The late, great Lou Reed sang about “acting loud and mean, where the docks and the badlands meet” on his 1989 song, ‘Halloween Parade’. Liverpool-based events company Rebel Soul have taken the master’s lyrics as an instruction for their annual Halloween party, as they present a night of fun and fire at Invisible Wind Factory this month. There’s a story in its voice, too. By Alan O’Hare.

Futuristic landscapes. Dystopian societies. Self-destructing worlds. Conflicting tribes. No, John Carpenter is not coming to town (well, he is, but we digress). What we’re talking about is the return of Liverpool’s favourite Halloween party – and there won’t be a clown in sight. Moving from the now-defunct Kazimier to its, erm, afterbirth (?), Invisible Wind Factory, ‘The Voodoo Ball’ is back on the edge of town with a ‘return to Afrotopia’ theme for 2016.

What’s it all about? The blurb tells us that “… ‘The Return to Afrotopia’ is the story of a self-destructing world, in which civil order has broken down and violence is rife.” Sound. But what will happen? Organisers Rebel Soul have all the answers: “At the heart of the chaos are the ‘afroPUNKS’ and the ‘afroLORDS’, two conflicting tribes who once lived harmoniously, sharing ideologies and power. Control is now firmly in the hands of the ‘afroLORDS’ – a totalitarian regime, hell-bent on the destruction of freedom and the infliction of suffering. For the ‘afroPUNKS’, there’s only one avenue: respect existence or expect resistance!”

We’re glad that’s cleared up, then… what it all means is that you’ll be getting bang for your Halloween buck. The night will include African and Latin dance music and drumming, martial arts, fire and an incredible set design. Face and body painting will be part of the process and, running alongside the main event, will be the annual ‘Wake The Dead’ parade… usually a carnival of noise through the dead centre of town.

That’s enough chatter, though. Talking about ‘The Voodoo Ball’ is a bit like talking about sex: it’s better demonstrated…

Who will I hear?
Afriquoi (below), Electric Jalaba, RIMKA, Katumba, Truth & Lies Music, Danny Fitzgerald (Soul Jazz Records), Radio Exotica.

What will I see?
Bring the Fire Project (below), Capoeira For All, Hope Street Limited (The Last Utopian), Hobo Punx, Skullduggery.

What will I experience?
As part of the ‘Wake The Dead’ Halloween parade – a collaboration between Rebel Soul and Brazuka Brazil – expect to be blown away by the 70-strong drum troupe, Katumba (below).

Rebel Soul presents
The Voodoo Ball: Return to Afrotopia
Invisible Wind Factory, Regent Road, Liverpool
Saturday 29th October 2016, 8pm
Get tickets

Please note: the ‘Wake The Dead’ parade’s route includes Bold Street, Slater Street, Fleet Street, David Lewis Street, Seel Street, Hanover Street, College Lane, Peter’s Lane, Church Street, Whitechapel, Button Street, Rainford Square and Mathew Street.

Pic courtesy One Fell Swoop