Events, Live, O:ZN, Press

[Re-posted from the Emerging Species blog, originally posted on 09/11/11.]

[We asked our friends over at #HEADSKNOW to give us a write up on the DefDFires album launch and they sent back this flattering piece, thanks guys!]

I knew this would be an interesting event from the moment I received my invite, an amusing, albeit dark video invitation from the band themselves, offering me safety and shelter from the immanent threat of an zombie outbreak. The whole thing was very intriguing, the location of the ‘safe-house’ was a secret and I could find nothing online to actually confirm that this was even a music event. Naturally I sent my RSVP.

I received a confirmation email a week before the event that revealed the location and warned me to ‘bring a torch’. Upon arriving to the venue I joined a queue hosted by a haggard looking madman ranting about the apocalypse, wearing a sandwich board reading: “the end is nigh’. I was handed a copy of ‘The Evening Slander‘ – a faux newspaper with the headline: ‘London To Be Evacuated’, it’s stories all were reenforcing the zombie theme, the detail these people have gone to is amazing. Before I had time to take in the details of the paper I was ushered into a small, dark foyer, searched by a giant in a gas-mask and then given my ‘survival kit’. As I got my stamp I heard music from down stairs, I turned on my torch and headed into the darkness…

The hallway was lit with and candles and my torch would catch glimpses of bloodstained writing on the walls. The main area was equally dark, lit by torches and candles, in the center of the room was the London SoundPainting Orchestra playing an unplugged set, their sound gave a real cinematic feel to the dimly lit space and created a very intimate atmosphere. I was offered a cup of tea and drank it whilst opening my survival kit, it’s contents included a foil emergency blanket, tea bags, rizla, plasters and discount code for the album. The place was decorated with bloodstained walls and scrawled messages from DDF, cobwebs hung in each corner and the toilet stall doors were plastered with newspaper cuttings detailing the zombie invasion. There was couple of lads giving survival tips to the punters and a photographer doing mugshots for a catalogue of ‘survivors’, I had my picture taken and was given a print as a souvenir, there was even a stall giving away free clothing. Again, I was blown away by the thought put into all this.

All of a sudden a loud hum filled the venue, the sound system was on. The lighting started to flicker on and the main room was illuminated, the atmosphere instantly became warm and our hosts took to the stage to welcome us all to the shelter and introduce the next act, Death Sound Blues. The three piece played a hefty set sounding somewhere in between Stoner Rock, Blues and Heavy metal, despite the massive contrast from the dim intimacy of the orchestra to this loud, bright, up tempo mayhem, they had the crowd moving from the start. Shortly after their set, the lights cut out again and we heard the first samples of DefDFires’ ‘The Panic‘ begin, the crew took to stage only illuminated by torchlight. By the end of the first track the lights came up to reveal that the venue had been infiltrated by zombies, both in the crowd and attacking the band on stage, this played in with DDF’s theatrics and the set went on. The group thumped out banger after banger from the new album. The deeply electronic and up tempo sound, coupled with the rappers’ intense, quirky energy had us all bouncing until the last song.

After the set DJs took over and I popped into the ‘zombie wardrobe’ to get myself a very genuine looking zombie bite wound, the atmosphere was still warm and the crowd was lively, but I had more than enough input for one night. I stumbled home to sit and read the Evening Slander and wonder to myself: Why don’t more events put in this kind of effort? For Emerging Species it certainly seems to be paying off.