Rob Zombie at Brixton Academy

There were bubbles, balls and balloons; there were monsters, there was metal, music and mayhem; there was pussy, porn and there were pyros; there were screens, skeletons and songs, there was sex and seduction; there was horror, there were hexes and whores; there was blood and blasphemy; there was Frankenstein, Sheri Moon, Fu Manchu and Nicholas Cage; there was Joey Jordison; there was Piggy D; there was John 5…

… and there was ROB ZOMBIE.

Anticipation is a euphemism for the atmosphere that pervaded the crowd as the Zombie crew were setting the stage for Mr Z’s first UK appearance in thirteen years. Johnny Cash tried his damndest to keep things calm but the call of the Zombie was overwhelming… and fans answered with howls and growls of demented desperation. Ravenous for Rob; when the time drew nigh, containment evaporated and the Beast of Party was let loose with unashamed indulgence.

On this night, the legend of the Zombie was proved no fallacy. When the singer said that he would pack his entire show in a plane and fit as much of it as possible on the stage at Brixton Academy, the man was not joking. Bulbous headed bogeymen, mechanical creatures and freakish fiends roamed the stage with otherworldly delight while grotesque Zombie-imagined-and-directed horror videos provided the backdrop for the spectacle. Zombie beckoned the crowd with expertly wielded skeletal appendages in a tacit command to join the insanity, and the crowd needed no coercion.

Zombie was birthed onto stage from the belly of a blue-eyed biomechanical robot and launched straight into Jesus Frankenstein. What followed was an epic set of cultishly iconic, electrically charged songs, including Superbeast, Scum of the Earth, Living Dead Girl, More Human Than Human (White Zombie cover),Drum Solo (Joey Jordison), Sick Bubble-Gum, Demon Speeding, Mars Needs Women, Pussy Liquor, Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy), Thunder Kiss ’65 (White Zombie cover)/with John 5 Guitar Solo, Werewolf Women of the SS, Dragula, Encore: House of 1000 Corpses and Lords of Salem.

Zombie’s infectious charisma and sense of humour enveloped the auditorium and the singer held the audience within the palms of his larger than life hands. The antagonistic irony of John 5’s cheeky little ‘Sweet Dreams’ guitar solo (undoubtedly Zombie incited) was theatre at its best, and the guitarist’s explicit gestures of disdain, when asked by Zombie if he would prefer to re-join Marilyn Manson’s crew of maniacs, was met by the crowd with thunderous approval. An artist who appreciates satire and often has his tongue firmly planted in his check, Zombie is no stranger to a delectable three letter word also known as FUN. Sick pink and orange ‘bubble-gum’ balls were thrown into the audience, members of which bopped and bashed as hillbilly-hellbilly madness took over. Bubbles floated in the air as the phantasmagoria of Pussy Liquor saturated the senses, and balloons tumbled down upon a crowd that wished the night would never stop.

Werewolf Women of the SS and Dragula were sung from on high as a red clad Zombie climbed a monolithic staircase to deliver his message of mania and mutiny. In homage to Queenie and her compatriots, the Zombie band donned Union Jack inspired military coats and sung an encore that reminded Britons why Mr Z is a master of the visual, the auditory and all things entertaining.

On this night Brixton Academy witnessed a nightmarish massacre of propriety that was both monumentally magnificent and hideously horrific… in true Rob Zombie style.