A Figment In The Elsewhere #4: Heavy Metal Pete

hmp.jpg[pic by Juliet Shalam]

-being the fourth in an ongoing series detailing stand-out acts that ‘appeared’ at The Double R Club (often more than once); acts that Rose Thorne and I loved, that seem to typify in some way, or stand as emblems for, just what it is The Double R have attempted to do, to be, displays that went some way to describing our own particular brand of ‘Lynchian’, over the last 100 shows and nearly a decade…

This time: Heavy Metal Pete, and his Lynchian Bad Man act.

Pete has been with us since the beginning and it would be remiss of me not to mention the act he created for us that he’s most well known for, his BOB act. We’d known Pete for a while before he contacted us and mentioned he’d like to manifest as the “inhabiting spirit” and “evil that men do” and, honestly, the prospect seemed as best strange; Pete, it should be said is a very quiet, mild-mannered and altogether lovely individual and, barring the long hair, about as far from a personification of metaphysical malevolence “from another place” as can be imagined. But boy oh boy did he prove all doubting wrong. The first time he crawled onto the Double R stage as BOB, I saw the front row visibly recoil in fear. Apart from being an incredible technical performer, Pete also embodies BOB so well, it’s difficult not to imagine simply handing over all your garmobozia like a child gives a bully his lunch money. At the first ever Twin Peaks UK Festival, Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs) and Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady) complemented Pete on his performance and uncanny likeness while performing, to the original, the late Frank Silva. Pete also portrayed BOB, to terrifying effect, opposite Lydia Darling (as Laura) and Snake Fervor (as Ronette) in our immersive, and deeply unsettling, traincar murder at subsequent TPUKFs.

traincar[-with Lydia Darling- pic by Soulstealer]

A particularly visceral version of Pete’s BOB act, crossed with Agent Cooper (there have been several incarnations) won him our first ever Mr. Twin Peaks crown in 2016)

bob.jpg[pic by gh0stdot]

And it is this physical embodiment that sets Pete apart from so many other sideshow and fire performers; many can do the ‘tricks’ that Pete does: fire breathing, body burning, sword swallowing etc. (though often not as well) but very few can then frame those skills in a dramatic character and scenario in the way that he does. When Pete does his thing, it’s as much an acting performance as it is a sideshow act.

This is never more true than in Pete’s Lynchian Bad Man act.

His very own creation, Pete’s Lynchian Bad Man is a kind of amalgamation of elements from various antagonists from Lynch’s worlds, as well as an all-new persona that would not be out of place in any of the dark worlds of Lynch’s imagination. Hair slicked back, teeth blackened and rotten, he may wear a Bobby Peru style pencil moustache and a bootlace tie similar to Frank Booth’s, but when Pete takes to the stage he is both neither of the aforementioned villains and their equal.

badman.jpg[pic by Juliet Shalam]

And it is the second he steps on the stage that the depth of performance becomes clear. Pete’s entire physicality changes, his shoulders narrow, hands limp as his sides, his lurching gait carrying him into the light like a sneering, suited insect. Immediately you know that you do not want to fuck with this man, that he has done things that would keep you up at nights. If he walked into a bar you were in, you’d leave.

To the crushing, epic, bluesy dirge of Wiseblood’s Hey Bop A Ree Bop, (“Where some people said I have a soul, I have a hole… An’ it’s goin’ down fast”) he slithers onto the stage, drinks whisky, puts out a cigarette on his tongue, staples fabric to his bared torso, eats a REAL lightbulb, grinning all the time, often drooling real blood as his seemingly rotten teeth grind the glass to a power, which he then washes down with more whisky.

badmanbblood[pic by Juliet Shalam]

Seldom will you witness on stage a man being both extraordinary bad (with a capital B) and so, so good simultaneously; not to mention so quintessentially ‘Double R’.

Truly, Heavy Metal Pete is the stuff that wonderful nightmares are made on…

heavymetalpete_9846[pic by gh0stdot]

~ by benjaminlouche on August 21, 2019.

2 Responses to “A Figment In The Elsewhere #4: Heavy Metal Pete”

  1. Cool post
    I thought you would be interested in this post from another blogger. https://cakeordeathsite.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/rabbits/
    I’ve followed your blog since the Twin Peaks Dr Sketchies in Birmingham.

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