Creatures of The Night @ Ashton Lane

With Pendulum, Foals, Capitals and Boycotts – 29th October

There are a number of things which first raised my suspicions in this Halloween event – The fact that it was run by a massive beer company (down wiv capitalism!), doubts it would be ‘the Halloween party to end them all’ it claimed and I suppose this is just snobbery, but the Pendulum DJ set.

It started of relatively gently with brilliant sets from local bands Boycotts and Capitals. They managed to pull in decent crowds and gave full on performances despite the tiny space of Brel’s conservatory. It does seem like I’m championing the underdog here, but it really is too easy when over at the Grosvenor Café, Pendulum took to the podium to inevitably reign over the whole event.

Yes, I have beef with Pendulum. I just can’t get over their relentless build ups and break downs and constant touring of an album released in 2008 – October must be a quiet time for the band, what with the Fresher’s Week season well and truly finished 2 months ago. Whilst there was an inordinate amount of fist pumping wankers at the front, Pendulum can only be applauded for filling such a large space and getting what felt like 3785 people bouncing simultaneously.

An interesting addition to their set were the caged dancers. A semi- nude man in a skirt gyrating to Propane Nightmares is always entertaining, although just a little awkward when the music cuts and drum n bass babe is transformed to overly ripped bloke hovering beneath some tent poles (sorry, no photos). The gig was fun though and on a day when the main idea is to lighten up and behave like a twat, it was entirely fitting.

Following this, Foals seemed to be set up as an alternative to the boisterous Pendulum and playing last, you could assume that they had a headline position. But the crowd had dwindled both in numbers and capacity to stand upright, meaning everything felt a bit chaotic.  Although Foals are a guitar band, their characteristic fast-paced rhythms are solidly based in dance music, something which Edwin of the band explains: “Our first record was hugely influenced by dance music; I think we’re more comfortable producing our own music now and we’re really into clubbing”. It was quite difficult however to pick out these home grown treats, but they did manage to pin the tone of the night well, with classics from Hot Chip and Daft Punk.

Calling an event Creatures of The Night is asking for it – Millers have set up a joke against themselves there for the real creatures of the night were not the artists or people dressed up and employed to invade the personal space of guests by breathing in their faces in an attempt to be scary, but the reliably drunken, face painted masses of Ashton Lane. And that exactly personifies the merry, hideous idea of Halloween.

Words by Megan Donald

Photos by Jassy Earl

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