Krampus is coming; so is ‘Sleigher’
Naughty children beware.
Krampus is visiting Pittsburgh again this year, and Sleigher, a local Christmas-inspired heavy metal band, is providing the soundtrack for the cloven-hooved beast known in European folklore for capturing insolent children in a sack, beating them and then eating them.
Sleigher, a six-piece band that plays traditional holiday tunes with heavy metal attitude will play in Market Square at 7 p.m. Wednesday during Krampusnacht, the Barvarian celebration of Krampus coming to town.
Revelers young and old can get their picture taken on Krampus’s lap and join in a Krampus bar crawl.
Philip, Sleigher’s vocalist will belt out hardcore Christmas carols with accompaniment from bassist Goatzilla, drummer Ramsey, keyboardist Schadenfreude, Manager Vincent Van Goat and guitarist Little Saint Nicky, the Santa among the demonic-looking horde.
“If you look at any of the Krampus parades in Europe, there’s always a Santa who leads the way. He’s kind of like the wrangler,”says Little Saint Nicky, who founded Sleigher two years ago.
Like a festive Gwar, Sleigher plays seasonal favorites such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (to the tune of Van Halen’s “Panama”) and “Jingle Bells” (in the style of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”). There’s even a David Bowie-inspired Hanukkah song called “Dreidel, Dreidel”.
About five years ago, Little Saint Nicky organized the city’s first Krampus bar crawl on the South Side. Hundreds showed up to support the German legend, who, despite his tot-eating tendencies, is attracting followers throughout the United States.
Folks are booking Sleigher for private parties and the band will perform Dec. 8 at The Smiling Moose on East Carson Street, making Christmas look and sound more like Halloween.
“It totally made sense that we should be doing this in Pittsburgh,” Little Saint Nicky says. “It’s not like a war on Christmas, just a twisted alternative. People need something new.”
Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.