Monday, January 15, 2007
Alien Sex Fiend's 25th anniversary show
It's 1984. We're in a car driving to my parents house. In the car is my best friend Frank, a female friend of his who is driving and G. We've been staring each other out for a while at the local punk parties. I don't know whether G. is straight or gay but he told me I look good. I've got black hair for the first and only time in my life. We sneak into my room, it's late and my room is right next to my parents bedroom. We have to be quiet. G. sits himself down on the floor in the corner just beyond the door and takes a cassette out of his black leather jacket. He says he likes it cos it's so "kaputt", so totally screwed up. It's Alien Sex Fiend's "Acid Bath", we play a few tracks and my mom pops in. She tells us to keep it down but she impressed G. by being reasonably friendly. I just want to do whatever he wants to do. I'm so fascinated. Later in the car he starts making vaguely insulting comments about Franks female friend in a sort of jokey way, noone's sure whether he actually means it. We are playing the tape again.
Another party, this time at Franks house. The punk scene in our small city is there but also the Goths, everyone knows each other vaguely. We play The Cure's "The Top" nonstop, singing along. A lot of people seem to have suddenly got really into the Cure at that point. Some of the punks get pissed off. Later we go to the local cemetery. We drive up there in cars, climb over the gates and wander around. People start nicking the candles, and I walk with G. holding a candle underneath his face. He looks really spooky like that. His parents are Italian and he has a handsome, Mediterranean face, like an Italian new wave James Dean. His black hair is short at the back but long in front and always slicked up into a kind of horn sticking out in front of his face. We walk and bond like that and i will always remember his face, looking like a ghost. Holding a candle underneath someone's face in the dark creates an eerie effect, I found out that night. When we came back to Franks house, one of the punks had broken "The Top" in two and had left the pieces of broken vinyl in front of the house, a dramatic gesture, haha. I still think about these times a lot.
Last Saturday Alien Sex Fiend played their 25th anniversay show in London. I'd never seen them so I went with my friend Steve. It wasn't very good but there was a sense of occasion about the event. The audience looked fabulous. The original Batcave look is still very much a force, this slightly cartoon-ish, campy vibe, there were quite a few gay people in the audience too. The DJs played the Virgin Prunes' "Baby Turns Blue" and a lot of people danced and sang along. I think that was my favourite moment of the evening. The stage was draped in spiders webs, there were inflatable bones everywhere that later would get thrown into the crowd, and some trash cans. Nik Fiend still looks like the undead back in 1984, his distinctive zombie face painted white, prancing about wearing a huge hat with cards tacked into the brim. But he was drunk, didn't care and it was pretty shambolic. The beats courtesy of Ms Fiend were alright and kept it together, just about. I read a Poppy Z. Brite novel in which two vampires are playing a gig in a club except it was more their presence that entertained, rather than musical merits. It kinda was like that. Still "kaputt", but vaguely fascinating. Shame about their rendition of "E.S.T. (Trip to the moon)", the one song I really remember from the 1984 days. It lacked something, but hey, I saw it. Above is some really fun footage from the original Batcave. I remember in those days we used to dream about London, and I once said to Frank, sitting on his windowledge as we used to, discussing his next hairstyle, I said: "Hey, we are in London" and in a way I still can't argue with that.