“I love L.A.” darks-out of frontwoman Arrow de Wilde’s mouth. Although restrained, the statement speaks to an unchained relationship with glamour and the grotesque that colours the 18-year-old’s presence, and when released, the words don’t simply fall, but are supercharged by an accompanying quarter-pint of blood that spills from Wilde’s lips and clings to her silver, space-ready suit.

However, it’s difficult to remain focused on Wilde’s cycle of possession, exorcism and repossession, when vaudeville guitarist Henri Cash is making a performance of skin-shedding – clouding the air of Manchester’s Deaf Institute with subconscious demons that empty out of his restless feet. A small notice hangs stage-left – now covered in bodily fluids: ‘This will be a potentially disturbing performance.” With warning, it only takes Starcrawler 37-minutes to drag all that isn’t bound through the filth, and burn it with their name. “We will kill you.”

The rancid ‘Rocky Horror’-pop of ‘Pussy Tower’ sees the twenty-nothings suspended in a dirt-fantasy, where ‘What I Want’s Wilde feeds the words “I will do what I want” to the audience, and demands they spit them back at her – acting as a mission statement for the reckless and untamed. The slow-dirge of ‘Chicken Woman’ fails to escape the 4-minute mark, and kills Wilde in the process – severing the beast’s head, only to have a Cerebrus-like triptych of  feverish personalities appear in its place – all fighting at once, as the 16ft runaway is struck by veins of feedback that induce some-kind-of reanimation and lead her to leap from the stage to the bar.

Wilde wrecks everything in her path – shattering bones and glass, before adopting her final form of malignant-gymnast, and finding a seat on the shoulders of a giant. The audience turns into a dominatrix-ruled, dystopic-rodeo, and the soundtrack is provided by none other than a small child who was gifted guitar and platform by Cash, and is now destroying both. Although unforgettable, it’s difficult to measure how far theatrics can be stretched, and the thin veil of danger hide an otherwise hollow body, but for now the gore is enough.

Starcrawler: Official | Facebook | Twitter

James Musker

Music Journalism student and lover of all things sensory and cosmic.