October and the Eyes
At The Lexington
Words and pics by Captain Stavros
A hole is a weird thing. I mean, if you stop and think about it for a while. The aperture is a thin membrane but with sharp and defined borders. It can contain not only the speed of light itself but the amount of it. Not only that but, usually, it’s a one-way trip. Stare long enough into the abyss, amiright? On August 18, by some mad twist of fortune, I’d soon be falling through the eyeholes of October and the Eyes. I just didn’t know it yet. Thanks in part to the tube and bus strike, for giving me a minute to myself, I’d been afforded a moment to filter through a backlog of e-mails. I’d used the time to compose a massive Singles that Mingle post when I came across OATE latest single, ‘Tit Pic’. Even before the track finished, I knew it’d make the list but what I didn’t know, until a few seconds from then, was that they were playing on this fateful eve and that I’d be there to witness it. With all of my holes. All of them.
The Lexington, from the get-go, has an electric energy as I step into it. Everyone looks awesome. Not so much runway/airbrushed versions of themselves, just interesting and kitsch. I rock up to that huge slab of wood they call the bar and, with bravado, I am feeling myself*, order a pint of the black stuff. Seems fitting. The pint, in a glass, for under 5.50? In LONDON? What sort of sorcery was this!? Oi, oi, off to a good start already. Not skipping a beat, I skulkingly make my way up the long staircase to the stage where I’m greeted with a literal blast of cold air from an AC unit humming the tunes of the Tundra, whoo ha! It would, in a few short moments, be more necessity than luxury as the very flames of hell would be summoned upon us.
Through a dense darkness the colour of squid ink and the fog, artificial as it may be, emerges what David Bowie must’ve meant by The Spiders From Mars. These long legged, platform booted, muscle bound pipe cleaners open their set by ‘Playing God’ both literally and figuratively! I didn’t know what to expect but when I saw Aldous RH tuning up before the set, I knew we’d all be in for something nothing less than spectacular. Drowning in heavily soaked, grungy chords and tribal drums, October’s sensational vocals rip through a packed and undulating audience a la Karen O.
The performance feels massively charged, like a powder keg ready to blow but it’s more than just explosive. October, a woman possessed by the dark arts in a way that feels familiar to her, has made a home in the void, making friends of shadows. What is it with New Zealander’s anyway? There’s a Crucifix behind you!! Imagine Wednesday Addam’s laissez-faire attitude to the ghoulish and obscene. Totally our scene!
About three quarters through the set, October announces she’s going to slow things down with a love song. She covers Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’. She swoops down the stage above me until she’s perched, spreading her arms wide screaming, ‘I WANT TO FUCK YOU LIKE AN ANIMAL’. I can literally feel the heat radiate off her and all I can think to myself is, ‘It's a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragon. It's warmer than you'd think’ - Gangs of New York.
Shit gets witchy AF when ‘Spiral’, the penultimate song, is set loose upon us. The few remaining lights on are snuffed out. ‘UV’ is scrawled next to the song on the playlist and, when those blacklights came on, October’s contact- adorned peepers and fangs light up with an intense madness. The set rounds off with a janky, and frankly anticlimactic, ‘All My Love’. A great tune for introducing a spit and sawdust roadhouse and its cast of characters, in our opinion.
We’re absolutely floored after the set, by hole standards it was the blackest of supermassives. It was a rolling feast for the eyes and ears, we haven’t even covered the giant two-person saw played with a bow throughout, Joey Sheet Noise’s most righteous DJ set(s) comprised of ‘80s grinders, and the entire audience which was a giant oozing pit. I fucking loved it. For a relatively new player, October definitely has her game on lock. The best part? You never know if you’re coming up for air through the light or falling deeper into its blackness. Regardless, we’d gladly, time and time again, fall through the holes of her eyes.