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Phil Ilson
The Halloween Society

After winding down the Halloween events at Notre Dame Hall, I was approached by Vivienne Gaskin, Head of Live Arts at the ICA. She’d had two regular live cinema nights at this venue which had now finished: Cinergy, and Mark Webber’s Little Stabs at Happiness. The first Halloween event at the ICA was called Freak Show Cinema and was part of the 2001 London Film Festival, where Sandra Hebron was now director and open to new ideas. The event featured DJ Dot Allison create a new soundtrack to the silent classic ‘Freaks’, which was stunning and gave further fuel for thought. Feeling that the ICA theatre was more suitable as a live music venue, I approached the Manchester based post-rock three piece Dakota Oak Trio (DOT) to perform a live soundtrack to ‘Battleship Potemkin’. This first Full Length at the ICA was a sell out and the start of a new monthly club night that lasted three years, with an unbelievable 28 Full Length events in that time. Highlights included Electrelane vs. Godard’s ‘2 or 3 Things I Know About Her’, Buck 65 vs. ‘Eraserhead’, DJ Yoda vs. ‘The Goonies’, Queen Adreena vs ‘Crash’, Simian vs. ‘Microcosmos’, British Sea Power vs. ‘Baraka’, Mower vs. ‘Braindead’, Gorodisch vs. ‘The Wicker Man’, and the ticket tout mayhem of Ladytron vs. ‘Tron’. Although the events trailed off in 2003, Halloween continues with live soundtracking events. There was also bad feeling when then-ICA director Philip Dodd had his own Full Length event in Trafalgar Square with the Pet Shop Boys performing live to ‘Battleship Potemkin’ as his farewell party on leaving the ICA.

Flyer for Full Length at the ICA
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