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After careful consideration and negotiations with various ethereal entities, we are pleased to announce that Witchfork has been acquired by an undisclosed multidimensional conglomerate. This acquisition marks a new chapter in our journey, and we are excited about the opportunities it presents for our community of otherworldly writers and diviners.

We will continue to keep you informed about the future developments of Witchfork under its new ownership. In the meantime, we encourage you to explore and engage with the vast library of fascinating and deeply untrustworthy writing that our platform has to offer.

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The Witchfork Team


Only God Was Above Us

Vampire Weekend


Jack Hula

GENRE: Indie Rock
LABEL: Columbia
REVIEWED: April 23, 2024

You get to the wedding early. It was all planned in advance. The train from Paddington was slower than usual but the walk from the station to Rhodes House was pleasant, crossing a picturesque bridge before winding through the old colleges. You don’t know Oxford well, but it speaks to you. A Five Guys marks the old Friars path to Saint Mary’s, while Lamb & Flag passage whisks you past the parks and quadrangles. Your bandmates are running late, but they had to take the van. As you approach the grounds you see him, tall and pale. Wedding coordinator and self styled bridal consultant, Auberon Web. A man of Victorian sensibilities, wearing enough rings to bind a dozen weddings and a hat that could hide a dove.

It’s all been word of mouth. From one small wedding to another. Has it been a dozen now? This wedding must be the thirteenth, and by far the best paid. You can’t even remember who recommended you for this one, but they bypassed email, hand delivering a scented envelope to your home address. The letter was written on aged paper and smelled of roses, maybe an incense of some kind. The pen-work was intricate, a hypnotic mesh of impossibly symmetrical curves. This wasn’t just an invitation or a solicitation, it was a summoning. 

No-one means to intentionally start a cover band, let alone one called Vampire Bank Holiday Weekend. But there you are, the lead singer of such a band, getting led to your dressing room by Mr. Web. It’s unreasonably dark and you almost trip over one of the stone steps, but his bejewelled hand is there to catch you and lead you towards the candlelight.

“Your fellow musicians alighted on the other side of the gate, but they insisted that you get some rest before soundcheck.”

It doesn’t sound like something Vince, Carl and Reggie would say, let alone insist on. They have no penchant for lugging gear around, and skipping out on the van was already contentious. Maybe they’re trying to make a point? Either way, you’re feeling a bit sleepy, actually very sleepy, and the best lyrics, the best lyrics write themselves, write themselves…

Imposing a British sensibility onto Vampire Weekend’s quintessentially American lyricism. That’s the band’s schtick. “Who gives a bloomin’ toss about the Oxford Comma… for when Lil Jon speaks there’s little room for deceit”. 

You wake up in the same dark room. The candles are no shorter and the candlelight is no dimmer, but you can tell that the sun has set beyond the thick stone walls of Rhodes House. There’s that familiar buzz of matrimonial revelry. Clinking glasses and avuncular murmurs reverberate through the building. It’s a very familiar atmosphere, though you note an absence. No camera flashes, very few mobile phones. Then there’s the music itself… a string quartet maybe, or is it a pipe organ? You reflect that Vampire Weekend have always been popular with the classical music crowd.

Mr. Web is nowhere to be seen. Luckily you arrived in your costume, a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, beige khakis and white trainers. You make sure your shoelaces are tied, straighten out your trousers and head down to the ceremony.

To call the decorations extravagant would be to undersell their majesty. Shimmering waterfalls of velvet and silk become a river of red carpet. Golden torches hang from the ceiling, swinging calmly. Long golden tables lined with otherworldly artefacts and arranged like a hexagram, pointing towards a grand, two-seated throne.

The crowd is strangely alluring. Even the old look young, with a spring in their step and a lust for the living. The young amongst them, few and far between, are more elegant than mischievous. A young boy pokes his head from under one of the tables. He has the eyes of a sailor, a soldier - or maybe a philosopher - despite the red velvet cake on his face.

You turn to the buffet. The cocktail sausages look close to raw. The canapés are hard to place, like delicacies from another age. Instead, in an attempt to look polite, you spoon a slice of perfectly moulded red jelly onto your plate. There’s no sweetness when you chew the desert, just a metallic aftertaste.

You finally spot Mr. Web in the corner of the room. Laughing and smiling like a wild hyena with a crescent moon stuck in its jaw. He’s arched over his enraptured audience, a true master of ceremonies. Your eyes meet and he goes silent. His entourage twists, turning their necks to watch you cross the room.

“Ah, the performer has arrived! I can see you’ve had your beauty sleep, and indeed you look just like him, the Youth Eternal.”

You hear a distant clock ring out eleven times. Mr. Web beckons you.

“Come this way. Your band awaits… You know we did book the originals one time, the Weekenders. What a fine young band they were. But to be honest, it was a disaster. They had… ideas.”

You’re led downwards, deep into the belly of the wedding venue. Corridors become catacombs become crypts. Mr. Web melodiously twirls a set of bronze keys, unlocking doors into chambers that have never dreamt of daylight.

You reach a stone room with a glowing orb. Three men in red robes are dragging amplifiers and drum heads over beautifully carved steps. Your stage, an altar. There are markings on the floor. Rings of wax and red paint brought to life by the magic sphere’s intermittent pulse.

You have a vision. Music in a red dress. Face perpetually illuminated, like a camera flash with nowhere for the light to go. Your mind has been all over the place lately. No left or right brain, just a matryoshka doll of memories. Talking to each other, talking to themselves.

You’re on the dark side of her room. Eyes open. Neck itching.

“Would you like to have a drink? A toast to the happy couple.”