Saturday, October 13th was the night of the YOH! Early Halloween party, which featured, amongst other things, a screening of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973), performances by Beatenberg, Beach Party and the Exorsistahs as well as very little light. We attended the dark parade and felt homely between the presence of spider webs, vampires and murderous masks. But there was more to it than the simple acceptance by nightly creatures, so please, read on.
A climb up some scruffy stairs to a gloomy nightclub was what it took to enter the world of pre-halloween mysteries. Once admission was granted by a robed vampire, we paced to acquire the elixir of nocturnal pleasure amongst the comfort of masked party heads, fake spider webs and creepy projected visuals just before Beatenberg started to play. Although, counter to the event description, no massacres were witnessed, it transpired that the dark and dingy aura of Hectic on Hope served as the perfect façade for the intermingling of macabre pretenses and the usual Evol-going cool cats’ impeccable sense of style.
Scream masks, Indian feather headdresses and faux fur beauties gathered alike to indulge in Beatenberg’s high-school-dance-a-la-Hollywood-teen-movie’s sound. Being a self-proclaimed South African pop band, they led us through their set with dreamy melodies that were interspersed by steady-paced drumbeats that miraculously managed to be light-hearted without being corny. Lead singer Matthew Field’s soft boyband-esque voice made for the perfect accompaniment to their unabashed swagger that made it hard to ascertain just how seriously the three musicians take themselves. Be that as it may, the lovers of the sombre night were so satisfied by the contrasting lightness of Beatenberg’s sound that they begged for more. Although Field claimed that his ear was hurting, the band struck up another tune.
After being bewildered by the distortion of a realistic place-on-the-timeline perception through the combination of seventies disco music and funky disguises, Beach Party was up next. “This song goes out to Beatenberg, they’re awesome,” proclaimed Danny Video before he kicked off the set. Sporting a The Who fan t-shirt, he fittingly pulled off the sound of bygone British pop rock to the delight of the audience. Party-goers were swaying back and forth as the band-members managed subtle up-and-down jumps while still being in command of their instruments. And at times, Video would leave the stage to caress audience members’ heads or mess with their beers, which added to the carefree rock ‘n’ roll attitude he was taking advantage of. Eventually, the rough teen-punk vocals over playful surf-rock melodies and a self-aware approach convinced a won-over crowd to moshpit.
The room was filled with a content air and an anticipating audience was thus ready to receive the Exorsistahs with their first live performance of their track ‘You Lie You Die’. Known for a mysterious coolness that they exude in the music video to the song, the down-toned rapper duo entertained with a similar untouched demeanour before going back to DJing as usual.
A confident musical self-insight, fearlessness of being categorized and spooky aesthetics were what made this evening a memorable one. Satisfied by a healthy mix of camouflage, it became time for the creatures of the night to wander off and remain resourceful until the next YOH! party hits town.
Words: Christine Hogg
Images: Charlotte Tinnion, Johann Botha