Guide We Own the Night Way of the Vampire

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Her friend has pushed her into approaching us to be included, and have their photos taken too, she tells us. What is it about The Damned that has created such fanatics? There have been two press releases sent out recently.

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For the uninitiated, the Hammer film company started life in just a few minutes walk away in nearby Regent Street. By the s it had relocated to the legendary Hammer House, Wardour Street. And thus the legendary vampire slayer Professor Van Helsing would pursue his bloodthirsty adversary in Dracula and numerous sequels. In he married Florence Balcombe and the couple moved to London, where he would work as business manager at The Lyceum Theatre for the next 20 years.

In this prominent position he was part of The Daily Telegraph literary staff and wrote numerous works of fiction. He spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires before publishing Dracula in Although the book received critical acclaim, it was not a bestseller and Stoker died in near poverty. On hearing of the release of Nosferatu starring Max Schreck in , Balcombe launched a legal dispute with the German production company.

Despite winning the case, the company declared bankruptcy and she was not paid. She did however grant rights for successful theatrical runs in England and the US. And it was with Bela Lugosi in the title role that the play premiered in New York in It would be Lugosi and his characteristic Hungarian accent that would set the gold standard for vampires with his film performance for the next three decades.

A huge gantry has been erected on the stage tonight, designed to look like the pillared entrance to a cavernous tomb. Circus of Horrors has warmed up the crowd. And now behind, dominating the proceedings, is an enormous screen running a classic Hammer clip of a fanged Christopher Lee peering through ruined cathedral columns, with a blood-red colour wash.


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First to appear is Monty Oxymoron to play the slow, haunting, piano introduction Beauty of the Beast. The rich baritone of Vanian drifts in from the wings, at the same time as a slouched figure shuffles the full length of the stage, dressed in a mini-top hat, white frilled cravat, suit and tails. A cheer goes up as The Captain takes his place in front of the mini-orchestra pit which rises up the left hand side of the gantry. His Victorian undertaker look is given an air of cyberpunk by his sunglasses and bright green Converse.

Wait for the Blackout fires up. A figure in ghostly makeup, wearing a black Tricorn hat and riding coat steps out. It spins and struts, rocking backwards as if astride some invisible galloping mount. Looking like a character from the American gothic horror Sleepy Hollow , Paul Gray slings a long-necked Rickenbacker bass. A silhouetted Castle Dracula swept by fast moving black clouds is on the screen as Vanian dressed as the classic Bel Lugosi-style vampire in morning suit, white waistcoat and bowtie, cape and slicked back hair, emerges from behind the black curtain of the crypt.

He takes centre stage and the crowd roars as his voice fills the hall. Symbolically, this song is the opening track on The Black Album Vanian motions to the upper tiers of the auditorium, sweeping his hand upwards, twirling and flailing his cloak in perfectly synchronised swirls. He comes down to the edge of the extended lower stage, up close to the front row. I can see Philippa, the art director, she is standing, rocking, flailing her hair.

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I Vant To Upend Your Expectations

The first half in my mind, leans towards the 80s post-punk Goth side of the band. It climaxes in a wonderful version of Eloise in which the mini orchestra conducted by a Vanian, completely in his element, really comes into its own. And draws to a close with the magnificent Curtain Call in its full 18 minute splendour.

After the interval, what appears to be Vanian still in his Lugosi outfit comes on, but is murdered by a Nosferatu character who turns out to be the real Dave. He has only gone and shaved his head half way through the show! Creatively, it seems the band are also at their zenith.

Chained by Night

Sensible, much loved for his gobby banter, appears almost deferential this evening which allows Vanian to truly shine. The frontman long ago perfected his Vampire stage persona. And tonight, as he elegantly ascends and descends the gantry, cape flying, eyes flaming, his sharpened teeth bared, we see the full repertoire of his well-practiced movie mannerisms in all their glory.


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  6. We are delighted by a fluid blend of music, performance and cinematic imagery. Quite literally, our cup runneth over with blood, gore and gags. The orchestra lay down their bows as Vanian stumbles backwards to the crypt and lays down in his coffin.

    The dying cymbal crashes of Black is the Night draw the entertainment to an end as he pulls the lid closed on himself. He turns to the drummer up on the gantry, now standing, waving, fangs gleaming. He has decided that this will be his final show as one of The Damned. He descends the stairway to take the mic and say his farewells and thank yous to a warm, cheering standing ovation. Being in a band is a collaborative affair, I think, but surely only a man who has spent over forty years dressed as a vampire would have the audacity and drive to see a project like this through to its completion.

    Only a fanatic, I say to myself. And then it dawns on me that I have the answer to my earlier question about Philippa, the art director and the other two thousand who have travelled from far and wide. The Damned are renowned for being the first punk band to release a single, New Rose in , and perhaps, after tonight, they will earn their vampire Guinness record. But perhaps historically something more significant has happened this evening. The Damned is a punk band standing on the threshold of musical theatre.

    Photo gallery:. All words by Phil Ross. If a vampire drinks too much of a person's blood, and kills them, he absorbs part of that person's spirit, and keeps some of their memories and personality traits alive.

    What We Do in the Shadows - Wikipedia

    They are often called "the walking dead" and "the undead", most probably because they like sleeping in coffins. Crosses and holy water do not hurt them. Neither does garlic. They can enter churches. So, for every ten years that pass, they only grow one year older. Half-vampires age at one-fifth the human rate. However, vampires are closely bonded with rats and bats and wolves. Some legends claim that vampires are descended from wolves, the same way that humans are descended from apes.

    I Vant To Upend Your Expectations

    Except in a plane! But most vampires are nervous fliers!!!! They don't have extra sharp fangs. If they do, the blood of these animals will make them sick.