Schattenspiel – Medieval Gothic Event @ The Pack and Carriage, London

5th March 2016
Review by Jacob Ovington


In London, we have goth nights and we have metal nights. Most of the former don’t play any metal at all, while most of the latter don’t play any of the kinds of metal that many goths enjoy the most. This leaves a huge gap in the scene, with no gothic, symphonic or folk metal played anywhere at all and lots of fans thirsty for a night that does. On the odd occasion it rears its head, the dark medieval event, Schattenspiel fills that gap.

Taking place at the Pack and Carriage, formerly Elixir, on Eversholt Street near Euston, the event has an intimate and friendly atmosphere. Starting early at 8pm, I can count the people present on one hand and the night opens gently with the softer sounds of dark medieval folk music – otherwise known as Mittelalter. One track that stood out at this point was an interesting folk cover of Covenant’s ‘One World One Sky’, performed by Unto Ashes.

As the night goes on, the busier it gets and the small venue is almost bursting at the seams. It seems to be the gothic metal classics from early Tristania and Theatre of Tragedy that really fill the floor, with some people exclaiming, “they never play this anywhere!” The rest of the music is great too with a wide range of dark genres. We are also treated to songs from Nightwish and Within Temptation covering the symphonic metal ground. The eclectic mix of music goes together really well, making the night a unique experience.

Ending at 2am, it’s over before we know it and there’s a feeling that many people would be happy to stay until 3 or even 4. There are medieval sounds here and there, but Schattenspiel is more of a best of what they don’t play anywhere else in London event than a purely medieval event. It’s an atmospheric night with lots of dark and atmospheric music, the only downside is how early it finishes and that it hasn’t been a regular night for some time. Hopefully the next one will come around a lot sooner!