Halloween. Doesn’t it just fill you with visions of skimpily dressed “Zombies”, white face paint and slightly off taste pop culture costumes? Spine chilling. Yet on Halloween there was one place where we could all escape from the raft of promotional blood syringe shots, Everisland’s Hallows Ritual, where a delightfully macabre evening was being prepared for us all to revel in, the Kazamier had been turned into a coven and we were promised druids, death and “Horror Punk”.
On arrival it became clear that Everisland had once again pulled no punches in their themes. The Kazamier had been swathed in occult trinkets, the bar was staffed by skeletons, though I was sceptical of the house fortune teller who told me mine included having a good night. The crowd had taken a hint from the promoters and had arrived arrayed in all their finery, including a giant party robot with flashing lights (which I had the pleasure of seeing being reassembled in the bathroom after “operational necessities”) an impressive alien headdress, myriad sugar skulls ( AKA “couldn’t be bothered to get a costume”) and an incredibly unpleasant burns victim.
All of this costumed capering was being soundtracked by the pick of Liverpool’s slightly more profane acts, Nadine Carina‘s loops and echoed hymnal vocals starting the evening before it progressed neatly into Sankofa’s woozy and tripped out psychadelia, swirling the crowd neatly into a dancing spirit. As the echoes died away the crowd was greeted by one of Everisland’s genuinely disturbing little tricks; groups of faceless black clad druids circled through the crowd before snatching a dancer and performing a bloody shadow puppet sacrifice on stage. Bird cheerfully wipe the blood off their guitars and begin what was to be the highlight of my night. Hauntingly ethereal, their beautiful pop-noir perfectly merged with the vibe and left most of the crowd spell-bound to their achingly impressive vocals, voices rising clean and clear through the Kazamier’s mist and the crowd’s slightly drunken haze.
Hackles raised, Zombina and the Skeletones launch into a b-movie inspired punk pit. Fast paced and deferential to the evening they throw song after song of horror themed three chord tunes into the crowd, interrupted only by the arrival of the devil himself (possibly) and a massive dog headed demon who proceeded to dance his way through the rest of the set, culminating in an unlikely dance off with the party robot. When Lovecraft take to the stage for the final set of the night, everything was getting hazy again, a well formed fuzz drifting slowly before it dropped out into a more traditional bass driven melody, pushing through their occult referencing lyrics boomed in macabre basso.
As I later pushed out into the night, I wandered past the remnants of those costumed casualties now lolling outside the chart spewing clubs of Concert Square. I was suitably uplifted in the dark night to know that there are some places in Liverpool that know how to bring off not just a gig, but an atmosphere.
/Louis van Kleeff