Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Goth revisited

There's been much conversation here in SDS Towers these last few days about so-called goth.  That is, about what should have been shown on last week's 'Goth at the BBC' prog and what was really way off target.  Quite a memory jogger.  We've decided that they really ought to have had some Danse Society, and that they could have picked some different songs by the bands that they did include.  Mr SDS thinks 'Marian' would have been a better choice for the Sisters of Mercy clip.  Well, you know how one thought leads to another - I was at my French class tonight and I had this going through my mind.  Any excuse to post some Nouvelle Vague!








16 comments:

  1. I'm afraid I've missed out on Nouvelle Vague thus far but I now know i must put this right as this is tres parfait. As for the photo - equally parfait! More info?

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    1. Nouvelle Vague are definitely worth your time - some covers work better than others but my personal recommendations would be their renditions of Depeche Mode's 'Master and Servant', Tuxedo Moon's 'In A Manner Of Speaking' and Lords Of The New Church's 'Dance With Me'... (I think they may all have turned up on here befoe in the dim and distant!)

      The photo is from the early '80s, for a college photography project which also included me going down to the graveyard! I confess I put it on this blog before, a few years ago now, but thought it an appropriate time to dig it out again!

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  2. I only found out I was a Goth a few years after the fact. I don't remember ever hearing the term at the time, it was just "post-punk". That was from 1979 to about '83/84. Despite loving Bauhuas and going to see them live countless times, Southern Death Cult, Theatre of Hate/Spear of Destiny, Killing Joke plus the more cuddly The Cure and The Banshees... all those hours spent spiking and crimping my hair into that "fibre optic lamp" look and scouring second hand shops and jumble sales for vintage dresses I always dyed black and trying to copy Theda Bara's make-up... I don't remember a Goth scene as such until the mid 80's, by which time I had moved on to other things. As had a few of those bands. Or am I remembering it wrongly? I missed the show, maybe I can find it on the iPlayer?

    Of course I lived in Cardiff back then, and Wales was more insular in some ways. I never really liked any of the later goth-checklist bands like Sisters of Mercy or The Mission. Marilyn Mansun looked cool but sounded like Dawn French's impersonation of Siobahn Fahey* to my ears ;o) Tee hee!

    *OK, back to say that this is proof that my memory and what you find through Google are not the same thing... I went to find a clip of French & Saunders doing their Shakespeare's Sister parody... I remember the sound of a foghorn every time Dawn/Siobahn opens her mouth.... but it's not on youtube... I have officially lost it!

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    1. Yve, you're thinking of The Mary Whitehouse Experience - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUgmKezH550

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    2. Haha, well I believe you about the foghorn, it sounds absolutely right and I suspect there's another version that didn't make it to youtube ;-)

      Totally agree about the term 'Goth', you're so right, that wasn't coined until later. Post-punk, indie, positive-punk,maybe gothic rock were names that drifted in and out but it wasn't like it became later, bands like Bauhaus and K Joke were in a league of their own weren't they? But you and I are talking early '80s rather than late '80s and, like you, by the time it had become the more recognisable form, I had moved on too. It was only fleeting for me and was sort of mixed up with a tribal thing too (I mean tribal literally rather than youth-genre), with braided hair, beads, Southern Death Cult taking Native American inspirations, etc.

      The programme was interesting but only scratched the surface of the early years, other than those it was really 'Goth Lite'!

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    3. Ha, there you are, Yve... just seen TS' reply and it's good to know you weren't imagining it!

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    4. Forgive me if I already replied, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether... thanks for that TS, I had forgotten the Mary Whitehouse Experience, spot on! The way memory works is crazy, my head has morphed Dawn French/Rob Newman doing Siobahn Fahey with Marilyn Mansun and had a truly unholy love child.

      Have any of you watched the BBC2/BBC4 series of arts progs on Gothic art and literature, btw? Much more fun than watching FotN (as are most things I guess - just think of all the tasty cakey uses that SRF could have been put to).

      At a complete tangent, I saw The Crazy World of Arthur Brown doing Fire (what else?) on TOTP the other night, I seriously thought it was Noel Fielding messing around for a moment. That is the problem with Goth for me in many ways (not saying Arthur Brown was Goth obviously) trying to be scary and ethereal doesn't always work that well as a live performance where the audience can see that you are all too human. I think that was one trick that Bauhaus mostly pulled off really brilliantly, they created a great atmosphere with their live shows that was an element in itself beside the music. That could be my creative memory again though ;o)

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    5. :-) sounds like the perfect unholy goth love child to me.

      I've only seen snippets from the Gothic series but it's all been interesting, I should devote more time to it really. I think you've hit the nail on the head re. performers being all too human - I suppose that's also what makes current day goth kids so 'quaint' - and talking of TV and humour, have you seen the episode of 'Frasier' where his little son Frederick goes through his goth phase? I'm very envious of you seeing Bauhaus live and I'm sure from footage I've seen that your memory is spot on (Daniel Ash was good to watch too!)

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  3. I was a teenager in the late 80s...it was an established thing by then but mainly I just remember black jumpers and Cure T shirts. I don't think I knew any dedicated Goths.
    Martha was sharp on her Bauhaus t shirt and black tights.

    I love the picture...more pictures.

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    1. Yes, by the late '80s it was a very different thing here to how it started out, when it metamorphosed from punk and we briefly crossed over to the dark side... The photo here is from the very early '80s, I was 17/18. You would have just been a baby :-)

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  4. I haven't watched the Goth at the BBC programme yet. It's an area of music I skirted around with Siouxsie, Bauhaus and The Cure, but never really ventured any further into. I'm looking forward to seeing what else I remember from the period. I do vividly remember the night when the Fields of the Nephilim came to town - the whole upstairs deck of the bus was a fog of self-raising flour!

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    1. Who'd have thought SR flour could have so many uses?! Fields of the Nephilim were too late, and never did it for me I must say - seeing them on Goth at the BBC just made me think how much they come across as U2-wannabes... say no more!
      Siouxsie, Bauhaus and early Cure were goth before goth weren't they and ploughed their own furrows...there must be a joke there re. ploughing furrows in fields of the nephilim but I can't think of one :-/

      A true highlight of the Goth prog was Sex Gang Children, would anyone dare have such a band name now?

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    2. There was a Bauhaus track called In The Flat Field if that helps? ;o)

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    3. Haha, yes, perfect. Going to have to work on that joke... hmmm!

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  5. Great photo. Fields of the Nephilim were awful.

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    1. Can't believe it's me now... and, yes, F of the N were shite!

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