Witchfest, London, November 7th, 2009

by Wintertale

image - see following caption
Photo: Wintertale / StudioRock

November in London. Nice weather (with heavy rain on the night we arrived at the airport) and a long journey to the hotel in Croydon. All to see one great band live for the first time: Inkubus Sukkubus as the band is not keeping too many concerts outside UK and even within they are mostly playing at festivals dedicated to “spiritual themes”.

So as Withchfest International 2009 where they were headliners again (so as in 2007).

The one day festival took place in Croydon, 7th November 2009, South London in Fairfield Halls - big location with more concert halls and theatre, shops etc.

All started around 10 a.m. with various workshops, conferences for different categories of public with different approaches on spirituality. What I found a little funny was to see people calling Jesus name and blaming witchcraft or trying to convert you to different cults and religions in front of the location.

The organization was between the best seen for a festival and the stuff present there was very friendly. I was impressed with their professionalism. Being a wicca and witchcraft organisation they made no kind of pressure or intended to convince anyone about anything. All was very relaxed and the people I met around friendly. The merchandise area was just amazing - stands selling medieval costumes, masks, decorations, books, jewellery and various accessories. You had at what to stare for hours before deciding what kind of souvenir to take home.

The evening was dedicated to entertainment and the bands present did their best. First seen was The Veil - French electro metal band with female leader and an EP released in 2006 “Sleeping Among Serpents” and a Maxi released in 2008 Vestige. Though a little strange for the band genre the public to be seated on chairs in a theatre hall they sounded very promising and enthusiastic. I think we will hear more about The Veil soon. Please check them on:

http://www.myspace.com/theveilonline

Dave Sears- Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica, Chris Hancox- Drums and Julian Eccelstone- Bass are the ones behind the 23 Enigma name. The English band plays an alternative/ psychedelic/ rock and released the album Bad Sign’s (5. December in UK). Their high precision and professionalism were really impressive owning the moment and opening an eye to the inner side.

http://www.myspace.com/davesears

Shush is a two years old rock- pop band from London. Strong female vocals combined with balanced guitars, powerful bass and well fitted drums. Looked like a good band to listen and relax.

http://www.myspace.com/shushsound

The Dolmen- medieval folk rock music with a very relaxed attitude and open spirit made even the eldest ones to gather in front of the stage and dance. Their performance included belly dancers and traditional instruments. More info about them can be found here:

http://www.thedolmen.com/

The melodic punk rock power pop band Kitty Hudson made young people (mostly) move from their seats and gather in front for an energetic musical demonstration. Local band from London, young spirits with a revolted attitude Kitty Hudson raised the noise level with simple and aggressive riffs, screaming vocals and powerful drums. Was the perfect time for a beer break before the headliners.

http://www.myspace.com/kittyhudson

Inkubus Sukkubus were by far the best band of the evening. The pagan goth british band formed in 1989 by Candia Ridley, Tony McKormack, and Adam Henderson had an excellent performance. Professionalism together with simplicity, devotion and deep involving in the seen and unseen arts are just few words haunting my memories now.

It was the first big band I saw to perform live with a drum machine but this became fast an insignificant aspect. First song was Supernature – just well fitted with the festival theme. The playlist was well equilibrated containing mostly old very well known songs as well as few from the newest ones- I will not write down the songs from it here as I posted a picture including it. I watched their show from under stage as I could shoot pictures all the time of the gig so I missed part of the animations running on the screen but I got myself a dedication with one of my favourite Inkubus Sukkubus songs- Heart of Lilith. Comparing to other so many metal and goth bands with female vocals Candia’s voice is pure and very deep. Their musical “innocence” was simply amazing.

Please check them on their official website:

http://www.inkubussukkubus.com/

After the shows ended the merchandise area transformed into a huge club with music played by DJ Swedish Dave. Big dancing floor, good drinks and a very nice atmosphere.

Perfect place to come back.