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Emilie Autumn is back in the UK, playing Manchester tonight, thrilling us at a much larger venue than previously in 2010, when she played the Academy 3. For those of you not familiar with Emilie and her entourage of ‘Bloody Crumpets’ I shall try to describe one of her shows. Firstly it is always a multi-coloured affair, shimmering with uniquely hand made exotic, but shabby chic outfits, the music has elements of pop, vaudeville, industrial metal, and a touch of classical overtones - well she is a classical trained violinist. Emilie composes songs which have pretty controversial subjects, such as sexual abuse, self mutilation, suicide, manic depression but all delivered with a twisted sense of humour, and strangely enough its also hugely entertaining. Emilie has almost a cult following, and most of them are female, she calls them affectionately ‘Plague Rats’. Take your seats, gaze in wonderment, thrill to the sounds, and have the time of your life, Emile and her Crumpets are in the house - Melanie Smith

Approaching the Ritz the queue was array with stripes, lace, kinky boots, hats, and custom burlesque attire. The hall filled with plague rat’s as vintage music played out, teasing us far too long to wait for the show to began…. 'Insanity is on the rise… Madness is a disease, and no one is immune.' One by one the Bloody Crumpets slowly scurried onto stage awaiting Emilie to appear from behind the clock, wearing her trademark Venetian style plague [doctor] mask with its long beak. 'Raise your claws!!' The audience shrieked in excitement and raised their claw like hands into the air, they are fully indoctrinated now. Emilie and her crumpets dazzled the audience looking beautiful in sexy, shabby basques and torn stockings.

Sitting in a wheelchair Emilie, with a fierce blond and pink Mohawk hairpiece sang, 'My heart  is a weapon of war, my weapon of choice'. Full of feminine power she's ready to 'Fight like a girl'. Tantalisingly seductive these ladies whip their rats into a frenzy. Now taking her electric violin Emilie shows even more of her talents, if only she played for a little longer.

Now as the show moves on its time for the introductions… 'Welcome to the Asylum for Victorian Girls!' …'Queen of the Rats' we have Emilie Autumn, the scrumptiously beautiful 'Naughty Veronica', cheeky 'Captain Maggot' and voluptuous 'The Blessed Contessa'. Engaging the crowd in play, a long game in which Contessa casts a spell upon them, ready for Emilie to sing once more, this time from her piano. Excitement is charged and Maggot goes in for crowd surf.

With some time now to cool down Veronica enticed the crowd dancing elegantly and teasingly with her huge white ostrich fans, spread out in every shape imaginable. Emilie reappeared with a flat cap ready for Contessa to have a lesson in the art of love as they play' 'The Rat Game', in which they share an erotic kiss which sizzled into the atmosphere. Contessa then chose an audience member to play in the game, the ‘victim’ who had to be “over 18” and willing to share a French kiss with her. There's too much fun happening in this asylum!


Emilie returned to stage to finish her show, sitting on the rail by the clock, warmingly humble she thanks the plague rats, 'The Asylum now belongs to you, your the closest thing to a family I have ever had’. Throughout her performance you feel the emotion from experience which is reflected in her music, 'Fuck blood ties when you can have soul mates!' With an encore from the piano Emilie and her tasty Crumpets tease you one last time. Playfully dancing around the show ended with 'Always look on the bright side of life'. A heartfelt note for all faced with the ups and downs of life in this crazy Asylum.


Best Safety Lies in Fear 
4 O'Clock
Dr. Stockill
Fight Like A girl
Time For Tea
The Art of Suicide
Take The Pill
How to Break a Heart
Girls! Girls! Girls!
The Rat Game
We Want Them Young
One Foot In Front of the Other


Mad Girl
Thank God I’m Pretty

Review by Laura Everett
Intro by Melanie Smith
Photos by Melanie Smith - full set here: