2007: The Ballad of Oddfellow

Our first short film; made on a shoestring, edited to an impossibly tight deadline and first screened in May 2007 as part of the Brighton Festival, with Oddfellow’s performing a live soundtrack. There are some fun moments but the film never quite got the budget or timescales we’d hoped for; I seem to recall the director, Toby Amies, turning up that first night with the final edit, only minutes before the show was about to start.

The Ballad of Oddfellow

There are cameos in The Ballad of Oddfellow from Dave Mounfield (Geoffrey in Radio 4’s Count Arthur Strong), and Atters from the Chap Magazine but star of the film was Drako Zarahazar, a former Dali Model and dancer who had starred in Warhol and Derek Jarman movies when younger. Drako was about 68 when we made the film and despite having to sit motionless for over an hour while Toby stuffed cotton wool into his mouth for the ectoplasm scene, he never complained once.

The film is the re-telling of the story of Ambrose Oddfellow, a former Victorian freakshow host whose show, Oddfellow’s Casino, is from where the band took its name. Legend has it that Ambrose killed his wife by accident when drunk. In the film I imagined her cold spirit returning during a séance and freezing him to death. Was it out of revenge or a loving desire to be re-united with her husband? I’m not sure I have the answer.