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London Camden Palace

The children of the night, and the music that they make...

London Camden Palace

Enter bretheren of the night. Close the door behind you tight while Belial's hellhounds, with cruel might, eviscerate pure virgins white. Tch, just another rainy Sunday in Camden, then. Welcome to Vampyria II, a night of unintentional mirth most fierce, of libertines a gathering most preposterous, where the only thing that's truly warped is the participants' grasp of basic modern syntax. None is more garbled than Cradle Of Filth, whose claim to being the "most evil band in Britain" is hard to prove when tonight's only clearly enunciated lyric is, perhaps uniquely in rock history, "Carpathia".

"No mortals," boasts the event publicity, "no inhibitions." No discernible music, either. It's obvious why the Filth's undead schtick has a devoted following: a ferocious thrash that makes your viscera a fond memory; an excuse to wear panstick; the erotic promise of those Hammer bitings adored by repressed adolescent boys. It's not that they sound diabolic, just unspeakably tedious, with the occasional bursts of cathedral organ failing to leaven the grind. Singer Dani, capering about like a recently exhumed morris dancer, has an impressive all-octave range, though, from squeak of bat to terrier's yap, all the way down to the noise a waste disposal unit would make if you fed it their new record. Not that you would ever dream of such an act, of course.

For all their desperate nun-abusing blasphemy, they're far from the church-burning antics of the Scandinavian brigade. Bassist Robin Graves and guitarist Gian prance like they're playing alongside Brian Blessed in a rep production of 'Hamlet', while the go-go dancers gamely try to uphold the dancing bit of their job description. "We are damned to hell," growls Dani, spraying the front row with a pathetic spurt of blood. He should know. He's from Coventry.

It's then that you look at the figure beside you, serpentine frame decked in black lace, white powder coating his face like the dust of a thousand defiled graves, blood seeping around his expensively manicured fangs. In one clawed hand, he grasps a bottle of Lucozade. When it comes to enduring Cradle Of Filth, even the undead need a little extra energy to get them through the night.

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