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John Robb - The Art of Darkness: The History of Goth

Discussion in 'music' started by Gerard124, Apr 14, 2023.

  1. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    Shallow M. and wezzywest like this.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Looks good, I’ll have to buy that and add it to my huge unread pile of books.
  3. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    Just picked up a copy on a rainy day out at book shop in Piece Hall, Halifax. Sadly not a signed copy as John is at the book shop on a later date.
  4. seagull

    seagull Seabird flavour member

    He is doing a talk at our local record shop. I am going with Gothy John who will probably go "gothed up".

    I may find out why The Chameleons had so many goth fans.
    Looking forward to it.
    Shallow M. likes this.
  5. Shallow M.

    Shallow M. Member

    I forgot entirely about them, and how much I loved them.

    Damnit, now the next hour will be spent looking through my records for What Does Anything Mean Basically.
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    The bass is high in the mix and lots of guitar arpeggios (+delay), a lot of angsty lyrics too ("In Shreds" or "Don't Fall").

    All my gothy mates were Chameleons fans.
    Shallow M. likes this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The goths I knew/hung around with in the ‘80s were all over the map musically. Good taste; usually pretty obscure punk, new-wave, industrial, indie etc right back to VU, Stooges, New York Dolls etc. Curious to see how John Robb navigates it as to my mind it isn’t just the music everyone typically associates with it now by any stretch. The stuff that comes to mind for me are things like Virgin Prunes, Coil, Foetus, Danse Society etc. I can see The Chameleons in there too.
    Shallow M. likes this.
  8. Shallow M.

    Shallow M. Member

    Coil (and Current 93) are two of my personal favs to this day. Sennheisers, a Laxman light/sound machine and a very particular, hmm, 'state of mind' and the angelic ice palace crackles into existence.

    More goth friends seemed to prefer NWW, and while Stephen Stapleton's music is notable and fascinating, it didn't make me shiver. David Tibet's noise can occasionally make me cry, in the good way.
  9. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    Wife # 1 and I were Goth/Punk for a few years. Sisters of Mercy, Virgin Prunes, Bauhaus etc, but we weren’t tied to the genre. ‘Alternative/Indie’ sums it up without the Goth tag. Punk would be my tag because it covered everything.
    I had bleached hair, made my own clothes and wore eyeliner, black nail varnish from about 1980 on.
    I might stick on a bit of eyeliner tomorrow as we are going out for a big night of music and booze. Delight the grandchildren, and horrify the kids: sounds fab.
    I aim to wear a tuxedo with hand-tied dicky bow, so eyeliner will set it all off nicely.
    Dave Decadent likes this.
  10. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    CTank, lawrence001, Big Tabs and 2 others like this.
  11. The Captain

    The Captain ~~~~~~~~~~

    I must admit, tentatively dipping into bauhaus' recent oldfart-tour clips on youtube expecting the worst, that even with PM having a beergut & a baldy b'stard too.. it was confoundingly impressive. The menace still there, the drummer seemed actually better than 80's, & the other two straight out of a timewarp. Strange.

    I'd be very interested to read this book, not knowing a huge ammount about the scene, after such a great appraisal by the excellent CPackham. Capt
  12. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    On my list of fashion disasters are black T-shirts. And Robert Smith is a walking fashion disaster. I will stick with my trusty dinner jacket, black tie ensemble.
    Seeker_UK likes this.
  13. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    When casual, I'm very comfortable wearing a nicely ironed new plain black T-Shirt with a pair of jeans - always knew I was a fashion disaster :(
    Big Tabs likes this.
  14. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    It’s a Real Man thing. (as in, you are a real man)

    I am unable to carry that kind of look off very well.
    Gerard124 likes this.
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    YouTube just found this for me:

    They are both always worth listening to IMO.
    Weekender likes this.
  16. andrew

    andrew pfm Member

    His 'Oral History of Punk' book was very good, so I would have high hopes for this one.
  17. seagull

    seagull Seabird flavour member

    Yesterday Gothy John was in town having come over from Dorch(ester). We met up after lunch (yes he was "gothed up"). We went to the record shop together for a mooch and both bought a few records. I introduced John to Roy, the owner who allowed us to look through his newly arrived, as yet unpriced albums (which included a near mint Can box set - I enquired about the price, the answer - too rich for me!) and showed John a few of his own really rare albums (sadly not for sale!).

    We still had a few hours to kill, so on to my favourite local pub for a couple of beers and then across the road for a curry.

    We returned to the record shop for the talk. John was the only one "gothed up", but he didn't care. John was at Leeds Uni from 80 to 83 and knew many of the bands there (e.g. Sisters of Mercy). As I said to him, I was never a Goth so it would have been fancy dress if I'd done the same.

    John Robb is a very eloquent speaker and he had many stories to tell. The session was done in a pseudo interview style with another guy (whose name I have completely forgotten) asking/prompting Robb on topics covered in the book. Much name dropping went on as he had interviewed quite a few big names and appeared on the same stage as others. He did cover much more than the 80s Goth bands; The Doors, Bolan and Bowie, Joy Division, Siouxsie even VdGG! So it covers Gothic music too.

    After the talk, he was open to questions from the audience.

    Most people left clutching a signed copy of his book. A very enjoyable afternoon and evening. I am looking forward to reading the book.
    Weekender and Seeker_UK like this.
  18. Mr.Nic

    Mr.Nic pfm Member

    I'm thinking of popping along to his Hull event next month. I'd sort of class myself as being a second wave goth (I was just 16 in 1985), so missed out on seeing Bauhaus & The Sisters but was madly into them. With Leeds just an hour away on the train, our teen goth group would go through to The Duchess & Warehouse to see the subsequent later 80s Leeds 'goth' bands of the time (Rose Of Avalanche, Red Lorry, Mission etc).

    Goth for me and most others I hung around with felt like a very loose co-op of influences. Along with the typical Cult, Cure, Siouxsie stuff we loved The Cramps, B-52s, New Model Army, The Bunnymen, Nick Cave and Joy Division as well as Magazine, Chameleons, The Sound, Cocteau Twins, Psychedelic Furs and The Smiths.

    I never really got on with the Alien Sex Fiend / Specimen / Sex Gang Children stuff though, it always felt like more of a Southern goth thing.

    Through hearing cover versions or references in interviews it also lead to me discovering Suicide, The Doors, Velvets, Stooges, Love, Fairport Convention and much more.

    So yeah, as gateway music scenes go, I've got a lot to thank my teen goth phase for.
    seagull likes this.

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