Wizovision 2021: Ireland’s “Werewolf in Control”

 

Marijke van der Meer here in Rotterdam, where I’ve been talking to the Wizovision finalists from Ireland, the Howlers, who are the first openly werewolf act in the history of the wizarding song contest. Their style combines traditional Celtic music with punk rock, creating an effect that is lively and hardcore, recognizably and charmingly Irish but universally appealing to those who enjoy a bit of headbanging. The Howlers are an all-werewolf band who are outspoken about rights for their kind, including protected legal status, anti-discrimination measures, job security, and access to Wolfsbane Potion. Lead singer Flannery Finnigan told me about the inspiration behind their song, “Werewolf in Control.”

Life has gotten a little easier for werewolves over the last 20 years or so, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made. Although Wolfsbane Potion has become more widely available to ease our transformations, it’s still quite expensive and tricky to brew, so most werewolves don’t have regular access to it. Some of us have had the opportunity to at least try it, and it makes such a difference in our quality of life, both physically and psychologically. I’ve tried taking it in very small doses to ration a limited supply, which can reduce the effects of transforming somewhat and calm me slightly without giving me the total clarity of mind that a full dose would provide. Paired with meditation techniques, this has made my monthly change a little easier.

This song is about that struggle to maintain your sanity and sense of self while undergoing the difficult experience of transformation as well as the goal of achieving complete peace of mind through increased Wolfsbane access. I hope it brings awareness to the hardships our community faces and speaks to those living with lycanthropy everywhere and to anyone who has ever felt disconnected from themselves.

Touching words from Finnigan. This spirited bunch have assured me that they’re completely safe since the full moon is not until next week, but they are nonetheless absolutely wild even in human form (I mean that as a compliment, of course). The Howlers exhibit boundless energy in both their music video and rehearsals and are sure to put on just as fierce of a performance during the Grand Final.

Unfortunately, our interview was interrupted by Gilderoy Lockhart, who has been barging his way into Wizovision events, desperate for attention, despite still not being entirely sure of his own past. He insisted that he had once had some dealings with werewolves, though he couldn’t remember exactly what, and had published a book on the subject. “‘Walking with Werewolves,’ it was called,” he told us. “No, wait – ‘Weekends with Werewolves,’ perhaps? ‘Winters with Werewolves’? I’m sure my fans recall!” Once he was removed from the premises, the Howlers’ Conan O’Connell supplied the title: “It was Wanderings with Werewolves, and it was a deeply offensive portrayal of our kind.

Here’s hoping that the Howlers and “Werewolf in Control” give lycanthropes a better reputation going forward.

 

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Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.

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