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Claudio-Simonetti-s-Goblin-No-logo

As part of the Glasgow Film Festival horror fans are in for a real treat thanks to soundtrack legends Goblin, or more accurately Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin* are providing a set filled with their perverse sounds to mixed audience of film buffs, metalheads and me.

Claudio Simonetti shuffled onstage appearing somewhat dishevelled in stark contrast to that of his smoothly and immaculately decked out backing band**. Claudio holds court to the side of the stage entrapped in a cage of keyboards and synthesisers, which is how everyone wants it I imagine.

What followed was a selection of some of Goblins finest pieces of work, more a less conducted in chronological order and each introduced by our leader leaving no mistake in what we were listening too which left little to surprise with.

Taken out of their usual context of providing a soundtrack to (normally gruesome) images it is quite revelatory to hear the scattershot approach of the music which seems to encompass everything from prog, funk, disco and metal***. And for all of the jokes that can be made about the backing bands appearance****, they were more than capable of providing the bombast and technical prowess required from their Claudio in order to recreate these fevered compositions.

But though these tracks were created as technically as they had been on record, which is no mean feat, it really put into contrast that Goblins music, or more accurately their better known music, is designed for the screen and without this the set becomes incoherent and out of place. It is valiant to see a band concentrate on getting everything right on target when it comes to the tunes but when this means there is little energy on stage***** due to this concentration then it lacks something for the audience to connect with.

Despite this there was still entertainment to be had and I won’t lie and say it wasn’t a thrill to see the music of ‘Susperia’ brought to life. Also it’s the first time in years I’ve seen a guitarist mouth along to the noises his instrument is making****** and it was amusing to see Claudio’s attention focused on two young goth clad ladies near the front of the stage, should these be the highlights of the night though? I’m glad I went, and would be more than willing to see them again but only when providing a live soundtrack to one of the many gorgeously horrible films where they made their name.

*Don’t worry; refunds were available on the door if this fact did not please you… only time in my life where I found refunds to be so freely available.

**Seriously, these guys were pretty… like girl pretty.

***You know… all the cool genres… yeah?

****Well, the jokes that I made anyway.

*****Except for the occasional metal horn thrown out there.

******More than worth the price of admission.

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Colin MacNeil Judge Dredd

Due to the recent resurgence of interest in the character of Judge Dredd*, thanks to the recent reboot of the franchise with Dredd 3D hitting our screens** and the back catalogue of stories presented in 2000AD being published in compendiums, the patrons of the Glasgow Film Festival were treated to a conversation with his creator John Wagner & famed Dredd artist Colin MacNeil.

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Arriving sharpish at the Glasgow CCA to find that a large queue had already scurried into the auditorium, disappointingly there seemed to be more than enough room for everyone and that this was far from a sold out event***. Greeted by our host John McShane who explained that the set up would be the usual for these events (he asks questions for a while and then it’s open to the floor), we welcomed on stage the men we were here to see.

What we were treated to was a bit of history on the character, the situations that he has found himself in and the inspiration behind these creations, as well as Wagner’s tendency to argue with his employers. Of course the subject of Dredd 3D took up a large portion of the conversation, covering the Stallone incarnation of the character…

 “I can’t say a bad word about Sylvester Stallone, the film would not have been made without his involvement, but because of his involvement this led to the problems with the movie”.

 …to Karl Urban’s**** portrayal. This led to the gentlemen stating their favourite incarnation of the world they have created to be the fan film ‘Judge Minty’ – which was being shown a couple of days later*****. However, the discussion on movie adaptations of the character led to the revelation from both men that they do not really watch films, the irony of which was lost on no one.

Judge Dredd was not the only topic of conversation, John Wagner’s ‘A History of Violence’ was covered in detail, both the comic and the Cronenberg adaption, Colin MacNeil’s inspiration for his visuals and working conditions, and other related 2000AD characters. This heralded the questions from the floor, which covered the recent American comics’ adaption of the character…

“I haven’t read it, is it as bad as the DC version?”

 To the recent indication that Dredd may be gay…

 “It doesn’t matter!”

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Once several questions had been attended to, we were at the end of our event with the points of our attention doing some signage for afters******. This was a fascinating discussion with some nice revelations on the films and how the comics were written/drawn, but not too much focus on the Judge himself, as we more or less know everything we need to know about him through 30+ years of reading his cases.

*He is a hard bastard, what’s not to like?

**All 10 people that saw it in the cinema.

***Due to a general lack of interest in British comics or the quality selection of alternative events at the GFF?

****Eh, fucking ace!

*****Nae time off to go and see it.

******Later moved to the café due to other performances taking place.