Legendary Italian composer and co-founder Claudio Simonetti recently brought his version of Goblin to the UK, and has been playing to packed and rapturous audiences. Catching the band at their Manchester show, this horror fan was, like most of the audience, blown away by the musicianship on display and had more than a few spinal shivers at hearing some of the best and iconic soundtrack music from the golden era of Italian horror played live.
Warming the capacity crowd up was Andy Votel from Finders Keepers records, whose impressive collection of music ranged from giallo to funky '70s soundtracks and more. Coupled with a show reel of classic trailers, some familiar, some very obscure, he kept everyone happy and ready for the main event.
When they finally made it to the tiny stage of Gorilla, the band delivered a set which was rightfully received with an enthusiastic response.
Drawing on a wonderful cross section of their material from the famous soundtracks to Dario Argento films Suspiria and the Italian cut of Romero's Dawn of the Dead/Zombi to tracks from their own studio albums, it was a breathtaking aural experience. However, nothing could prepare one for the sheer brilliance of hearing the thumping bass line for Mad Puppet, from Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). Ending the evening with a rendition of the Demons theme and another from the Dawn/Zombi score, Zaratozom, the band exited, leaving the audience wanting more.
Could it have been better? Well, they could have played the infectious and funky theme from Buio Omega (aka Beyond the Darkness), but that's a minor quibble.
With soundtrack music often relegated to the more stuffy concert halls, played by large orchestras at special 'Proms' type events, it was refreshing and unique to experience in an intimate setting some of the most unique material recorded by a four piece band: loud and in your face.
The band continue their tour into Europe over the coming months; if you get the chance, go to see them. One can only hope they don't leave it too long to return to these shores.