Dario Argento and Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin in the UK

Last month I went to see Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin play at The Fleece in Bristol.  It was an excellent experience – I didn’t imagine it would be quite as good as it was.  Simonetti has a sweet stage presence; laid back, confident, fun and a good rapport with the audience.  And to add to that he has great backing musicians who are able to reproduce the Goblin sound – it really didn’t seem to matter that it wasn’t the original members of the band at all.

After a few initial technical difficulties and an incident involving an amp being dropped face down on the stage (ouch!), Goblin played for about 90 minutes treating the audience to what I like to think of as “all the hits”.  Here’s the set list for the evening:

Goblin Setlist

I got myself a position down the front near Claudio Simonetti so I could try and get some photos during the evening.  I should explain that for many years I didn’t own a camera and it’s only in recent years that I have started to take photographs, but I prefer analogue to digital and I either use my Diana F+ medium format camera or my Olympus Trip 35.  I used the Olympus Trip on this occasion as it tends to get great results with low light situations, whereas the Diana F+ needs a lot of light or a flash to get a good clear image.  I don’t like using the flash on the Olympus Trip because it is absolutely blinding and would be a source of great annoyance were it to be going off all night, especially in someone’s face.  Anyway, I don’t know much about cameras or how they work, I just tend to point and click so let’s get the vaguely technical bit aside, the lighting was good and I think the photos are alright too.  But first of all, here’s a digital photo of Claudio Simonetti’s keyboard set-up:

Goblin 3

Impressive, uh?  Now here are my concert photos:

goblin01 goblin02 goblin03 goblin04 goblin05 goblin06 goblin07 goblin08 goblin09 goblin10 goblin11 goblin12 goblin13 goblin14 goblin15 goblin16 goblin17 goblin18

I’m sorry I couldn’t get any photos of the drummer – he was hidden by the massive keyboard set-up – and the photos of the band are as good as I could get them given that I was standing right over the other side of the stage.

I should say a few words about the support band Anta – I think they’re a Bristol band and I don’t know how they would describe their sound but it was LOUD.  I have never seen so many effects pedals in my life – I swear the bassist had about 30 – and I have never seen a bassist play in such a way either:


Very expressive face, that guy, and I couldn’t say I liked this piece of music or that piece of music because the set seemed to consist of one 30 minutes+ track – I liked it though.  I didn’t know what to make of them at first but they’ve really got their shit down pat and I was very impressed.  An excellent choice of support band for Goblin.  I would recommend checking them out if you get a chance to see them.  They have a website here.


Whilst looking through the Goblin photos, I remembered that I hadn’t yet posted about seeing Dario Argento at the BFI Southbank in November last year.  I went to see the Q&A with Dario Argento and the screening of Suspiria and between the two events I found out that Dario Argento would be doing a quick signing session for fans – so I met him.  I took the opportunity to upgrade my Cat O’ Nine Tails DVD to Blu-ray and I got the cover signed:

Dario Autograph2

Dario Argento was lovely – he greeted me as if he knew me (arms wide open and a big “Hey!”) and he even posed for a couple of photos but I wasn’t allowed to use a flash (I wasn’t supposed to be taking photos actually!) and the lighting was terrible so they’re not so good.  Here you go:


Here’s one photo I took on digital from the side:


Dario (o yes, we’re on first name terms now, “Hey!”) told some very amusing anecdotes during the Q&A – one of which concerned Robert Hossein, who Dario worked with on The Rope and the Colt in the late sixties.  Great film, that.  Anyway, Dario was working on the script and expecting to meet with Robert Hossein but he was very late one day so Dario called on Hossein and realised why he was running late – he had company, lots of company, in his bed.  Hossein asked Dario if he wanted to join them but he politely declined (so he says!) saying that he had a script to write.  The more I hear about Hossein, the more I like him.  Fabulous film maker and actor but from the sounds of it a naughty man.  I should write something about him soon, I think.

Anyway, that’s enough for today.  Hope you like the photos – there are plenty of clips of Goblin’s performance at the Fleece on YouTube if you want to check out the show.

All photos by Raechel Leigh Carter (Hero Culte) – if you’re going to link to them or use them, please be decent and credit me. Ta!

My Favourite Stuff: A Kiss from French Singer Robert

I was very pleased to finally get my hands on RoBERT’s box set Premier Écrin, which I understand is limited to just 100 copies.  I guess the main reason it’s so limited is because RoBERT had to sit and kiss 100 photographs to insert into the boxes.  It’s that kind of personal touch which makes Premier Écrin so essential to a collection.  Here’s my kiss from RoBERT:

Robert Kiss001

A mwah pour moi! But aside from the kiss, the lovely box – écrin means box or case in English, but more like a jewellery box – is full of gems and is incredibly great value.  I knew that there would be some items in the box that I already had in my collection but in fact it turns out that even the CD albums are for the most part different versions to the ones I previously bought.  For just 30 € you get the following:

  • Sine CD – DEA 2001 reissue with 2 bonus tracks and 3 videos
  • Princesse de Rien CD – 2007 reissue with 3 bonus tracks, 13 instrumentals, RoBERT interviewed by Amélie Nothomb, 3 Karina Square versions of Princesse de Rien tracks
  • Sourde et Aveugle CD – 2009 reissue, including 2 bonus tracks
  • Aux Marches du Palais CD – 2012
  • A CD single – either Sorry or Ange & Démon
  • A Live Album – either Haute Couture (2007) or RoBERT live à la Cigale (2004)

Robert Kiss002Robert Kiss003Robert Premier Ecrin 2Robert Premier Ecrin 1

Five albums, a CD single, a kissed photograph all in a lovely box for 30   – how can you resist?  If you’re lucky, you’ll still be able to buy Premier Écrin from RoBERT’s website, where you will also find some other bargains with items from just 1 €.  I bought myself a set of the fanzines and a calendar and I’ve since ordered some more of the CD singles I hadn’t yet got.  It’s not just about getting bargains, of course, it’s also important to remember that it’s better to buy directly from RoBERT’s website – send the money directly to the musicians and not to enormous online shops.

Aside from being delighted with my kiss, I have finally – finally! – managed to find the holy grail of RoBERT’s discography: the Karina Square version of Princesse de Rien (1997), which is the baroque version of the album before it was reissued with more of an electronic sound.  Nothing wrong with the reissue version from 2000 at all but I had always preferred the baroque version and I’ve been looking for it since it was released, so impossible was it to find the CD even at the time of release.  I have had to make do with a copied CD all these years but now I have an official copy in my collection and that makes me very happy indeed:

Robert Karina Square

Expect another post about RoBERT soon, but in the meantime get yourself over to the RoBERT shop to buy some stuff or go to the RoBERT website to find out about RoBERT’s new collaboration, Plastic Art Noise – there will be a digital version of the album (Like Strangers Do) later this month and then the CD will be released at the end of April.