Mike James (of Mike James Rock Show) appears to be entirely responsible for a zombie invasion building up in the southern county town of Exeter (we are a city and proud of it lolz). A lovely place full of historic and quaint buildings, awash with happy locals and tourists alike. Wait a moment; those don’t look like the usual tourists….
October the 31st 2014 sees Exeter host a zombie walk with an after show featuring live music (Skindred, Glamour of the Kill, I Divide) and other entertainment (zombie burlesque performers and two dudes from Dirty Sanchez likely injuring each other). This all sounds too much to resist for a horror fanatic and part time zombie like John E Smoke, so he set his decaying mind to work to groan a few questions at Mike James.
JES – Alright comrade, first of all why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a radio DJ and zombie leader?
MJ – Hi I’ve been Djing be it club, events or radio for the last 17 years in one shape or form but it’s in the last 6/7yrs that i have really got in to radio and have built up a great name for myself winning a few awards along the way for my radio show. I have a slight obsession with zombies and the undead and haven seen Zombie events around the UK and world and thought we need something like that down that way and it is now one of the regions show cases
JES – From my own personal experience it can be hard work organising a successful zombie walk. How many have you organised prior to this years event and how many of the undead did you dredge up last time?
MJ – This is the fourth one i have done and it has grown year on year with this years event topping out at over 1000 people taking part hopefully. Which would be 200 more than last year?
JES – Any problems with the local establishment? How did the locals react?
MJ – Not one bit the event is run in conjunction with Devon County council, Exeter City Council as well as the city centre management team and the local shopping centre who also supply and allow us to have an outdoor stage were the walk stops half way along and we give one lucky local unsigned rock/metal act the chance to perform to the massed undead. Last year we had spectators along the course and this year the local papers have fully got behind the event running articles every week, It really have become one of the highlights on the city’s social calendar of events
JES – So should zombies walk, merely shuffle, sprint or simply drag themselves as fast as their decaying limbs will allow?
MJ – It’ defiantly a walk/shuffle type event, It’s not the longest course in the living world plus we have entertainments along the course too for everyone to enjoy living or dead.
JES – What is the best zombie outfit you’ve seen at a walk so far?
MJ – A year or so ago someone came with what looks like a computer keyboard that had be push through him like he had just come from the office and pushed it through his guts and it came out of his back, genius idea, we also had a very pregnant lady with an arm coming out of her belly. People really make an effort and we have spot prizes for the best dressed people care of Blue Banana Clothing.
JES – So what are your favourite zombie films or TV series?
MJ – Dead hands down Shaun Of The Dead, comedy zombie at its best Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are just awesome and the soundtrack is killer!!!
JES – So for this year’s walk, can you tell us a few more details, times, route, dos and don’ts?
MJ – It starts at 17.00 from the upper bas station car park and is then lead by our very own pied piper of the undead along the city centre, through Princesshey Shopping Centre (where the outdoor stage is and then up the High Street and along Queen Street. The only do’s and don’ts is Do have fun with your friends and Don’t eat the locals as they are probably more infected then the zombies
JES – Is there a good cause benefiting from all your post grave antics?
MJ – There have been some charities that have asked if they can come along and collect with is great but is many just a safe, fun family orientated event for anyone to come and celebrate Halloween in style
JES – You’ve been hard at work setting up some great entertainment for the evening at the Lemon Grove. Do the choices of bands playing reflect your own tastes in music?
MJ – Kinda me and my team had a wish list of headliners for this year’s event and we got all the acts we wanted it’s pretty much our dream line up and as we are moving to our new home the 5th instalment of the Zombie Ball is very special to us all
JES – Are you going to make them all dress up as zombies for their shows?
MJ – We were lucky enough to interview Glamour of the Kill earlier this year who were already aware of our event as they had been chatting to last year’s headliners Bleed From Within and by the time we interviewed them they already had their outfits chosen for this Octobers event, Skindred have also said they are pulling out the stops for this event and dressing up as are all the other acts inc our Miss Pin Up UK ladies who are doing Zombie themed burlesque.
JES – And later on there is some slightly more adult themed entertainment to be enjoyed. Tell us more….
MJ – We those crazy Welsh boys from Dirty Sanchez are coming down to do what they do best and gross people out, we also have some raunchy burlesque form 3 of the finalist of Miss Pin Up UK 2014 all doing zombie themed performances one includes a real chainsaw and it will all be topped off with a banging DJ set from Kerrang’s Alex Baker
JES – So where should the average zombie head to get tickets and find out more information? Anything elese we should know?
MJ – All the info is on www.mikejamesrockshow.com and you can get tickets for the ball from Exeter Phoenix Box Office on Gandy Street or www.exeterboxoffice.com or www.seetickets.com
Come and have some fun in the shire Halloween style.