Posts Tagged ‘goth’

Sex Gang Children Dingwalls Newcastle 1983?

Sex Gang Children Dingwalls Newcastle 1983?
sexgangSex Gang Children were an early goth, post-punk band that formed in the early 80s, and were one of the more well-known bands of the “Batcave” scene. The “Batcave” was a night club in London at the time, which is often credited with being one of the places out of which “goth” grew. Sex Gang Children were fronted by Andi Sex Gang on vocals. I remember them as a very dark (of course) band, with dramatic songs, heavy bass and tribal drumming. This gig was probably in 1983, around the time that Sex Gang Children released their only studio album “Song and Legend” which made the top of the UK Indie Chart and contained the single “Sebastiane”.
Their setlist of the time was something like this: Cannibal Queen; German Nun; State of Mind; Draconian Dream; Beasts; Kill Machine; Killer ‘K’; Dieche; Oh Funny Man; Sebastiane; Song and Legend. Encore: The Crack Up

The Mission Newcastle City Hall 1987 and 1988

The Mission Newcastle City Hall 1987 and 1988
mission87 I saw the Mission on four occasions during ’87 and ’88; three times at Newcastle City Hall, and supporting U2 at Edinburgh Murrayfield Stadium (in August 1987). They were a mesmerising live act, whose set included dark, heavy rock, psych, and some great cover versions. The first time I saw them was 20th March 1987 at the City Hall. The support act was All About Eve, who were to go on to achieve success in their own right. They opened with a great heavy-psych version of The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”, which set the mood for the rest of the gig. Their own material was all jangling guitars, swirling rhythms, and dark, deep goth vocals from front man Wayne Hussey. He formed the Mission after spells with Pauline Murray’s Invisible Girls, and the Sisters of Mercy.
mission88a Hussey was simply a revelation on stage, there was a unique connection between him and the fans; he took control of the entire hall and everyone joined together in a swirling, sprawling mass of music and celebration. Wayne would dance around like a dervish, all in black, lots of jewelry, wearing a wide brimmed hat, sometimes throwing read roses into the audience. The stage set would feature dark, heavy imagery and the song titles themselves conveyed gothic messages from a darker world: “Serpent’s Kiss”, “Sacrilege”, “Blood Brother”: all quite deep, dark, doomy stuff (but great :)). There was a strong feeling of camaraderie at a Mission gig. The band had a group of intensely loyal fans, known as the Eskimos (not sure why ?), who travelled to every gig and were always down the front clambering on top of each other and diving on stage to dance with the band. The classic line-up was singer/ guitarist Hussey, bassist Craig Adams, lead guitarist Simon Hinkler and drummer Mick Brown. Live favourites of mine at the time were: a great cover of Free’s “Wishing Well”, the single “Severina” and “Serpents Kiss”. For the gig on 4th March 1988 the support act was Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and on 29th November 1988 it was The Mighty Lemon Drops. These were wild, joyous, nights with a strong happy, family feel about them. There was a sense of occasion, of being part of something special and quite stunning; a oneness of band and audience, an intensity and passion; very very different to any other gigs at the time. The Mission were, without a doubt, one of the best live acts around during the late 80s. mission88b Set list from March 1987: Tomorrow never knows, Stay with me, Garden of delight, Like a hurricane, Let sleeping dogs die, Severina, Serpents kiss, Over the hills and far away, Sacrilege, wake, Blood brother, 1969, Love me to death, Wasteland, Wishing well, Shelter from the storm.
Setlist from March 1988: Beyond the pale, And the dance goes on, Like a hurricane, Child’s play, Serpents kiss, Garden of delight, Tower of strength, The crystal ocean, Dream on, Sacrilege, Wasteland, 1969, Wishing well, Blood brother, Love me to death, Shelter from the storm.
Setlist from November 1988: Wasteland, Serpents kiss, Severina, Belief, Stay with me, Kingdom come, Deliverance, Tower of strength, The crystal ocean, The grip of disease, Dream on, Sacrilege, 1969, Beyond the pale, Like a hurricane, Child’s play, Dancing barefoot, Gone to the devil (Hungry as the hunter), Shelter from the storm /
PS I found an explanation of the name “The Eskimos” on a forum. Apparently the group of fans was originally called “the Missionaries”. At one point when travelling through Europe, a customs guy called one of the group an “eskimo” when going throught a checkpoint, and the name stuck. Not sure that makes me any the wiser, however :).

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Edinburgh Usher Hall 1 Nov 2013

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Edinburgh Usher Hall 1 Nov 2013
nickcaveLast night Laura and I crossed the border to Scotland, where we took a step over another border into the darker side of rock, for a night in the company of Nick Cave and his compatriots the Bad Seeds. I’ve only ever seen Nick Cave once before, and that was as at a solo concert at the Sage Gateshead some years ago. This was the first time that Laura had seen him, although she is a fan and familiar with much of his music. We had seats in the upper circle looking directly down on the proceedings, with a good view of the stage and the packed stalls where all the seats had been removed, and fans were crammed around the stage, awaiting an audience with Nick. Support came from solo artist Shilpa Ray who played a short set of her own songs, accompanied only by herself on harmonium. Her sound is a sort of bluesy punk with searing, screeching vocals.
NickCave Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds came of stage shortly before 9pm, and were truly amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performance which maintained such passion, power and intensity throughout. Nick was dressed all in black, looking like a cool, young Bela Lugosi, and the songs were all very dark in both mood and lyric. Crazed bearded violinist Warren Ellis tore shreds out of his instrument and was a perfect foil to frontman Cave. Nick prowled around the front of the stage singing and talking directly to the first few rows of fans. The guy seemingly has no fear, and seemed to completely lose himself in the performance. The songs were, at one end of the spectrum, all power chords, manic instrumental breaks, with Cave dancing crazily and haranguing the front rows; to another extreme of dark, sombre, power ballads with Cave at the piano. Highlights for me were Jubilee Street, Tupelo, Red Right, The Mercy Seat, and Stagger Lee. The main set finished with Push the Sky Away, but the band returned for a incredible five song encore including Deanna, the great Breathless (my favourite 🙂 ) and closer Give Us a Kiss. The show finished just before 11pm, and we had an uneventful drive back down the A1; arriving home around 1.45am.
Setlist: We No Who U R; Jubilee Street; Midnight Man; Tupelo; Red Right Hand; Mermaids; From Her to Eternity; Stranger Than Kindness; God Is in the House; He Wants You; Into My Arms; Higgs Boson Blues; Hiding All Away; The Mercy Seat; Stagger Lee; Push the Sky Away. Encore: We Real Cool; Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry; Deanna; Breathless; Give Us a Kiss

Killing Joke Middlesbrough Gaskins Sat 25th April 1981

Killing Joke Middlesbrough Gaskins Sat 25th April 1981
killingjoke “Killing Joke lurk in rock and roll’s shadow world where they weave with electronic instruments of mystic fire magical incantations and dark grinding musical shapes that linger in the air like Aleister Crowley’s opium-scented nightsweats” (
And so it was when Dave and I experienced “The Joke” at Middlesbrough Gaskins in 1981. Gaskins was a club in Middlesbrough town centre which played host to a number of punk gigs in the early 80s, frequented by the same crowd that assembled at the Rock Garden, the Town Hall Crypyt and Redcar Coatham Bowl. The first thing I recall about this gig was arriving to an empty ballroom with a large pentagram set out on the dance floor in front of the stage. The gig started to fill up, and the aforementioned pentagram was inhabited by a fire eater, known as “Dave The Wizard” who then proceeded to breath fire at us, while performing a primeval war dance. Dark spooky stuff. This was the world of Killing Joke at the time, very influenced by Mr Crowley, black magic and the dark side. The line-up was Jaz Coleman on vocals and organ, Kevin “Geordie” Walker on guitar, Martin “Youth” Glover on bass, and Paul Ferguson on drums. Jaz had his face painted with black make-up, and Youth looked very like Sid Vicious. And the music was loud, dark, doomy, pounding and relentless. There was something sinister and unnerving about the evening; a power and energy that transcended the music being performed. This was music from the dark side and took punk to another epic level.
From a fanzine site: “NC: Can you tell us about the fire-eater? JAZ: Oh yes, that’s a long time ago. The Wizard, he used to blow fire. He was a real nut case, that guy. He used to blow fire and war dance. He has not done it for a long time. He had some interesting ideas. He blows fire, this is about him not us, but he blows fire, he does not blow it in the sort of conventional theatre-come-cabaret sort of act. He blows it in a very ritualistic sort of way. He takes fire as being your will, your desire, and he uses it in that way, and it was really good at that time, and it just seemed to fit, and that was it” (No Class Fanzine No 1).

Fields of the Nephilim Newcastle Mayfair 1988

Fields of the Nephilim Newcastle Mayfair 1988
I got quite into goth music in the late 80s, and read a lot about Fields of the Nephilim. I was intrigued by their “dust and death” image; these guys looked pretty cool in their dusty leathers and large brim cowboy hats, straight out of a spaghetti western. Their music was a strange mix of doomy heavy rock, with soft growled vocals. Live they were a strange experience; very moody and challenging, but ultimately this was a gig I still remember to this day. This was the “Precious to the Lost” tour. The stage was filled with some sort of combination of dry ice, smoke or dust and the band were dressed in long ragged, cowboy clothes, covered in flour to give their trademark dusty look. The lighting was dark and doomy and the songs slow, rhythmic with strong bass lines and powerful vocals. I picked up a copy of their fan mag “Helter Skelter” at the gig. The picture on the cover will give you an idea of the band’s image. Their website also explains where they are coming from: “Fields of the Nephilim is the creation of vocalist and front man Carl McCoy, a seeker of the greater truth”. Their lyrics draw from the occult and related mythologies. This band still continues to this day, playing gigs every now and then and commands quite a legendary status. A setlist from a gig around that time shows the band playing the following songs: Preacher Man; Love Under Will; Endemoniada; Psychonaut; Trees Come Down; Celebrate; The Watchman; For Her Light; At the Gates of Silent Memory; Chord of Souls. Encore: Last Exit for the Lost; Moonchild; Phobia. I would guess that they will have played some of these songs at the gig I attended.

The Cure Whitley Bay Ice Rink 1985

The Cure Whitley Bay Ice Rink 1985
By 1985 The Cure had graduated to playing at Whitley Bay Ice Rink, which was a cavernous (and cold!) venue which was frequented by bigger bands during the 80s, before Newcastle Arena was built. By 1985 The Cure had hit the single chart on several occasions, including the superb “Love Cats”. I went along to this gig with my mate Dave, and we were both quite into the band at the time. I seem to remember that we both liked “Love Cats”. Support came from Hard Corps, who were a French band. By the time of this gig, The Cure were centred very much around Robert Smith, as band leader and the focus of the live performance. The Cure in concert had become much more of a rock / pop show, and Smith was coming into his own as a front man. Setlist: The Baby Screams, Play For Today, A Night Like This, Primary, Kyoto Song, The Blood, The Hanging Garden, Charlotte Sometimes, Inbetween Days, Let’s Go To Bed, The Walk, Push, Screw, One Hundred Years, A Forest, Sinking. First Encore: Give Me It, Boys Don’t Cry. Second Encore: You Really Got Me, I Dig You. It was over 20 years till I saw The Cure again, when Laura, David and I went to see them at Wembley Arena.

The Cure Newcastle City Hall 1982

The Cure Newcastle City Hall 1982
Support Zerra1
A year after seeing The Cure at the City Hall, they were back again at the same venue. The band were in their heavy goth phase, and this before they started to have serious chart success. Support came from Zerra1 who were an Irish band from the U2 mould. (Update note: I found another old Cure programme upstairs in my collection. It is probably from this tour, or another early tour, so I have added it here) Setlist: The Figurehead, M, In Your House, Cold, The Drowning Man, A Short Term Effect, The Hanging Garden, Siamese Twins, Other Voices, Three Imaginary Boys, Primary, One Hundred Years, Play For Today, A Forest, Pornography. Encore: 10.15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab, All Mine.

The Cure Newcastle late 70s and early 80s

The Cure Newcastle late 70s and early 80s
I saw The Cure quite a few times in the early days of their career. The first time that I saw them was at the Reading Festival in 1979, when they appeared low down on the bill on the Friday night. I remember that I had read a lot about them, and I’d also had heard the single “Killing an Arab” on the radio. So I made of point of being in the arena and watching them that night. They went down prety well, and showed some promise, even at that early stage. I also saw them at a gig in Newcastle University Ballrom on a Saturday night sometime in 1980. I also saw them as support act for Siouxsie and the Banshees at Newcastle Poly. Robert Smith played two sets that night, first with The Cure and then as guitarist for The Banshees. My favourite Cure song at the time was “A Forest”, and it probably still is today. By 1981 they had graduated to playing the City Hall. The great Cure gig list site shows the setlist for the 1981 Newcastle gig as: The Funeral Party, M, The Drowning Man, All Cats Are Grey, Three Imaginary Boys, Primary, At Night, Fire In Cairo, Play For Today, Grinding Halt, A Forest, Faith, Jumping Someone Else’s Train, Another Journey By Train, Killing An Arab, Forever. Looking at other setlists from the same tour, indicates that the Newcastle set was comparatively short in comparison with some of the other gigs on the tour, with some shows featuring many more songs. I have a lovely little programme from those days (see scan) which is a song book, and contains the lyrics from many of their early songs. I’m not sure at which gig I bought this, but it must have been from one of their early tours. I saw The Cure twice more in the 80s, and will blog on those gigs over the next couple of days. There was then a gap of 23 before I saw them again, at Wembley, in 2008.

Bauhaus Newcastle City Hall 1983

Bauhaus Newcastle City Hall 1983: Burning From The Inside Tour
Any band who has a song entitled Bela Lugosi is Dead can’t be bad. Particularly when they also cover Telegram Sam and Ziggy Stardust. I love old horror movies, and read Famous Monsters of Filmland every week during the 60s, and I was also a Bolan and Bowie fan, so Bauhaus’ image interested me enough to go along and see them. This tour was for the Burning From the Inside album, which was due to come out later that year. The programme for the tour reminds me how dark and doomy the band were; lots of dark pictures with very serious posing; this was the birth of goth. The programme starts with a T S Elliot poem: “This is the way the world ends” which set the tone for the show. The lighting was dark, and the music a mix of punk, rock and glam, with Pete Murphy displaying great stage presence. They had just had a hit with She’s in Parties. I remember them playing that particular song, and finishing with Bela Lugosi’s Dead. The band split up shortly after the tour, however they have reformed several times since. Setlist: Burning From the Inside; In Fear of Fear; Terror Couple Kill Colonel; Spy in the Cab; Kingdom’s Coming; She’s in Parties; Antonin Artaud; King Volcano; The Passion of Lovers; Slice of Life; Hair of the Dog; In Heaven; Hollow Hills; Stigmata Martyr; Kick in the Eye; Dark Entries; Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Anti-Nowhere League Chron-Gen Chelsea Newcastle Mayfair 1982

Anti Nowhere League Newcastle Mayfair
Newcastle Mayfair was an important part of my youth. Along with Sunderland Locarno and Middlesbrough Rock garden, they were all great venues, and featured some classic bands throughout the 70s. Every time I pass The Gate in Newcastle, which now stands where the Mayfair once did, I think fondly of great Friday nights spent there. This ticket is for the Anti Nowhere League, but my memories are of Alex Harvey, The Groundhogs, Chicken Shack, Stray, Ian Hunter, Steppenwolf, The Clash, David Bowie, Family, Curved Air, UFO, Cockney Rebel, and many many more. And of stories of legendary gigs that I sadly didn’t attend there: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton. Time for my tardis again. I would love to go back in time and be standing on the balcony of the Mayfair, listening to Zeppelin’s Rock n Roll, waiting for the band to come on stage. Great memories, some of which are sadly fading as I get older. Turning to the band in question, the Anti-Nowhere League we (and still are) fronted by Animal and came along at the tail end of punk. They seemed quite outrageous in their day; their album at the time was We are the League if I remember correctly. Think I also saw them supporting the Damned. Support came from Chron-Gen and Gene October and Chelsea whose well know song was Right To Work, and always put on a good show. The Anti-Nowhere League still play to this day and were in the region recently playing at the Three Tuns in Gateshead.