The Sounds of the Symposium

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Sir Reginald Pikedevant, Esquire “glued some gears on it and called it Steampunk” (Photo by Travis Fessler)

There are so many reasons to attend steampunk conventions, it can be hard to know where to start. Cool costumes, cool panels, awesome vendors, tea…the list goes on. One of the more subtle yet no less important elements of a good convention is the entertainment offered.


The entertainment at this year’s symposium opened with a roar. Automaton is steampunk’s very own heavy metal band, and their performance did not disappoint. What makes a metal band steampunk, you ask? Songs that tell stories about evil brothers and airships, that’s what. The icing on the cake was the steampunk garb worn by all the members. Many audience members were swept away by the performance, making good use of the open space in front of the stage to dance and rock out to the electric guitars . . . or were they steam powered guitars?

The Gin Rebellion

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The Gin Rebellion bring their brand of chaos to the stage (Photo by Travis Fessler)

What’s better than a metal band singing about airships? An eastern-influenced folk band singing about accordions. The Gin Rebellion had two sets last weekend. The first was Friday night following Automaton, and the second was Sunday afternoon. Friday night saw the first ever public performance of a new song about a man named Jack who sells his soul to the devil and, you guessed it, plays the accordion. The band also performed audience favourites such as “Tin Body, Clockwork Mind” and “The Evil, Haunted Accordion.” And, for those brave enough to rise to the challenge, a drinking game was also played.

Valentine Wolfe

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The dark and haunting melodies of Valentine Wolfe (Photo by Travis Fessler)

Edgar Allen Poe! H.P. Lovecraft! No, it’s not a gothic literary convention, it’s a musical performance by the Gothic metal band Valentine Wolfe. This duo combines the ethereal vocals of Sarah Black with the wicked bass-playing of Braxton Ballew to produce a haunting experience quite unlike anything else. Despite their flair for the creepy, their songs were beautiful and surreal, incorporating important lessons about love, life, death, and the risks of involvement in the supernatural.

Missing Something?

Fans of Frenchy and the Punk may have been disappointed that their favorite band did not put in an appearance at the convention this year. But never fear! On May 7th, the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon will be hosting the biggest Salon ever, featuring not one, not two, but three steampunk bands on the third floor of Molly Malone’s in Covington. Come out to hear Frenchy and the Punk, The Men Who Will not Be Blamed for Nothing, and the Nathaniel Johnstone Band. It’s like an entire convention line-up condensed into one, unforgettable evening!


May 2016 Salon Banner

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