VENUE THE UNION CHAPEL, LONDON DATE 17/08/2018
It’s been 40 years since film director Dario Argento appointed fellow Italian horror maestro Claudio Simonetti and his band Goblin to score the cult film Suspiria.
To celebrate the highly venerated classic movie’s anniversary, Simonetti and his black-clad musicians are performing the infamous film music score live, in front of a seated audience in a church.
The Union Chapel’s perfectly preserved gothic revival architecture is an ideal setting for Goblin’s ghoulish tunes. Atmospherically lit up with dark red spotlights and the flicker of candlelight, the renovated, award-winning venue has become a trendy holy haven for alternative music enthusiasts.
As the bustling crowd of goths, proggers and horror buffs squeeze into the last remaining seats on the pews in a full house of God, you almost forget the location’s primary Anglican function. However, we’re quickly reminded that there’s no bar – this is strictly a tea-andbiscuits kind of place.
After a false start due to a minor technical issue with the projector, much to Simonetti’s amusement, the quintet launch into the chilling notes of Suspiria’s iconic theme tune, with the film projected on the gigantic screen above the band begins.
In true Italian cinematographic style, the first few minutes of the feature set the theme and we’re propelled into Argento’s 1977’s horror in vivid colour, with dramatic zooming and panning shots.
The repetitive creeping of bells and celesta acts as a forewarning for scenes of shock and gore.
Argento’s use of lighting is visual poetry throughout, enhanced by the music’s interchanging menacing and enchanting melodies. It’s spellbinding.
Prior to the show, Simonetti had warned the crowd that his voice was a little raspy as he was suffering from a cold, yet it actually enhances the terrifying murmurs and shrieks in his gloomy vocals.
As the musicians discreetly navigate the stage in darkness, creating a cacophony of tweaking mandolin, pounding drums and taunting bass, Goblin’s timing alongside the film images is tight, each macabre note hit with accuracy and skill.
While the Union Chapel roars with laughter at some of the mediocre acting and outdated dialogue in Suspiria, the most famous scenes – such as the stained glass hanging, the dog attack and the room of barbed wire – are brought to life by the live band’s performance, noticeably evoking feelings of nervousness among the crowd.
Released four years after Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells appeared in the iconic and hair-raising soundtrack to The Exorcist, Goblin’s Suspiria album remains a pillar of the prog and occult rock genres, as well as a highly respected film score among horror enthusiasts.
TIMING ALONGSIDE THE FILM IMAGES IS TIGHT, EACH
MACABRE NOTE HIT WITH ACCURACY AND SKILL.”
RED LIGHTS, SILVER SCREEN: GOBLIN SOUNDTRACK DARIO ARGENTO’S CLASSIC IN STYLE.
SOUND AND VISION: THE BAND AND BIG SCREEN INTHE UNION CHAPEL.