The Phoenix, Once Again.

“After the fall, we’ll be born, born, born again.” Klaus Nomi.

The theme of my life over the past few months has been one of renewal, of moving on and beginning a new cycle (while, of course, not forgetting the lessons of the one which has passed). Once I said the goodbyes which needed to be uttered, everything started changing. Unexpected things jumped out of unexpected places. The searchlight of realisation illuminated the landscape and showed people in its fresh, unforgiving beam. Friends became closer; strangers became friends; a friend became a stranger. One friend became something far more important to me than I could write here, lest you think that your friend FoxGlove is soppy twat. Which of course, under the feathers and drama, I really am. But that’s between you and me, okay?

I will not beleaguer this blog with the various present and future triumphs which are springboarding into existence just yet, but I will share with you my method of expressing them, because what is witchcraft if not a performative act of creation?

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There’s a new night in London town and it’s called C O V E N and it’s an occult-themed variety and club night. It’s also run by my very beautiful boyfriend and if I don’t give him a shout out, I won’t get any gin this week. The opening ‘Virgin’ night (a suitably smutty phrase, since you can open a virgin – that’s the only reason we allow them to the Sabbat) was last Saturday 27th February and it was a sold out night. One thing I do, aside from steep my dainty little hands up to the fourth knuckle in the guts of the occult and the paranormal, is make and sell costumes. Another thing I do is: I wear them. And something I used to do a while ago, was perform and host clubs. So naturally, my intense lust for the otherworldly and my finely-honed creative art have collided massively like two … massive, colliding things and I took to the stage at Coven (sorry, those spaces are hard to keep typing with these nails on).

The performance was called INRI. Igne Natura Renovatur Integra. It is an acronym of the alchemical alternative to Jesus’ last hashtag and it means “Through fire, all nature is reborn whole”. I was aided by my wonderful friends from House of Health, shrouded in a continuous sheet of white – the fabric of the status quo, the universe or a blank sheet of your own projection. I emerged from under a red veil – the womb, the situation, the problem. The costume I had constructed became the entity: a red, armoured, glittering creature, spinning around and snatching bags of blood from on high, spraying them onto the fabric, a crimson blasphemy and a significator that the end is near. Blood is spilled and the four human beings are revealed one by one, with INRI spelled out upon their pale bodies, as they writhe and dance in  cohesion with this creature. The scarlet entity, intoxicated and energised by its consumption and expulsion of blood, swirls and dances, reeling and vomiting blood from its mouth like a poison, onto the bodies of those who summoned it. Triumphant, a dancing Shiva, dripping with gold and red, this creature is void of all reasoning, free from concern of its gestation. With a realisation of its ability to destroy, it assures its intentions to be just as talented at creating, by bringing the four together around it, raising itself to full height in exaltation and preparing to rise from the tattered ashes of its former nest.

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Okay, guys, I’m back in the room. That was a complete stream-of-consciousness description of what the performance meant to me. Those who saw it are welcome to their own interpretations. I am indebted to House of Health for allowing me to draw upon them. As you’ll notice, there are photos scattered here and there (thank you, Manko!), so you can see for yourself. Not just of me, though. There were other amazing acts at C O V E N (okay, okay, it doesn’t look right without the spaces and caps lock, sod my damn nails).

Jason Atomic, was the suave, Satanic Master of Ceremonies, who opened the show with a sophisticated sermon which culminated in the whole room shouting “Hail Satan!”. He led the audience through the acts, winding around the room like a ruffed serpent with a cordless mic. Stef then delivered the Unholy Communion, distributing wafers lifted from a church – the only reason some people refused was because they were gluten intolerant. Blaspheme all you like, fuck each other in a crypt.. but you don’t want to get bloaty. House of Health took to the stage next, disarmingly serene as they sometimes appear. I adore how unapologetic these performers are. They set up a table, knelt before it, robed and silent. From about their person, emerged a dead pheasant, which was promptly dismembered and disembowelled, leaving much of the audience satisfyingly dumbfounded. Next up was the mesmerising Sasha Krohn, who appeared hooded and swathed in black, twisting in the ritualistic manner of a cloaked ghoul, before stripping down to a pair of inconceivably weeny pants and taking to the air on a set of aerial silks, writhing and turning with the inhuman strength present in the best of his kind, which he definitely is.

Then came the interval, where I secretly heard one of the attendees complaining about House of Health hacking up the dead bird, which entertained me a great deal. Even in a massive white headdress and 7-inch platforms, if I don’t want you to know I’m there, you won’t even see me.

For the next act, I was unfortunately backstage changing outfits and drawing on chests, but I have supplied a link below where you can hear Nicoletta Wylde’s Burn the Witch, a resonant, haunting reading of a witch being burned at the stake. I shall not even attempt to describe it here, not only because I wasn’t there, but because you need to hear it. After INRI, to finish the show, came Mutant Bird, a brazen, audio assault, laden with hazardous sounds and distorted reverbs, echoing and scratching from the stage, stripping and pouring molten wax down his body, overlaid with nightmarish animations projected above.

C O V E N was sold out, the show was a well-organised fascination of crepuscular creepery, people stayed until the small hours, dancing, drinking and, in one case, suspending a woman in shibari rope from the ceiling.

Talk about a place of magic. The ley lines around Bethnal Green are now shaped like Spaghetti Junction.

Abruptly, that concludes today’s entry. For me now, it’s back to crafting my crafts and not sleeping, projecting into an exciting future and a new stage (figuratively and literally) in my life. That unforgiving light I spoke of earlier can be such a warm and dizzying place that from far away it may look like the approach of a nuclear holocaust.

Well, even if it is, there’s creation in those ashes.

Be well until next time.

C O V E N is held at the Resistance Gallery, 265 Poyser St. E2 9RF. (The nearest tube is Bethnal Green).

Photographs by Manko Sebastien.
You can find the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/COVENeventsLDN/
And you can like follow the Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/c_o_v_e_n_/
You can also find House of Health here: https://www.facebook.com/houseofhealthcollective
You can hear Nicoletta Wylde’s Burn The Witch here: https://soundcloud.com/nicolettawylde/burnthewitch
Sasha Krohn, the sinewy flying man is here: https://www.facebook.com/SashKro
Follow Mutant Bird’s links to hear his warped voice: https://www.facebook.com/johnnyrockkit/ There’s also Jason Atomic’s Satanic Mojo here (get to the flea market on March 10th!): https://www.facebook.com/SatanicMojo/?fref=ts
And you can have your misfortune told by my very beautiful boyfriend here: https://www.facebook.com/luciusnarcissus/
The emergency exits and here, here and here…

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About AlienFox

I make stuff and it has a 'stamp', which says that I have had a hand in creating a film, or a photo, or a show. Inevitably, this involves ultraviolet, extra-violent patterns and colours; a lascivious and lucid display of otherwordly angles and textures; a hypnotic, stroboscopic assault on your senses. I make stuff. And I write about it here.
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2 Responses to The Phoenix, Once Again.

  1. Unon says:

    I have heard attendees complaining purely because that opening scene was apparently pretty bland. Cutting up a pheasant is shock value, not occult. The majority of people who had bought those tickets to sell it out, I can imagine, were really looking forward to this event. So, perhaps, don’t take any of their criticism too light heartedly? I hear many had left by midnight. The concept is stunning, but it has a lot of room to grow. I just hope that the next night storms all over the first.

    Like

    • AlienFox says:

      I won’t speak for House of Health as they have their own voices, but I will say that I enjoy performative shock value (was it bland or was it shock? Can it be both?). As for it not being occult, well, that’s open to interpretation. Your feedback, along with everyone else’s, is like gold dust and I certainly would never take it light-heartedly, however, an asteroid could hit the planet and I would still write about it with good humour. But I take something like C O V E N very seriously, as I’m sure my write-up and involvement shows.

      The show was finished by midnight, but we still had a pretty full dancefloor. 😉

      You are right – the concept is stunning and it will grow. Please keep the comments coming and have a gore-geous day.

      FoxGlove

      Like

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