Monday, 24 June 2019

My First WGT Part One

A few weeks ago, I finally fulfilled my life long dream of making the pilgrimage to the Mecca of the Gothdom, Wave Gothic Treffen. I always had a grand envision I would be absorbed and swoon in my best velvet in awe and wonder, never wanting to leave. Yet,  I found myself with a more reserved attitude, I definitely enjoyed myself, I just didn't get swept up in the
the allure of everything; I felt a combination of sensational and meh moments.


First of all, we didn't arrive in Leipzig until Friday afternoon, as we saw Fleetwood Mac in Berlin at Waldb├╝hne amphitheatre we got caught in the torrential rain and soaked through. It made feel disappointed, as we cut the concert short. 





The Boyfriend and I agreed on a few rules; to avoid the UK bands, bands that we could easily see in the UK, or we've seen previously. We wanted to discover new bands or see ones that we couldn't easily see live. That rule got broken on the first day; We tried to stick to it, unsuccessfully Also, to try and stay in one venue or see bands close in enough.



Even though WGT is a huge festival it feels more like a series of mini-festivals with the number of venues hosting bands. This year the festival hosted over 200 bands,  and I found they were competent, but only a few bands really stood. The plethora of musicians covered catered for all music tastes. The thing I hated, was how there might be one or two bands I wanted to see simultaneously, but the venues were the complete opposite direction.


The collection booth, to collect our wrist bands and information, opposite the train station. We waited for ten minutes; I had read posts on the Sadgoth.com Facebook page, stating some people queued for five hours in the heavy rain. The ticket fee included venue entry for the bands, free transport, free entry to events, gigs and even free entry to the local attractions and museums. For £130 per ticket, it was a bloody good bargain.





 The boyfriend was organised with syncing everything to  Google maps and spreadsheets. We only discovered the app a couple of days earlier. The app was invaluable to use as it allowed for us to listen to bands via  Spotify. For some reason the player wouldn't play on my phone, I mainly listened to the bands on Bandcamp or Youtube.  The app also helped to navigate around the city to different venues,  and details which trams to use. However, Google maps are crap at providing public travel information, it was best to use  www.lvb.dewebsites time table. My favourite thing was how the boyfriend and I could sync our plans together




The boyfriend wanted to see Cubanate I wasn't bothered to see them after listening to their song. I decided to divide my time between Darker Her, I also wanted to see Coph Nia. I thought I would go and catch then see October Burns Black, leave to see  Coph Nia. It never happened as the Boyfriend wanted to stay at one venue. I could see Darker Her sometime in the future since they're from West Yorkshire. 


 I headed to Tauberchenthal, be honest, this seemed like the better option. I saw Joel a friendly face and said hello, and he introduced me to some of his friends from the Leeds scene. The Other half and I often, travel to Leeds, regularly.

was chatting to Joel and his friends. The light dimmed and brightened with the band complete their final sound checks and finely tuning their instruments before starting.  

The first band was October Burns Black; The light brightened, quickly dimmed with the band emerging from the smoke, opening with With You. A  great introduction, I had never heard of them,  it was more steady uptempo danceable track, with the dual of guitars creating a droning riff, the band utilised a mixture of synth, real drums and Ger's vocals had an of a lighter bass style. Next, the band took a darker direction with Light On Light, that had a more of a post punk quality with more brittle lounge guitars and tribal drumming. The band moved between more uptempo songs and the slower melodic songs. As the band continued to play the crowds increased with more people coming into the ground floor and balcony area. All the audience were clapping and were roaring with cheers.

 Unfortunately, with the heat wave, and the number of people crowding inside the heat got too much. I finished the rest of the set outside with fresh air. 



I went out for fresh air, and it felt like everyone had created their own tribes of goths, so we opted to call ourselves the Northern Goths, who joke about goths and being goth. One person commenting we take goth about 10% seriously. I learnt about the Guffites from the 80's or I like calling the Uber Goths.  We were all complaining about the heat and melting. The was more gibe r- jabbering like the Northern folks do.  




I got to meet Black Friday, which was pretty cool. I have to say she is a very open, friendly and generally lovely person. She introduced me to some of her friends. I felt kinda rude butting in all we're just really lovely people. I was surprised at Black Friday' height she is tall, I'm a short arse.


I also said "Hello" to Rosie Garland and got her to pose with Joel. It brought back good memories of the Leeds City Festival history discussion of Leeds. Definitely two important Gothic Northern Icons, according to me. I think they were contemplating the importance of the North of England in regards to goth culture. 




I  headed in at the behest of the other half to check out the next band. 

 The Golden Apes are a German-based postpunk goth style band who definitely have their distinctive style. I loved their thunderous tribal drums creating heavy percussion, it was further enhanced by the rock style strings section with the heavy rifts from the guitar and bass. I loved Germanised guttural baritone vocals style. The band was a highly talented band and The band are long established with over twenty years of playing. I love this band from the moment they started playing they were absolutely amazing and got the crowds roaring, the venue got even more crowded, I'm not sure how. 






We headed back into town for food, I found the Black & Blacker Imperri Dark as night burger it was delectable. 




We went to discover Moritzbastei to check out La Scaltra and Scarlet Dawn. Sadly, the venue was incredibly packed, very sweety, and uncomfortable. I kind of caught some of Scarlet Dawn they sounded European melodic rock with gothic undertones. The crowd were roaring with adoration for the band. I was disappointed, I didn't see La Scaltra perform their haunting sound and energy seemed perfect for Mortizbastei cellars.


For some reason, we decided to go back Tauberchenth and we caught the end of UK Decay, which had energetic Punk Vibe, just not my kinda band they definitely had crowds in an uproar. We stayed some of the after party and headed back to the accommodation. 



Thursday, 30 May 2019

An Evening of Tales In Sombre Tones.

Last Friday, the Boyfriend, and I attended the ghostly Tales In Sombre Tones. A creative calibration of the dark minds of  Sean Walter's modern gothic anthology and Karen Ruffles striking visual interruption.  The event took was held at the Vane art gallery. 

the event was advertised on Facebook, after reading the reviews, we were curious to attend. We arrived at 7:30. I felt underdressed, wished I gothed up more, I wore casual attire with leggings, a fluffy jumper and no eyeliner, never mind. Sean reminded me, it's fact I attended not what I wore, that matters.





The Vane Gallery, sadly, compared to the stunning surroundings of  York's venue rainbow stained glass and vaulted ceilings.


Image may contain: indoor

Source

The venue had more urban industrial a vibe, with plain white walls and grey concreates floors. It worked contrasting background to the sepulchral images, making them stand out. 





We entered, just as Sean starting reading one of his short stories, with his West Coast Portland voice, slowly weaving his tale to the small audience who intrigued and captivated by the woeful tale. I loved how Sean included a sign language version of his story, making more accessible to people with hearing impairments. Also, it included an interesting visual aspect brought a new emphasis on the storey.
         







There was even a photo of the Boyfriend and Me, listening, to one of Sean's reading. 


Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoor



After the reading, Sean discussed with the audience about their perspective and observations of about the book. He had a genuine sincerity and took great interest in the audience, who were curious by the dark tales. He thrives off the small support and truly ebbed appreciated through his demeanour and interactions. A common theme was the number of dyslexics who attended and engrossed in the book. Sean's mentioned he's releasing an audiobook; I explained my love for the challenging and experience of reading from a book.  



We had a fascinating chat and exchanging life experiences and finding common ground with our experiences of working health and dementia patients, a highly comical antecedent.  We discussed the influences and inspiration of the anthology, along with the artwork Steven, a monster lurking in a sewer and the story of an eroded cat statue after beach combing in Whitby. We exchange experiences of goth cultural and cultural. 


I loved Karen work, I even found a couple of pieces I loved ( I forgot to take more photos, as I was having a good time). The artworks were charcoal paintings that looked more like photographs, I met Karen who again a fab person and very talented artist explained her experience and influences for the artwork and her personal favourites. Karen was planning to release some prints of her artwork in the future. 

Also, part of the night included music from DJ Jay  Sinful both a well respected and veteran DJ and music promoter based in Whitby. Again, was another lovely and fantastic DJ who kept playing great tracks including Auger  Monster, one of my new favourite bands at the moment. Again Jay, personally the knew the band and leading the conversation further leading to The Darker Day festivals. 



We had a slow gander around the art, everything was macabrely tantalizing I really wanted to hang most of it in my bathroom. A few pieces struck me, which was Addiction and  Steve from Cages. 


Image may contain: outdoor


Image may contain: night


We stayed for his telling of Addictions, really reminded of Princess who kinds would suck all your energy and soul if you don't feed, otherwise, she's a sweety.  Unfortuly, the photo this picture got more she's cute then, yeap I see what you mean. 




After the second reading, we left and said byes with talk of an unofficial after-party at Trillians, it was general banter and with a few drinks, yes, plenty of stories about kitty escapade.





I even purchased a copy of Sean's book and had it signed. I'm looking forward to delving into the short parables in autumn and winter with the kitties and Halloween tea.  




It was a great and intimate night with a bit dark gothic cultural; of stories, artwork and music. It's great to see more darkly inclined creatives, collaborating. I wish Sean and Karen all the best with their creative endeavours. 

If you're interested further about the book check out current links Tales In Sombre blog. 
Sean Walter's personal webpage  and Karen's website Drawing in the Dark 

Monday, 29 April 2019

Darker Days 2019


It ceases to amaze me how thriving the goth scene is present, compared to a few years ago. Over the last few years, smaller goth festivals are popping up. One of these is Darker Days in Leicester, now in its, the third year; has gained in popularity.  The first date started off as an all-day event and last year, it was held over two-days showcasing more musicians.

I first heard about Darker Days, after a gig in Edinburgh, after talking to the guys of Gothzilla and Trouble Fait told us they were performing in the festival. The Boyfriend and I decided to attend after seeing the fantastic lineup. He booked up early so the tickets cost  £25 each, a great bargain.


The festival, a three-day affair of a non-stop dark, gloom, of reverbing synth, tribal drum machine, brittle the guitar, and occasionally the realistic drummer. Despite the despairing sounding atmosphere, everybody was exhilarated to attend

Friday Night

The event was held at the Musician; a surprisingly, Tardis-like pub, on first glances, the exterior looked small once in the interior extends for some distance. We knew we had arrived after seeing the figure clad in black queueing. We arrived at 8 pm since the first bands started at 8:15 pm. The queue went down quickly because of Andrew's and Angela's, the event organisers, the meticulous organisation; They were friendly and welcomed us to the event, handed us an envelope.


One thing I highly commend the sound quality was superb, and the engineer an audial wizard a rarity able to mind read musicians and cater to them.  I've frequented across the country one of the best venue's for sound quality, this enhanced overall experience.


Rain Children.

The first band appeared on stage with the smoke machine already emitting vapour creating a mysterious ambience for Rain Children who kicked the night off with trad ethereal goth style. I never heard of the duo before. I felt very captivated, through the bands' mystical, yet energy. The vocalist emanated a Kate Bush vibe; from swaying to her Bush-style pitch; I like the fact she had a clearer and operatic style works harmoniously with the songs. It had very strong feminine energy. That contrasted with the more masculinity of the early post-punk style of the classic flanging, brittle guitar strumming; the reverberating drum machine. There sound remind of Juju. The band had a nice balance to the overall performance. The audience appeared to enjoy the band and offered a round of applause and cheers for the duo. Who smile thanked everyone and walked off.






During the weekend the bands were strictly kept to their 45-minute slot, which limited band and audience interaction, most of the musicians focusing more on the stage presence and performance

Luxury Stanger

The next band prepare their equipment, my partner was excited to see Luxury Stranger and commented on how immensely talented they were. After fifteen minutes, the band were ready. Playing their set the band after a few minutes the audience were awestruck with their mesmerising myriad of dark sounds influenced by every music genre possible from blues, fun the strongest was post-punk. I could imagine band featuring on Jules Holland. 




House of Usher.


The final band of the night was the longstanding second-wave goth band from the late '80s to early 90's House of Usher. Travelled from Germany. The band had a quick introduction and started playing. They had a typical flanging guitar, melodic base, the deep vocals and even a drummer. Honestly, their set beginning felt bland, lacking energy or stage presence. All of sudden, life and passion ebbed and radiated through the band playing with How Far Can We Go each song they continued through an enigmatic performance captivating the audience. Sadly, they returned to the lifeless, performance for the last part of the set. It felt like I was listening to back round music. It was a shame as they have great talent when playing with passion. 




The night ended on a high and it was a great way selection of band to quick off the festivities.

Saturday

Gothzilla


The band kicked off at 2:15 pm. The first band was the Scottish Gothzilla. I've seen them live a number of times and expected a vigorous and danceable repertoire. They entered the stage with an energetic performance with Tim belting out his metal style vocals, keeping the front sections of the audience dancing. Gothzilla is heavily influenced by the second wave of goth bands. Their albums and songs have a connective narrative, but with each song having a unique identity. I've heard various them in different venues, and their sound was the best I have heard. The sound was so crisp, I loved the addition of a second guitar adds new weight to the songs. It allowed Tim to focus more on his performance and vocals, as usual, he plays the guitar, which was refreshing as fully emerged it. Due to time constraints, The band didn't have as much there full crowd banter. It seemed like an epic opening. 




We had a breather outside as the heat inside got too much, and by the freak heatwave, we experienced. With the awesome sound quality, you could hear the bands playing from outside. Often we spent time outside. 

Trouble Fait

Next up, the French post-punk band Trouble Fait, who managed to cross the channel early in the morning, despite all the Brexit troubles. We kept up to date by the bands Facebook updates. Not even Brexit could stop the festival. The band began playing, the sound was incredible, I remember the band sounding a bit on the solemn side, but they sounded more post-punk uptempo style while singing in French; their sounds a combo of Manchester post-punk style. The band swung into form a fantastic set including energetic Paris, finished off with their rendition Love Will Tear Us Apart. Despite their long journey,  they put on an exhilarating performance. It ended too soon. They finished with the next band preparing for their turn on stage.




After the more trad style bands came the afternoon of prog goth with experimentation and offering a new take on the goth genre.

Auger

 Auger for me, was one a surprising and engaging band; I  was intoxicated, from first hearing the first and last synth notes of their performance. I love their balanced sound using dark industrious synths, and programming to create a (pseudo ) german rawness. Keiran's metal style rifts add an oppressive weight to the melodies. The lyrics have a paradoxical drudgery, which can in parts feel uplifting. While, Kyle's (clear, guttural, baritone vocals ) deliverance of the lyrics emphasises the song's despairing narratives. They were fully immersed and passionately they were in their performance and stage presence. 




Wisborg

A Hanoverian duo, arrived safely, however, their equiment went missing; the other bands kindly loaned them equipment.  They put on a mystifying performance, despite the sleep deprivation. Their unique take on the goth genre by incorporating metal riffs mixed with electronic synth, with some occasional technical keyboards. The band emulated vampiric vibes, especially the vocalist sorrowful deep vocals, with hauntingly dark lyrics; with the audience engrossed by the band's performance. They seemed the perfect choice to sum the first part of the festival.




We had a two-hour break, which was well needed, for some reason I started feeling unwell and extremely tired ( I hadn't drunk alcohol either) We headed to a Turkish restaurant, beyond generous with their servings and very cheap, that's Turkish cultural. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel I fell asleep. Sadly, missed the second half of the set.  However, My partner said I missed some great bands. 



Here I've decided to use my partner's reviews as he won't mind. He is far superior in succinct music reviews. 

Guillotine Dream

Guillotine Dream - Darkling Glooms - getting all doomy, image spoiled a little by the singer laughing when he couldn't remember which song came next. 


Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, night and indoor


Iamtheshadow

Iamtheshadow - closest thing to a (sub) genre repeat so far, some Euro-electro (and guitar) post punk from Portugal

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and indoor


The Last Cry

Somehow reminiscent of the Cure early in the set, something to do with the way their songs built. Though with less bass, crunchier guitar and more impassioned vocals. By the end, I was thinking that they have a lot in common with the band that opened the day - Gothzilla. Great way to end the day.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, night and indoor


Sunday


By the Sunday, the heat and partying were taking its toll on everybody, and I felt much better, after sleep. I also prefer the later start time of 3 pm rather than two. 

Today kicked off with another familiar band, who've been regularly appeared at Noir Castle (local goth night) and Carpe Noctum in Leeds. 

Memento Mori

They hail from all over the North East, including the former industrial Teeside that produces some dark and brooding bands.   Memento Mori is a small original second-wave goth band who formed in the late '80s and toured all over Europe and disbanded six years later. They reformed back in 2009 touring on the national goth scene and releases an album and ep. I bought for £10.

 They have a trad goth sound range of various goth styles in terms of their songs ranging from the tribal-sounding post punk, brittle guitar right through the use of later rock goth sting work. The band's experimental synth keyboards and drum machines offer darker danceable edge to the songs. My favourite song has to their renditions of the '90s. The audience was in full sway from the performance injected a much need enter boost.





Her Despair

Her Despair, another interesting band with a progressive gothic edge. The band have heavy twin guitars and base bringing thrash element. With keyboards and the singer's vocals bring a My Dying Bride vibe. I like the combo. It offers a new reversion on the goth genre. These reminded me of a band I reviewed Leashes ( who I highly recommend checking out.)


                


The Glass House Musem

I've heard some much positive comments about this band, it always great see a female vocalist that help break the male energy. I stood for a while, really wanting to fall for their spell.  I couldn't get into them, the bands, just, not my personal taste. They are very talented technically in their guitar and bass work, and the vocalist has an intense emotive quality. Their sound is more of 80's goth-pop with upbeat melodies. I enjoy the darker twist of Jericho. 




There was a two-hour break that seemed for food and I finally had a first cider alcohol drink of the weekends.


Darkers Days became international with Costa Rican, Last Dusk.

Last Dusk 

They have a very heavily post punk sound but have a proper drummer. add. The melodies sound dysfunctional and raw harkening back to the early post punk. The drums added emphasises a heavy tribal beat and experimental synths furthered the vehement sound.  The lead singer has a David Vanian vibes in both energy and vocal style.






To finish the weekend off was Belgium;

Whispering Sons

They have a very strong post-punk sound with a real drummer, however, the band have more technical coordinated sounds in comparison to the previous bands. They felt more avant-garde and extending post punk sound influence into the acid-fueled audial journey. The band are heavily synth-driven and strengthened by experimental keyboards with deep brittle guitar and base. The singer bass vocals using interruptive dance moves to emphasise the lyrics. They were an insense talented felt like a fantastic finale to end the weekend.


Monday, 18 March 2019

Geordy Goth Creations: Upcycled Cardigan

Last month, I opted for an upcycling sewing project, as I was watching a Youtube video about the fashion industry,  and its environmental impacts on a global scale.  I learnt for fabric production requires 200 tonnes of water to produce 1 of tonne fabric and 8,000 toxic chemicals are used in the dying process. Even after the intensive production, over 235 million garment articles end up in in a landfill, generating 26.2 million of CO2 within the UK. The most atrocious part is the clothing is recyclable. 

Another factor is the human cost of the clothing industry, which was highlighted after the tragic Rana Plaza factory incident; where 1,130 tragically lost their lives. It showed how unscrupulous manufacturers were using depraved practices subjugating workers to horrid conditions such, as long hours, poor and dangerous working conditions and the use of child labour all for very little pay ( Batelier 2018). 





I aim to do more upcycling projects, rather than just sewing from scratch or purchasing new fabrics.  

I found this cardigan in a charity shop during a  thrifting expedition. I  loved the cardigans details like, the small pockets, just adorable, it had 3/4 sleeves, the scooped neckline, amazing condition,   and all for the princely price of a pound. I had to have the cardigan and a perfect basic transform into a gothic granny/ Victorian Liberian style garment, I'm into this style at the moment.   




I decided to tart the cardigan using some triple ruffle lace, I purchased years ago, from eBay, it was ten yards for £4. I used me straight  1/4 quilting sewing foot for from my Amazon 30 sewing feet all for £10 collection. I just took my time and manipulated the lace to fit the stretch cardigan.







 



The lace looked great, but  I wanted to add some velvet trim to add extra interest. I used an edge stitch sewing foot ( I think it also called a stitch in the ditch sewing foot) for the trim, another from the 30 piece collection of sewing feet.


                                               
The final reveal.
 Even if you can't use a sewing machine you always hand sew. 




Sources


Batelier, M. (2018). The Textile Issue – London Textile Forum 2018: What, Why, How and When?. Available: http://www.lsx.org.uk/blog/textile-issue-london-textile-forum-2018/. Last accessed 06/03.2019.

My First WGT Part One

A few weeks ago, I finally fulfilled my life long dream of making the pilgrimage to the Mecca of the Gothdom, Wave Gothic Treffen. I alwa...