For the finale of 2015's Celluloid Screams horror festival, the festival organisers managed to bag the services of the legendary Italian prog rock group Goblin. They were to play their soundtrack to Dario Argento's classic giallo Profondo Rosso live along with the film. This once in a lifetime opportunity (at least in Sheffield) could not be missed.
Having never been to anything like this before I was unsure how it would work technically. It turned out I was over thinking it. It was much more straight forward than I imagined, and through a combination of impeccable timing and sheer bloody volume, the music track on the film was rendered completely inaudible.
Although I've seen Deep Red many times before, I wanted to watch it again prior to the event, so that on the evening I could concentrate more on the band's performance than the twists and turns of the plot. I watched the Blue Underground blu ray, which is, let's be honest pretty average, but still better than the original Arrow release which suffered from horrible video noise. As such I'm eagerly awaiting the newly restored Arrow release and was hoping the print used for the screening would be based on that restoration. However, it appeared the screening used the same blu ray as I'd watched, even suffering from slight pauses every time the restored scenes in Italian appeared. Still, it was less about the visual presentation and all about the aural delivery, and that certainly did deliver!
From the opening burst of music, I was taken aback by the power of it , and I don't just mean in terms of volume (although it was pleasingly loud), far more than anytime I've viewed the movie previously. I genuinely found it breathtaking. When I wasn't knocked back in my seat I was giddy like a child on Christmas morning.
After the film finished the band went on to play a short set of other material, and although they are undoubtedly most famous for their work with Argento, they have worked on other film soundtracks as well as having recorded albums unconnected to movies. That being said, it's completely understandable that they chose to raid their Argento back catalogue, given the audience they were playing to, and so we got tracks from Demons, Dawn Of The Dead, Suspiria, Tenebre and finally, Phenomena.
It was truly special for me to hear these tracks played live, with such an appreciative audience and Simonetti and the band clearly loving every second of it. The highlights for me were the Suspiria track, and Claudio having fun playing up to the audience with the vocoder used on the absolutely barn storming Tenebre track, that was on the verge of making my ears bleed. It was spectacular. More photos follow.
Within the last week Goblin have also played Birmingham, Cardiff (both playing along to Dawn Of The Dead) and Dublin, where they did both Profondo Rosso and Suspiria in a double bill. They are also coming back to the UK next year, with a date pencilled in for Manchester in May. I had such a great time I may well be there. A huge thank you to the Celluloid Screams team and The Showroom for making this happen. Awesome!