The demons were paraded a night early in Collingwood last Fridayevening, as the more gullible of the world waited for the supposed ‘Rapture’. Perhaps there was a mistake in the translation, or perhaps after being bound and gagged for so long in the treacherous grips of the fiery abyss, they grew impatient and broke free. Either way, one could say that The Demon Parade’s sold out single launch at The Tote was one steaming hot affair that had crowds firmly planting their feet on the ground and grinning maniacally, as the end approached majestically across the horizon; glimmering red on an otherwise bleak night.

(The virgin) Mary of the Moon kicked things off, a small beacon of light in the blackened venue, once divine, flickering palely in and out of life like a dying candle. Their guitar wailed both mournfully and seductively as it said its goodbyes to the sinners it was about to leave behind, and the singer’s pained vocals suited this perfectly. (For those of you not digging this scribe’s over-dedication to storytelling, they were really fucking cool. Their music played out like the lost soundtrack to a David Lynch film, both otherworldly and worldly at the same time, and they were incredibly tight for such a new band. Go see them, now.)

The devious and deceptive supernatural beings began creeping out of the shadows with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Masking themselves with playful behaviour and smoke and mirrors, much like a fucked up sideshow clown that… well… let’s not go into that; these guys had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand. With jangly, surfy guitars that bowed down to the likes of 13th Floor Elevators and The Sonics, as well as kickin’ drum beats, (two drummers = better than one drummer, according to the king), this band of misleadingly charismatic devils brought a smile to the faces of each of the sinners left behind… “Maybe the end isn’t so bad after all,” the audience furtively thought to themselves.

Already doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a blazing inferno, and already beginning to accept it, the punters at this show had no problems at all with tasting the forbidden fruit that is Redberryplum. Their sweet-tasting, unearthly vocals made it feel almost natural that the crowd be partaking in this ultimate sin, and served as an opiate for the masses, who by now had been lulled into a false sense of security paralleled only by that of the American peoples after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. (Hey, ain’t nothin’ to do but calls it like you sees it.)

After lying about and drooling at the mouth like a bunch of overfed kittens, the thunderous cries of The Demon Parade’s starting riff startled the audience into a near nervous breakdown, reminding them that this was, after all, the apocalypse. Yes, the demons did indeed parade into the establishment, marching to the beat of nobody’s drum, with smoke billowing around their ankles kaleidoscopically.

This Demon Parade was different to that of which the audience had grown familiar with. With a new bassist and guitarist, and keyboardist Whill Dempsey returned to the fold, their wall of sound was stronger than ever, circling the room like an indestructible force field, preventing any kind of escape from its hypnotic clutches. New songs were played for the first time, as well as old songs for the first time in a long while. Their new single, ‘To the Mountain’, would prove to be one of the least heavy of the set, though it still retained that late 80’s English psychedelic sound that you’ve all come to know and love. As the set moved on, the spiraling guitars drilled deeper and darker down into the abyss, until at the climax of the set, the crowd came to the reciprocal realization that that was it; they had lived to see the end of the world, and they had loved every minute of it. The fact that you’re all still sitting here today would prove that it was something ephemeral though, or perhaps just the figment of an overactive imagination…

–       Mary Ann Birchall