Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Gary Numan and The Skaparis Orchestra

A couple of weeks ago I saw Gary Numan. I have never been a huge Numan fan, after hearing My Name Is Ruin on the 35th anniversary of The Old Grey Whistle Test, I felt urged to purchase Savage. After first hearing the album, I was addicted and dominated my music choice for the last six months.

  Numan's lyrics and sound create futuristic dystopian narratives of his perspective of seeing the world transformed into a barren desert through global warming. It has such a relevant commentary of what's happening to society and appeals my pessimistic nature.  I can see Numan being a prophet for what will happen if we continue on our current path. 

We saw Numan performing the Savage tour accompanied by The Skaparis Orchestra at the Newcastle City Hall.  We had perfect seats sitting not too far back were able to to see the entire performance comfortably. 

The lights dimmed with Chirs Payne supporting along with his wife Dominque providing vocals and back up keyboards for ambient, electro, synths pieces. It resonates with the audience into a deep, intriguing trance, especially with Dominque light operatic style vocals. The style of music seems to have a world influence reminding me of Dead Can Dance. Payne performed the solemn In Red Feilds, a lamenting song, written to honour those who died in service of the first world war. The audience became reserved and silent in their demeanours to show their respect. Chris finished with lighter atmosphere with  Fade Grey with Dominque providing backing vocals. The audience danced in a row, and they cheered with rowing applause. Payne and Domqiue took a bow making a prayer gesture and thank everyone for attending. 

There was a thirty-minute interlude before Numan. The audience waited in zealous anticipation with every second, feeling like an eternity. Eventually, the performers slowly emerged taken their place.  It felt like a slow tease. The crowds began shouting a somewhere between a Geordie war cry and mating call "Numan, Numan, Numan.....". Seeing his name projected name sent the masses into fury. 

The screen dropped with Numan appearing. The audience clapped, in a standing ovation, with crowds in a ruckus and Numan revelling the crowd's admiration, with Gary smiling looking surprised and overwhelmed by the Geordie reception.

 Simultaneously, the orchestra began playing the instrumental to Ghost Nation, with blinding lights accompanied the dramatic tribal drums and the string sections deepening distorted synths.  The band join in with the instrumentation, the lights dimmed with a smokey atmosphere, with blue tinted light and green lasers gyrating. Numan's warped, strained vocals singing the first verse, suiting the dystopian sound.  Numan captivating the stage presence silences the rowdiest of crowds. Numan adopted and modern interpretive dance with influences of tia chi movements to captive and refocused the audience's attention at his command.

 Ghost Nations ends with another uproar and standing ovation from the audience. Next, Robertshaw demonstrates his mastery as a conductor precisely weaving the orchestra instrumentations transition smoothly into upbeat Metal's intro. The orchestra leads by setting and maintaining the ambient atmosphere by initiating the introduction for the band who take the lead setting the stage for Numan to start singing. 

In the second performance, the crowds fully emerge to the full force with fiery red lights and emitting blue rays lights revolve into the audience turning into artistic lighting performance. The visual background screens play abstract colours adding a dramatic flair and following the Orchestra tempo; creates an intensive cinematic experience for each song.  I wasn't expecting.  

 Next, is Bed Of Thrones accompanied with darker lighting to set the mood and compliments the song's music video airing.  Followed by Films. 

Numan tries to take fans emotive journey from high and low tempo songs.  With Robertshaw intern contouring Numan's music into a grandeur synthesis heightening the aural experience.  Through the use of string section used a deep, brittle sound to create middle eastern sounds. The percussion section brings raw tribal sounds to much of the set. 

 Numan attempted to cater for all his fans from his extensive repertoire.  Everything comes to You, morphed by Robertshaw to harsher steampunk industrial sound, clearer driven synths, and more of an even tempo. My second favourite from Savage Pray for the Pain You Serve. Robertshaw adds more prominence with the string section to the chorus lead by Steven Harris's guitar strumming, and the synth chorus has a higher pitch screeches resembling a war.   The cinematic experience continues with clips of Numan's barren future. Going To The Park, transformed with a darker industrial introduction with more distinction placed on guitars solo. 

The new symbiotic sounds with the band and Numan, he's added a much darker operatic depth to Numan lyrics and music I'm mystified. 

During the performance, even the group seemed to mesmerised by Numan with each member animatedly frolicking between, Harris, Tim Muddiman and Robertshaw. Every musician just emulates, how much they were enjoying performing through their body language and energy. Occasionally, Robertshaw headbanging along with the band during the set. Numan was incessantly smiling destroying his brooding demeanour.

The screens and lights blaring with the industrial drum beat of My Name Is Ruin, sadly no Persia. Yet, an epic performance being subtly driven by Robertshaw, and Numan gyrating on the stage.  The song I had waited long for and many of the audience's reactions indicated the same, especially since many were dancing in the rows.  The next songs played until it came to the final and iconic song. My Friends Were Elected the audience in a rampage of dancing in excitement.  

Afterwards, Gary addressed the fans describing his appreciation for everyone attending Introduced the  Skaparis Orchestra and conductor Simon Robertshaw. Numan delighted in sharing the "privilege" of working with everyone. Afterwards, everybody took a bow and left the stage. The crowd became restless again shouting encore, encore, encore. Everybody emerged with Numan body language stating "Gottcha". They finished with an encore of The Wreckage,  The End of Things, and A Prayer For The Unborn. To conclude the night, Numan played his latest ep It Will End Here; he wrote while touring. It had more uplifting and hopeful sounds compared to the pessimistic sounds of Savage. 

Overall the Gary Numan and Skaparis tour is one of the best concerts I've attended, the only one that can top this Rammstein. I loved how Numan has carefully choreographed not sparing any detail to chance, to create more than a concert but spectacular cinematic art show. With Robertshaw's genius transforming Numan's songs into modern style opera. Even after 40 years of music Numan is still as vibrantly progressive and explorative as ever why he has amassed a devout following,

* My partner purchased tickets. I just enjoy the experience, writing process and mental stimulus of writing reviews. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Outfit Post

I fancied doing an outfit post. It's been a busy couple of month of events and work. I haven't forgotten to take some photo of my exciting outfits, but not all.  I like to state in previous posts, most my outfits are sourced by Geordie Goth creations (translation sewn by me because I'm a tight git),  obtained via charity shops, or stuff I've had lurking in my wardrobe for ages. 

I wore this outfit to see Vodun, a fantastic and animated tribal funk band with an excellent vocalist, I highly recommend you check them out. As I'm getting older and as the winter approaches I'm starting to prefer higher necklines, yup I'm getting an old prude and constantly frozen. The top is cold shoulder type from Next I got on sale. I sewed a velvet skirt using a cheap 20 pence Prima sewing patterns in total £10. The boots are from eBay and so comfy. I picked the waist belt is from Marks and Spencers, and I got from a car boot sale for £1   

I wore this outfit when I meet up with a friend and to see a couple of reading of two plays. We went to a tea cafe with over 250 teas, heaven. The jacket was from Primark but had since I was a teenager, I just stopped growing after 13. The skirt was found in a charity shop when I was a teenager. The ruffled blouse was another charity shop find. The belt was from eBay and the boots were Kurt Giger.

This was my outfit for Halloween, attending the Literary Salon Fight Night  I felt like letting my inner gothic Stevie Nicks, I just adore her timeless style. The top and boots were from a charity shop. The skirt was from a car boot sale. 

This I wore when I went out with my partner for coffee and cake. I love my carrot cake. The top sewn by me made using McCalls 7657 Top B I made this from Viscose Jersey, I'm releasing it's worth investing in higher quality fabric, especially jerseys. The skirt was sewn by using my 20p Prima sewing pattern that has understated handkerchief hem. The boots and belt are from Primark. At some time I will do a post about my recommendations fora sewing patterns to build that epic goth wardrobe. I haven't had the time or gotten around to it. 

This outfit I wore on a Friday night of the Leeds Goth City Festival. The top and skirt were both charity shops. The belt is definitely one of my favourites, again £4 from Primark, it looks very similar to Kill Star one I saw. I love leggings, I now rarely wear tights, if not I only wear Marks and Spencers usually obtained on the cheap. I stoke it lucky occasionally with Primark, for tights most the time their crap. Definitely worth spending that bit extra, I've had one pair for over 11 years I got on sale. I'm a terrible hoarders. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

My Halloween

With Halloween taking places on the weekday, most of the events took place during the weekends. Last Year, Halloween was very quiet, I went out with the Boyfriend for a Halloween burger. 

This year there were more events, to chose from, still not a huge amount. There was either a Halloween pub quiz or The Literary Salon at a local bar called Bar Loco, we opted for the latter. It had themes of Fright night that ranged friction, poetry, short stories and an open night mike for local amateurs to share their talents. 

We grabbed food at the bar and bargain prices a good quality meal. I had a burger that was a small, but handmade. The Boyfriend had a pizza. I forgot to take photos. 

After food, we went upstairs and found an ugly marshmallow sofa, my lord it was comfy.

 The room had high ceilings and Victorian mouldings with a bare bricked wall exposed and large open fireplaces behind the performers.  The lights were dimmed, and the candlelight offering a soft glow enhancing the eerie ambiences. 

The was a small induction from one of the Salon's organisers. 

The first performer was James Whitman, with Satirical, political based proses. His fervently, animated oratory brought the dark and grittiness to life, with his own take on that reminded of Attila, the punk poet His work despite its graphic nature there a satisfactory element of his antagonist finally getting justice. 

The next up was Paul Forbes, who wrote an interesting short story about an escaped criminal after meeting a mysterious old woman who offers him refuge. 

We then a had the open mike night with a range of people or people showcasing the poems. 

We had a small break, introduced to the talented short poems from Megan Pattie based on her fears of the darkness inspired by David Attenburgh the Blue planet and horrors of her previous experience. My favourite was her poem inspired by the Newcastle Witch trials that happened in 17 century.

The last was a horror storey based on two porters working nightshift in the Freeman Hospital. It resonates with me and surprisingly quite accurate to what can happen on nightshift. I though enjoyed the mundane beginning and the graphic climax to the story. it had me gripped to my seat.

It was a fun night listening spending Halloween listening to terrifying stories and poems. It amazes at the amount of local diverse and talented literacy that being produced.  

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Leeds Goth City Festival 2018 Review

So Leeds Goth City Festival has returned bigger and better than ever with Incubus Succubus heading lining the official Friday opening night.  It's hard to believe it's the festival's third year. It feels like only a couple of months ago since the first Friday night.

Image may contain: text that says "GOTH CITY SEASON OF THE WITCH 1lth-2lst October 2018"

Firstly, I  really need to state, is big thanks to Joel Heyes and to the other contributors to the festival who've worked tirelessly to puts such a fantastic event on. After running costs, all profits made are directly donated to PAFRAS, a charity based in West Yorkshire that aids with Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Currently, the festival is looking at directly funding programmes with therapeutic benefits.

Secondly, I really love to shout out to Joel and including others organisers in the North for the rejuvenating the Goth scene up in the North. Their hard work is much appreciated, and I feel they we should at least purchased them a Snake bit or a decent pint next time you see them. Or even the local organisers in your area.


Thursday night was the warm-up party.  The Boyfriend and I wanted to show our support for the inaugural debut of  The Seventh Victim featuring Noircastle's very own Tim Synster and Mel Butler aka DJ Kitty Claws. On the night there was a theme of Goth up North with both supporters and performances from the Tyneside and Teeside area. 

We found the venue, Bad Apples that had gothic dive bar, aesthetic felt the perfect ambience. It is hard to miss Synster doing his Eldritch inspired attire that suits his demeanour perfectly, as he always seems to have an air of being the frontman of some brilliantly obscure goth band or sci-fi novelist. We knew we were in the right place. Also, there were many familiar and new faces, not to mention everyone clad in black. 

Seventh Victims made their epic performance, not only were they making  Goth City Festival history, but Northern Goth history, according to me. Since finding out the Noircastle crew were forming a band I've eagerly anticipated seeing them. 

Lights dimmed the smoke machine, a bit too enthusiastically releasing the murky fog, creating the Sister's ambience with Synster approaching the mike and started to sing. I was surprised his vocal style has a more natural raw power, then the deep baritone style I expected. At parts, he was able to reach a midway baritone style more similar to Porl King. At times, I felt songs narrative had a more antagonistic Ian Dury styling, particularly with Warhead. The band featured a range style regarding heavy rifts and deep base with them following many post-punk and goth bands by adopting a drum machine.  

However, they had terrible luck with the temperamental sound system where the music and vocal sound quality differed at times, which overalled impeded the quality of overall performance. Considering the band has only had several practices the put on a decent performance, I look forward to seeing them develop and hone their sound. 

They are definitely a multitalented lot, we'll hopefully, see great things  in the future.,

After the first performance, the basement got far too hot with many of us feeling the heat and cool down, so everybody had a chat about the first performance. I wasn't feeling well, due to gluttony and the heat made things worse. I stood outside chatting to Sarah, the vocalist for Sticky Pearl, but like usual I didn't realise who, she was one of the performers.

The next performer has had a more post-punk electronic style, again with the temperamental sound system, which really affected the performance sound quality and the overwhelming heat meant I had to stand outside. From what I heard outside it sounded interesting, just not quite my taste.

During the beginning of the night, Joel had been selling raffle tickets to raise money, so the Boyfriend brought a couple. Like the previous raffle, it was a hilarious haphazard affair that I wished I had recorded with Joel responding with his sharp jibes, in his broad Yorkshire accent.  The same people kept winning prize's with one them feeling a bit guilty about it, but they did purchase a whole lot of raffle tickets. I won a cd and top by Last July, somebody mentioned the band was a side project of Alixandrea from Rhombus. Definitely, need to listen.

Sticky Pearl

By this time the aircon was on, and the music system had finally calmed down.  Then again it could have been the soothing ethereal, yet powerful vocals of Sarah Parilla had that quaint mystical charm. There was the definitely heavy influence of by the Cocteau Twins and the Cure. For me, the band made me think of bands like Faith and The Muse and Leaves Eyes. The group actually felt like a Female version of the Golden Age of Nothing (seriously one of the best Goth Bands to come out of the North for years). However, it's not surprising with Graeme Wilkson bringing his instrumentalist's talents creating the diverse and sublime entrancing sound of Sticky Pearl. The band is definitely in my niche, I've already purchased their debut album from Band Camp.

We stayed as long as possible until we had enough, me inebriated, on the on gin and lemonade. Despite well-known Mother's Ruin renowned for its depressive tendencies. However, I seem to be immune from its adverse effects and tend to be rather merry I end up unbearable, and I talk incessantly. Anyway, we had a fab time  I spoke to anyone, and everyone, so much essential money was raised a well-deserved cause. We got the night bus back because we're frugal Northerners on a budget. 

Friday Night

Friday Night was the main opening event, I was ecstatic to finally see Inkubus Sukkubus live, I can first remember  listening to  the Vampyre Erotica album, and I was hooked, even now I still always go back to that album

The main venue was held at the Wharf Chambers, a former sausage packing factory since has been transformed into a private club that has run as a Coop scheme. Anyway, the venue had a wide range of frugal beverages including a cuppa of tea for 60 p. Not to mention there was a choice of four box ciders two were made by Lillies, definitely the best, a Broadoak it was ok, and the Perry that was beyond vile. The venue had a fantastic vibe complementing the festivals the DIY and mysterious atmosphere. This year the opening events central themes had a fey-like mysticism, enhanced by choice of bands, notably with  Inkubus Sukkubus. Then again, it's the festival is the Season of the witch

It was great to see such an impressive turnout .I'm ecstatic to see the Goth City Festival is becoming an integral festival for the UK'S alt and goth calendar.  

So we arrived with enough time to grab a couple of drinks for the start of the first bands With Seventh Harmonic official opening, (I know it was really the Seventh Victim but that was the unofficial kickoff.) 2018's Goth City Festival official night kicked off the festivities. With Seventh Harmonic. The band had my niche of folk, world, goth influences. It has such a hauntingly ethereal light, feminine sound that was reminiscent of the Dead Can Dance. I would typically have expected more melodic female vocals. Initially, the band a followed the more traditional route with collaborating with Ann-Mari Thim from Arcana. However, the group appeared with a male vocalist with more of the deep drolling baritone vocals, I loved the contrast that added a new element to this style of music. Ger, a vocalist, felt an Irish Druidsreciting incantation ritual through the narrative of each son.  I just can't believe I haven't found this band earlier. One word awe-inspiring. I highly recommend you check them out.

Next up was Dynosis, I had actually seen this band five years ago. It was one of those random encounters you serendipitous occurs. They were sublime I actually own two of their early albums Dyonisis and Intoxicated, I still enjoy. Unfortunately, I haven't kept up to date with their current work.

 I rediscovered a passion for an old band who have an extensive and diverse repertoire in both the song's narrative and melodies. The sound has a distinctly more melancholic, but gentle, upbeat tempo that empowered the audience. The vocalist, Nel, follows in a Celtic and Nordic folk tradition of light, ethereal vocal style with the song's narratives exploring the human psyche of emotional turmoil from a retrospective outlook. The last time, I saw them had a second vocalist performing in an operatic style. This time it was Nel, but in no mean does it detract from their performance.  I loved the balance of the heavier rhythm of the guitars and drums, which compliant and add more profound depth to the songs. With each performance, the crowd were swaying in sync and cheering ever louder after each performance. 

After ten years in the waiting, with loudest cheers of the night, the band emerged from a hail of smoke enhancing mystical vibes. Donning Le Catrina style make-up and began the most anticipated and spirited performance of the night. With each member working harmoniously together each musician animatedly dancing on stage, playing their most popular songs. Candia was definitely the star of the show, yet she never overpowered the others members but intensified their stage presence. Candia leads with her vivaciousness radiating with her unique, powerful vocals and her arms gyrating, beckoning the audience to dance. The crowd were intoxicant by their performance and followed the melodies in a frolicking manner. I was warned the Incubus Sukkubus were a lively lot, I didn't realise until the performance began, it refreshing to see the crowd go wild.  I even found a dance partner who couldn't stop moving as much as me. Time stood still with the performance feeling like an eternity of enjoyment simultaneously, it only felt like a few minutes had passed.

After the climactic performance, the frantic atmosphere began to slow down with many of the patrons leaving to get fresh air or for transport home. Even the boyfriend and I went out for some air. Everyone seemed to slowly return to sobriety but still with zealous energy from the gig. Everyone discussing how fantastic the bands' performances had been and plans for upcoming festivals. Even swapping anecdotes of previous times, they had seen different bands particularly Dyonoisis and Incubus Sukkbus.  Then there was a DJ on with only a few people staying it meant there was ample room on the dance floor with classic goth and 80's electronic hits being played for the rest of the night. 

We're becoming that selfie couple. Lol.

Joel and Martin posing for silly photos. 

At one point, I finally got to meet Candia and other lovely members of Inkubus Sukkubus. We had a quick chat and a couple of photographs. Everyone is just absolutely cordial and lovely. Candia who just radiates such positive vibes, generally you can tell she loves what she does and takes time to meet her fans. She reminds of  Dan Reed. Sadly, in the photos, I look like a right miserable git. I was ecstatic to meet the band for a few minutes seriously.


The last night was at the Fenton a fantastic pub, with even four proper ciders and Old Bloody Rosie, I hate Old Rosie. There was Orchid Pig Hog Father, I love it, but had it far too much. Anyway, I was mainly on two other ciders that they had on offer, both superb quality. All the Goth's and darkly inclined,black-clad and alt's were politely directed to the sign Goth Up Stairs. Saturday night felt more it should have been the Friday night, still a good night. I think it was a bit of good come down, from the previous night. Saying that I think the partying started taking its toll on me.

Matty one the sound engineers who made the whole event possible, we just kept meeting up with him during the festival I got a photo of the Boyfriend.

Joel working hard greeting all the patron, next time I need to purchase his a snake bite or a decent merlot. Seriously, I don't know where he gets his energy from. 

After hearing so much hype about the sister of Murphy, after the first song, I  can understand why they've amassed their reputation. The band members jumped on stage to take their position. With the audience erupted with a roar of cheers as the band entered. The bands started with their first song.  

The lead singer doesn't like Eldritch, but he emulated her demeanour and vocal stylings actually he could have been his vocal doppelganger, especially for First and Last and Alway album.  Yet, the band performed their own interpretation of the Sisters, using a far heavier guitar rift giving its modern sound, it still works. I love how Mya's strong vocals complimented Sid's vocals and really enhancing the female vocal parts of the songs. With each performance, crowds getting more livelier with each rendition being played. Sadly things ended about 11, so a bit early night than the previous night, which was probably was a good thing since we had 11 am check out. 

We had a fantastic night of getting merry on decent cider and beer, meeting and chatting to new people about the festivities.  Even one them was actually good friends with a mutual friend from Newcastle, originally he was from South Sheilds, so we were talking about being from Tyneside and general life. We said next time he's up we'll meet up for a couple of drinks. Life ix very strangely. 
A ph

We had an amazing extended Weekend in Leeds, it was a zealous atmosphere, which left me both exhilarated and exhausted, it felt fantastic feeling part of the goth community. Also, it was great to discover new talented bands, finally see a couple of old favourites. I can only comment on my experience in the North where the Goth and alt scene are starting to thrive again. It's hard to believe how dire things were only a few years ago. What I love is the changing atmosphere seems to be refocusing back on the music and providing opportunity with the new upcoming and current talent.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Halloween Haul 2018

Well, another year has past and it's my favourite time of year again with autumn where the colour of the leaves change into a glorious range of reds, oranges and yellows.  Definitely, the spookiest and gothic day of Halloween approaches.

For the last few weeks, all I have heard swirling around in my head is The Broken peaches.

It's a fantastic rendition and I love the costumes.

I 've been glued and oogling  over people's  Halloween finds on  Instagram and Facebook UK Halloween Watch, for all appreciators of Halloween home decor


 As we all know this means the shops stock gorgeous home decor. I've started shopping in mid-August, with Tk Maxx, he homes sense, stocking an array of spooky goodies. I've mainly got purchased most of my Halloween paraphilia from here as Tk Maxx always wins Geordie Goths best Halloween goodies. Without fail it delivered to its high standards. Also amongst the treasures, I've found a lot of tats as well. I like to find something that not overtly Halloweeny but it can be displayed all year long, I know I'm boring git.

Here are my finds so far.

This was last year seemed the most coveted items an ouji desert stand. I finally got one.

I found a Halloween spatulate with the black cat it's too nice to use I'm displaying it.

 I found this pumpkin with a little witch works great with my kitchen decor.

I purchased this a witch, black cat, a spell book and some tea or hand towels. I thinking of using them as hand towels 

On display with her sister witches. 

I loved the double twin skull and the candle, which are proudly on display in my bathroom. As, I want to create apothecary shop feel.

I found this kitchen mat ( Home Bargains) which complements the decor in my kitchen, it was the £1.79 budget. I love the more vintage style Halloween decor. 

I found the Maleficent mug on sale int Disney shop, however, the boyfriend has banded me from more crockery as we don't have any more room for stuff. 

I even purchase some spooky Halloween pyjamas from Primark. 

Gary Numan and The Skaparis Orchestra

A couple of weeks ago I saw Gary Numan. I have never been a huge Numan fan, after hearing My Name Is Ruin on the 35th anniversary of The Ol...