Now what I’m about to tell you is legend, and a mighty fine one at that. Somewhere high in the skies above dangerous lands, the members of a gothic/industrial band called Abney Park took control of a time-traveling dirigible called the Ophelia. From then on, this band of misfits and hooligans set out to become the most notorious of all airship pirates. They shared their many adventures through music and printed page. Before too long, they were crowned the most popular Steampunk band in the land.
Yet, I never heard of them…
Until the night a good Fairy friend and an Angel in Black fluttered into town with tickets to The Time Traveler’s Ball. This night of festivities capped the first day of FaerieCon West in Seattle – a gathering of kindred spirits from villages far and wide.
The headline act was this so-called Abney Park. How they miraculously landed Ophelia without snagging her gasbags on the Space Needle is beyond me. The crowd went crazy as they stormed the stage. The men, so handsome and strong, led by the dashing Captain Robert Brown. The women, so exquisite and alluring, were also tough enough to make any brute think twice before provoking any trouble.
Abney Park’s intense rhythms, dragon-sized hooks and tribal beats transported everyone into another dimension for a few glorious hours of dance and good cheer – and then, just like thieves in the night, they were gone.
I struggled to find a way to capture the experience in words. How do you describe a sound so fresh, yet so deeply rooted in history? A few ales later, I came up with this:
Jules Verne stories, performed by latter-era Gogol Bordello, produced by early Nine Inch Nails, blasting through the speakers of a vintage Victrola.
But why was Abney Park headlining at a FaerieCon? What was the fairy/faerie connection? Any fey sporting the trappings of steampunk would certainly be on the grittier side of the feather and horn, but were they mutually exclusive? Some have a hard time aligning the two, but others argue that it was only a matter of time. Brigid Ashwood said it well in Faerie Magazine (republished on Wired in March, 2011), “Steampunk fairies mix the dark fey of myth with urban decay, grease, and mischief. Cast off from a dying society they lurk at the edges, eking out a dire existence amidst smog and ruin.” Ashwood’s stunning illustration of fairy in steampunk, “Unlocked,” appears above (and is available at her etsy store).
But back to Abney Park and their music, take a listen for yourself; the possibilities to describe the band are as endless as their imagination… and your own. In preparation for the worldwide release of their latest volume of melodic stories, Ancient World (available June 2, 2012), Abney Park invites one and all to join the “Steampunk Revolution.”
We’ve got a Steampunk Revolution
We’re tired of your so-called evolution
We’ve gone back to 1886
Don’t ask us why
That’s how we get our kicks
Out with the new, in with the old, out with the new, in with the old
In addition to the current lineup of Abney Park, the video offers glimpses of other living legends from the Steampunk scene, including:
- Steampunk Holmes
- Kato’s gorgeous Steampunk Couture fashion
- The Neverwas Haul – a steam powered, rolling Victorian house
- Nelson Illusions – a magical, jaw-dropping, theatrical spectacle
- Professor Elemental: Steampunk’s leading hip-hop/cabaret and comedy act
- The fantasy artwork of Aimee Stewart
- The Giant Steampunk Spider created by La Machine of France for the Liverpool City Council
- The exotic dancing of Tasha D
- The fascinating creations of Dr. Evermore, the Wisconsin-based sculptor of Forevertron: one of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures
Plus hundreds of fan photos – the very awesome people you will likely meet when you check out the band on tour.
For tour dates, CDs, downloads, posters, literature and the band’s signature Steampunk attire, visit their robust marketplace at www.abneypark.com.