3.11.11

Preview: Clubs to Remember This 5th of November



Why should history get all the glory? Every November the 5th should be just as memorable as the original...

"Remember, remember the 5th of November 
Gunpowder Treson and plot
I can think of no reason 
The gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot... "

In England, the 5th of November is a pretty big deal. To celebrate it, people light bonfires, set off fireworks and get plastered outside in the cold and, usually, the rain. It's all a part of the 'Bonfire Night' tradition, introduced by the English government in the 17th century in order to celebrate the arrest of dissident Guy Fawkes. On November 5th 1606, Fawkes was caught under the Houses of Parliament with barrels of explosives; he was trying to blow up the government and instigate a state of anarchy (in the U.K.) by bringing down the fledgling Parliament. And the first punk had not even been born yet...!


Snake worshipping, (ex) acid-dealing author Moore
More than 300 years later, Fawkes' image was appropriated by author Alan Moore for his fictional character "V" in the comic, "V for Vendetta".  And, unlike the film by the same name, the Vertigo series is essentially a treatise on applied anarchy, envisioning planned chaos as an antidote to fascism, Thatcherism, feral capitalism... you name it. It's more like an activists' manual than a kids' book, basically.

In the England, the meaning of November 5th has changed a lot over the last few centuries.  It has gone from being a celebration of government to a celebration of anarchy and chaos (well, mostly chaos). Hated authority figures tend to get burned in effigy in Guy Fawkes' place. People take to the streets and fireworks hail down on everyone's heads... a bit like New Year's Eve in Berlin, but with a sense  of rebellion that transcends the materialistic decadence of Silvester. 

Coincidentally, the Occupy movement has been sweeping like a human(e) wildfire through the ethically-parched West in the run-up to November 5th. Let it set your imagination on fire this weekend!



So what does Guy Fawkes have to do with my weekly preview,  you ask? Well, it just so happens that Berlin is lighting up a musical bonfire on November 5th that will drizzle parties across the weekend like embers from a burning effigy. All that is needed is for someone to stir a political statement into the coals and bang! Guy's your uncle.

One of the smaller sparks that may be worth checking out is the Loft Galore party at Griessmuhle. For one thing, ZMF is in charge of the venue and for another, well, the venue (pictured above) looks pretty amazing - underground in the figurative, if not literal, sense.

On Friday the 4th though, Gegen will be hosting a night called Gegen Angst at KitKat Club. The theme of the night is 'fear' (that's what angst actually means in German). The Gegen crew would like you to dress up as 'whatever you are afraid of' but no strict dress code will be enforced.  I expect at least one or two people will show up in riot cop gear, or maybe as bankers dressed in a bloodstained suits (a-la American Psycho).

Experimental music fans will be pleased to know the "industrial legend" John Murphy (of SPK and Current 93 fame) will be playing at the party.

DJs from Kater Holzig, Bar 25 and Highgrade Recordings will be letting rip at Im Dichten Dickicht at the Alte Fleischfabrik this Saturday. The club is located in a part of Lichtenberg that is as neglected, derelict and underpopulated as the dystopian future. It's a great place for would-be revolutionaries to get a taste of life without official interference - so long as the council doesn't cancel it again, natch.

Brunnen 70 will be throwing another Wild Wedding party this Saturday. The lineup seems suspiciously small but even so, the club's name carries some very reckless and playful connotations with it. I would compare it to being in the cellar of a McDonald's Playland that has been squatted by drunken art students. Probably worth the trek up north of the Mitte, despite the t.b.c. which hangs ominously over the listing.

Last of all: on Saturday at 21:30 there will be the New Yorck (sic) im Bethanien Soliparty at Mariannenplatz 2 in Kreuzberg, to support the fight against racist refugee laws in Berlin. Because keeping society free for all is the most honourable goal that any anarchist can work for.



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...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.