posted. I think I’m still recovering.
I think myself quite lucky as my birthday falls on October 31st. I’m not sure if having a Halloween birthday is why I’ve always been so taken with the darker side of things, but I’m sure it helped fuel the fire of my love for all things macabre, weird and generally left of centre.
This year, to celebrate my 34th birthday, I decided I was going to do something special. Several months ago Death Waltz Recording Company in partnership with Paint it Black announced that they would be hosting a unique event which seemed tailor-made for me, and it was going to take place slap bang on my birthday! They would be bringing the legendary Italian composer Fabio Frizzi to London for his first ever UK concert and it would be taking place at the Union Chapel in Islington. I’m not going to go into huge detail about who Frizzi is, as the internet can do that for me, but in my opinion his collaborations with director Lucio Fulci are up there will other composer/director relationships like Hitchcock & Herrmann or Spielberg & Williams.
My parents kindly offered to buy my tickets as a present (thanks Ma!), my beautiful and long-suffering wife said she was ok with me abandoning her and our two children for the duration of my trip, and my equally long-suffering friends agreed to accompany me to the gig. All was set!
Boarding the train bound for King’s Cross at Inverkeithing, I found my seat and prepared for the journey. Even in these days of high speed international flights where you’re propelled around the other side of the world in a relatively short space of time, I’m still amazed that you can hop on a train in a small town in Fife and find yourself in England’s capital city in under 5 hours. Mental. My co-conspirator Mark boarded at Haymarket Station in Edinburgh, and we were off. Within minutes, along with the words “I know we’re too old for birthday presents, but…” Mark presented me with this:
And things went from great to greater pretty rapidly! Jumping forward a few hours we arrived in London, met our mutual friends Baz and Kyle and headed out to Union Chapel. The venue was amazing. A tremendously impressive building that was the perfect setting for this musical extravaganza, filled to the gunnels with like-minded fans.
To my surprise, the first person I spoke to once we got inside was Spencer Hickman, founder of Death Waltz! He was standing by the merchandise stall saying very nice things about One Way Static’s inaugural release of The Last House on the Left soundtrack by David Hess. I had to tell him I’d already ordered a copy, but Mark and I rushed to buy a couple of glow in the dark Death Waltz slipmats to do our bit, as it were.
After a few quick beers we sat down and the show began. And it was fantastic. A brilliant set-list taking in all the classic Frizzi/Fulci scores accompanied by video imagery of classic scenes of grue and brain fat! To be perfectly honest I hadn’t seen all of the films that figured in the set (I will, I promise!), but that didn’t matter as the sheer quality of the music by Frizzi and his band, accompanied by the wonderful atmosphere created by the crowd and venue lifted the whole proceedings from a concert for ‘fans’ to something that anyone could enjoy no matter their genre credentials. My friends certainly aren’t as up on Frizzi as I am and there was an element of flying blind for them, but they left feeling properly ‘wowed’ by the whole evening. I also felt really happy that they trusted me enough to go along for the ride!
So what a trip it was and it didn’t end there. We went onto some pubs…and things get hazy for me after that but we all survived that night to go on and enjoy ourselves the next day, taking in more sights and sounds and beers.
So finally some thank-yous.
Thanks again to my Mum and Dad for the tickets and to my wife and children for putting up with my foibles.
Thanks to Death Waltz, Paint it Black and the Union Chapel for putting on such an amazing shindig.
Thanks to Fabio Frizzi and his fabulous band for sending us on a discombobulating psychotronic trip into the netherworld!
And finally thanks to the trio of blokes who really made the trip what it was – a motley crew of best friends making the most of their sadly all too limited time together. Let’s get together again as soon as possible guys. You really made it a birthday to remember.