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John Carpenter live tour review - Big Trouble In Little China legend wows Liverpool

by Andy Johnson. Published Sat 29 Oct 2016 15:54, last updated: 29/10/16

In what had to be the show to most excite your soul during Halloween weekend, a gathered throng of horror movie buffs welcomed the man, the myth, John Carpenter into their midst.

The music to such iconic films as Escape from New York, Big Trouble In Little China and Halloween burst forth in waves of magnetic wonder.

Matched with the director's choice visuals on a large screen, which itself was framed and mirrored by four smaller projection screens, to produce a truly stunning effect.

It was hard not to be pulled in to the vortex of celluloid nostalgia, but as your mind bathed in the iconic movie clips, it was a surreal moment to then suddenly clock John Carpenter standing tall at the front of the stage.

You could feel yourself constantly amazed that a living legend was playing his scores live.

John, a majestic presence at 68, occasionally took to the mic to address the audience, but it was mostly to voice a modest memory from his career: "In 1982 I did a little movie called The Thing..." to huge roars from the crowd, "and Ennio Morecone wrote a composition for it, which we'll play for you now."

The band also played tracks from John's dark and brooding Lost Themes albums, with cheers coming for various tracks, proving the fervent following this man has.

The theme from Big Trouble In Little China was clearly a fan favourite. As all of Kurt Russel as Jack Burton's best moments of bumbling ineptitude spilled on to the screen, rushing towards the crescendo of him actually catching Lopan's knife, just at the moment when it counts.

John looked particularly at ease leading the charge on this number, "It's all in the reflexes."

Introducing his band, looking especially bad-ass, dressed all in black, there was a special nod towards Cody Carpenter - the movie legend's son, who is also a talented musician and was tinkling the ivories in splendid fashion.

But the most cool moment from the band's largely nonchalant demeanour, was yet to come, as they all broke out shades and big smiles to play the theme from They Live. Again to large roars from the crowd as wrestling legend Roddy Piper rolled on to the screen.

Much as this reviewer loathes to break the forth wall and talk about personal moments from the gig, it struck a chord with me, just how similar everyone in the audience was.

It was like a meeting of minds, mostly dressed in black with huge grins adorning their faces. What a treat, thank you Liverpool Music Week.

Also, you would spot lots of dudes you see in coffee shops and comic book haunts that you say hello to - but never really see at gigs. And the occasional Snake Plisken and Jack Burton Cosplay for good measure.

It's hard to describe just how sweet this particular blend of music and visuals was...

And if you can't fathom it, you need to whack on Big Trouble In Little China and somehow heal the wounds suffered from the fact that you weren't at one of the coolest gigs to hit Liverpool in a long time... "We really shook the pillars of heaven, didn't we, Wang?"

Purple Revolver spilled out of the show, feeling inspired and looking forward splicing our video report together. But not before bouncing down the hill to look for the WinCon Exchange and more adventure in China Town.

"Okay. You people sit tight, hold the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if we're not back by dawn... call the president."

John Carpenter live at Olympia Ballroom,
PR rating: 5 magic silver bullets


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