Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Halloween at The Mill

Up on the fifth floor candles illuminated the pathway in, past an accelerated dark cloudy sky. Two men with hands for heads and big hard ons did battle before two portals into an illuminated cardboard universe where a couple of genetic mutations labelled 'mankind' stumbled clumsily onto a new world outside their primitive moonlander. A top secret saucer shaped 'UFO' had landed in a desert looking just like nothing on earth, lights flashing, get frequent now and then. An invasion of cardboard wings bursting from trash led by an insectoid being made of rope and light bulbs was defeated by the invocation of a flaming skull demon summoned by the tarot card death. No need to burn books when you can burn your family! Who makes the nazis?

Down the winding stairwell in the white room, Rachael Goodyear, face painted white and clothed in black, drew on the wall. Lee Patterson fed the sounds of pencil scrawl and sharpening from her wired wrist into an experimental ambient soundscape for two repressive time divisions humans call 'hours.' Rachael drew a disintegratiing skull with teeth wired in red thread; some black hooded clones of herself tethered to a fling seagull; another seagull perched upon a post to which her drawing wrist was also tethered, and a nude self portrait entangled in flowers. Lee made wine glasses hum, coaxed low key dissonance from numerous gadgets and reacted occasionally to peripheral clanks and shuffles in the room from the attentive observers. Occasionally he let silence fail to fall.

Rachael's wall drawings seemed highly narcissistic, which to unenlightened rationalists might be a negative trait. I'd argue that the narcissistic character asserts its own self-esteem and autonomy over repressive time dominated authority and its repressive control mechanisms, including mythical tales. The Greek youth Narcissus mutated into a beautiful flower, which reproduced its image repeatedly beyond one truncated lifetime. The last image on the white wall was a pink rose, still there days after the event was over.

Back up the stairs a five piece rock band known as Headless Check In blasted out a set of Misfits covers. They dressed as the undead and brought a small posse of dancing fans who were to follow them howling into the night as they journeyed through the Mancunian underworld on a quest to play five gigs in five different locations on one night.

In the big gig room DJs got the gathering throng dancing. Zombies, skeletons, a lady with a knife in her head who'd gouged away her Bad Uncle's eyeball, pervy bishops and The Lord of Darkness himself pranced and cavorted to Gang Gang Dance and other dance.

Beyond the smoking yard in the room that was once home to the Ting Tings, a cafe served tapas and warm grog. Gnod body Paddy, in full Arab Sheikh regalia, and Fliss of Golden Lab had a dansette to spin some tunes and Gnod themselves played a severely Butthole Surfer damaged psyche barrage in quartet formation. Despite his guitar amp dying in a bid to lie in the graveyard, Paddy jabbered some garbled gibberish over a two bass pileup and stand up drums battered by a mummy in shades. It was a just a shame they didn't play a bit longer, but nevermind, London beat combo The Oscillation soon cranked out more loud psyche rock in the big gig room, as the place filled up with booze guzzling children of the night. The sun came up and still the music played, in eternal denial of the tyranny of the clock, which had broken because some trickster had poured lager slops over it.

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