Rob Zombie’s combination of horror and hard rock has seen him become a Hollywood film producer and ghoulish mainstream rock star Nina Cresswell enjoyed a trip on the dark side on his recent UK tour. It’s all a far cry from his old band whose first suport tour was supporting LTW! editor John Robb’s old band Membranes in the USA in the late eighties.

Zombie-madness has struck Britain ”“ but just what is it about Mr Rob Zombie that is so infectious?

Satan’s spawn has landed. Musician, film-maker, comic book creator, and all-round renaissance artist of grotesque beauty, Mr Rob Zombie is the finest work the Devil has ever produced. As you may well of heard, he’s finally thundered back into the UK for the first time in 12 years.

The list of rockers that have nibbled on the Hollywood lifestyle are far and few between, but the blood-stained soul is one exception to hit the bigshot. But what is it about Rob Zombie that has made this tour such mammoth prospect?
It all kicked off with the Grammy-nominated rocker kicking off his first bout of heavy metal horror in London’s Brixton Academy. Word started to spread about the Zombie-fever so I was positively agog to catch him in Newcastle on the 18th February, plummeting with the O2 Academy into the seventh circle of hell, and loving every minute of it.

His majestically evil stage-show dripped with B-movie splendour, perilous pyrotechnics and the finest rock ”Ëœn’ roll royalty of a backing band the legend has ever had. Joey Jordison on drums, ex-Amen’s Piggy D on bass, and the one and only John 5 (former Marilyn Manson) performing some fiendish axe-thrashing, Zombie-disciples can barely contain themselves.

What segregates Rob Zombie from his peers is that he doesn’t compromise between his artistic assets. His killer showmanship was sheer cinematic perfection, without a hint of cliché rock-cheese. Despite the outrageous visuals, the hellish musical tightness proved just why the horror god has sold albums in the millions. Emerging from a haunting stage of darkness, the curtain dropped to reveal a six-armed skeletal silhouette, surrounded by smokey flames and eerie video footage. I’m still not rid of the goosebumps. Zombie thundered into ”ËœSuperbeast’, attached to a giant skele-claw robot , to the roar of his gritty disciples.

New material from the album ”ËœHellbilly Deluxe 2′ went down killer. Pink beach balls bounced around the audience for the grimily sexy ”ËœSick Bubblegum’ and his theme-tune for the Tarantino grindhouse project ”ËœWerewolf Women of the SS’, was performed with haunting drummers in gasmasks, as Zombie swapped his grimy Frankenstein pants for a brutal military get-up. Fans of older White Zombie were not left disappointed, with ubiquitous hits such as ”ËœMore Human than Human’ ripping form the amps.

Hammer horror motion pictures dripped from the on-stage screens. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Just another marvel covered in Mr Zombie’s reign: he has graced us with gore classics ”ËœHouse of 1000 Corpses’ and ”ËœThe Devil’s Rejects’. The man makes movies that Universal Pictures dismiss for being too extreme for Christ’s sake, is there any reason not to adore him?

Confetti, bubbles and reverential solos from both Joey and John made the show and amalgamation of circus spectacles. At one point, I was intently watching John 5 ravage six-strings with his teeth. Little did I know Zombie had snuck into the crowd until he actually trod on my toe, looking even more undead without the glare of spotlights. ”ËœLiving Dead Girl’ and ”ËœPussy Liquor’ were highlights of the set, and unquestionably, the climax of the set – ”ËœDragula’. The gnarly foursome marched on in union jack clerical robes, and Rob brought his scream queen Sheri Moon on stage to take a photo with the crowd, slightly dampening the demonic king’s evil enigma.

Post-gig, I haven’t heard one member of the Zombie-occult deny that it was the best gig of their life. I certainly left the demon realm firmly assured they could now die quite happily. With the tour reaching its finale in Birmingham tonight, I would advise you sell your soul to catch him at Download Festival this year. The prospect of waiting another dozen years to see the man bears downright preposterous. Are you listening, Rob? These gaudy sold-out shows are a message from Lucifer: Britain is infected with Zombie-fever, and it’s highly contagious!

Don’t leave it so long next time, we need our feed!

Rob Zombie website

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Potty-mouthed punk rocker. Love using my face as a canvas, making noises with six strings and frolicking about with the English language. Gigs and festivals are my happy place, meeting intriguing folk and sabotaging my liver. Total horror fiend, and I don\'t mean the sort I see in Sunderland. My heroes are Vic and Bob. Dislike narrow-mindedness, the royal family and ginger money.


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