Vampires setting fire to the Pope, Japanese girls suckling blood from freshly razor-bladed arms and a reading from the Necronomicon: must be Friday night in Camden then.
Londonist is a little like Mae West in that we'll try anything once (twice if we like it, three times to make sure) so we couldn't really say no to a chance to see Theatres des Vampires do their thing this weekend, aptly enough, at The Underworld. To be honest we were never huge fans of the old singer Alexander so we were glad to hear that he was gone (fell on a stake or something) and that Sonya would be taking over all the vocal duties. That she tends not to wear much has nothing to do with it - we just prefer Gregorian chanting when lead by a woman. Those monks have had their own way for far too long and Londonist is all about equal opportunities.
Things got off to a shaky (but very Spinal Tap) start when after a few minutes of ominous Omen like opening music the band walked out onto the stage only to find that none of their equipment was working. The PA kicked back in while the band avoided eye contact with the audience and evil roadies checked that evil leads were plugged into the correct evil sockets and that no holy water had got sprinkled onto anything...
The scariest member of the band has got to be Robert (or Morgoth to his mates) because while the rest of the band love wearing masks and quickly take them off to reveal bad makeup, the guitarist just loves dressing like a cowboy. A vampire cowboy, of course, but not in a good Near Dark way. The rest of the band are satisfied with body armour (holding in Fabian's beer gut behind the keyboards) and the Marilyn Manson thing that Zimon has going on.
I doubt the guys would mind admitting that all eyes were on Sonya once she took the stage in a flourish of capes and PVC underwear. Goth metal, death metal, vampire metal... whatever. She still sounds like Kate Bush on speed. In fact doesn't Kate Bush also have the word HELL carved into her stomach?
At one point we were a little bemused when Sonya asked us to "drink her fuck", but we figured out it was a rhetorical question when she pulled out an inverted crucifix and got all Linda Blair on us. Theatrics aside it was a decent gig - loud music, fishnets and bustiers as far as the eye could see and an interesting array of t-shirt back-prints to read. But we must confess to a weakness for theatrics at a metal show...
So we got a picture of the new Nazi-Pope, quickly despatched to the flames followed by enough dry ice to make Jack the Ripper feel at home, a reading from the Necronomicon (which naturally also burst into flames) and Sonya finished the set by drinking something red and gloopy from a large chalice... although she needs to slow down with that as she got most of it down her cleavage. The bit we really liked was when she opened her arm with a razorblade and let some of the kids at the front have a taste. It certainly looked real enough, but then again we always thought Paul Daniels was a dark mage.
Support came from the decidedly anaemic Bloody Mary whose thing seemed to be dressing up like Tim Burton characters and then singing like Gary Numan. We didn't like them.
More pics can be found here.