August 01, 2009

GOBLIN: the sound of Argento - live in London

GOBLIN in concert, London, 2009

Anyone who's seen Dario Argento's horror films Suspiria, Tenebrae or Deep Red have heard the music of Italian prog-rockers Goblin. The band also composed and played most of the music for Zombies: Dawn of the Dead (1978). The soundtrack for Suspiria is a prolonged and uniquely scary experience. Wide stereo sighs and whispers surround the unusual strings and pounding percussion.

I've not stopped listening to the Suspiria and Zombies albums for thirty years now. So I'd have kicked myself, viciously and mercilessly, if I'd missed this concert (thanks for the last minute tip, Tony). Goblin played their first ever London gig on July 27th in The Scala, near King's Cross. It's been twenty years since they last played in the UK. Back then, The Scala was my favourite cinema. one that played cheap double bills of 'alternative' movies and lotsa horror films. The programming choices were superb. Where else in London could you see Batman - The Movie (1966) with Barbarella (1968) on a big screen, Frank Henenlotter double-bills, and even John Waters triples, if you were brave enough. You could drink beer in the cinema and put your feet up on the seats. I loved the place.

Seeing it transformed into a concert venue for the first time was weird. The layout inside the main auditorium has changed a lot, but is still recognisable. The stage is roughly where the old screen used to be. While I watched the support band, I realised that it was at The Scala that I'd seen many of Dario Argento's films for the first time. As Goblin played two tracks each from Zombies: Dawn of the Dead, Suspiria, Tenebrae and Deep Red, I was flashing back to seeing the films in the same cavernous room.

I didn't take many photos. If I concentrate on the camera, I'd miss the concert. I also don't use flash, it wipes out the atmosphere, so these photos are the best of the lot.

To say it was a memorable concert is an understatement. They played most of their new album, Back to the Goblin, but the audience whooped when they started with the old favourites. Re-edited clips from the films were projected behind the band. The same images that played on a much larger screen. A few feet further forward, two decades back.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! If I'd know about this concert I'd have been tempted to jump on a plane back to England!! Seriously, Daemonia's gig in Tokyo (released on CD in Japan) a few year's back was one of the best I've ever been to, so would love to see them or Goblin again.