Coven – Undead, Undead, Undead! @ Elektrowerkz, London

Date: 26 March 2018
Review by Bob Davidson
Photography by Ryan Whitwell / Shotison

WARNING: This review features images and descriptions of an adult nature.

For those who haven’t heard of it before, Coven has been in existence for nearly two years. It aims to be “London’s only immersive performance night inspired by the occult”, which is probably difficult to argue with.

Coven at Eletrowerkz London
Foxy

It’s located in Slimelight. I imagine if you’re reading this that Slimes needs no explanation, but just in case, it’s the world’s longest running goth club, so far as I understand. If you need directions, you come out of Angel tube, turn left three times and it’s behind the bins. Anyway, we rocked up around 8pm (turning up to Slimes in daylight is bloody weird…) ready for the first act.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
DJ Parma Ham

After sourcing the obligatory beer and seat, we were entertained by DJs Parma Ham (a Lilliputian fellow, who is literally 50% hair, and apparently having an argument with the EU for the rights to his name [didn’t want to ask about Brexit]) and Dani Darko.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Dani Darko

Somewhat fittingly they played Danse Society’s ‘Heaven is Waiting’ whilst we … well … waited.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Foxy and Lucius

First up were Foxy and Lucius – the couple who run Coven. No description of their appearance could really do them justice, but at a push, on this particular evening, I’d say Foxy was a dapper Uncle Fester (the College years) and Lucius some sort of Pagan royalty.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Lucius

Foxy was on the theremin – which he had only owned for three weeks, and given that the theremin is notoriously difficult to play, this is bloody impressive – and Lucius the violin (I’m guessing he’d had it for more than three weeks). Together they conjured an abstract version of something I found reminiscent of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was enthralling.Coven at Electrowerkz London

 

Foxy then proceeded to perform ‘Black Friday’ as a theremin solo (see above, wtf?) with a background of politically charged images. He described it as a ‘postmodern zombie performance’. It was as deliciously pretentious as it sounds, but with the right level of humour and insight to mean I was genuinely a little sad when it ended.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Nosferatu

I suggest you see the video of Arran Shurvington’s ‘Nosferatu’ here. I don’t really recommend people go on bollocks like BGT, but in this case I’ll make an exception as I’d love to see what they say. Coven at Electrowerkz LondonHe moves, (deliberately) comically, with the grace and limberness of a well-trained ballet performer, to various pop music, dressed as Nosferatu. It’s fucking fantastic.Coven at Electrowerkz London

 

Nicoletta Wylde then gave us a somewhat harrowing, powerful and vaguely erotic reading. It was in all parts moving, and as much reminiscent of abuse as anything else. I’d hate to transcribe meaning on to something, but you can, and should, check her out.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Nicoletta Wylde

There’s an ineffable quality that people either have or don’t when giving spoken word type performances. Nicoletta has it.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Elegance and Violence

 

Elegance and Violence then performed a wonderful BDSM performance, involving one cutting the other out of a black bin/body bag cocoon (and quite a lot more). Coven at Electrowerkz LondonI found this possibly the most compelling piece of the evening. Taught, with a sense of dread, it was delivered with panache and managed to avoid the pitfalls of basic cabaret titillation.Coven at Electrowerkz London

Deadcuts finished the evening off. Should you not be aware of them, they’ve supported some seriously big names and have a very cool post-punk sound, but with an energy not often seen.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Deadcuts

I remember thinking that they reminded me a bit of Junior Manson Slags, but I’ll be honest, I was relatively shitfaced by this point, so perhaps not the best yardstick.

 

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Deadcuts

I will say they rocked and I thoroughly enjoyed my little boogie clutching a can of Red Stripe.

Coven at Electrowerkz London
Deadcuts

I’ll be Spotifying the shit out of them in the very near future.Coven at Electrowerkz London

 

Then it was Slimelight. And we all know how that goes. And how it ends: far too late on the Sunday night with a load of randoms in your living room.Coven at Electrowerkz London

Every time I used to go to Slimelight (very rarely now) it would always be as much about the getting ready as the actually being there. You’d spend all Saturday evening at home, putting on tunes etc, then finally make it around 1am. For God’s sake, if this is still you, don’t do that. You’re missing a spectacular array of acts – some foetally new, some well-established – ready to give you an unforgettable arty, musical and philosophical experience. Coven at Electrowerkz LondonThe beauty of evenings like this is to share experiences that are simultaneously ephemeral and eternal, offering a real vestige for creativity and experimentation in an increasingly corporate and commercial world. Good on Foxy and Lucius for striving to keep evenings like this going.Coven at Electrowerkz London

 

Share