In Response: Black Lives Matter

Jacqueline Ecclestone, a guest contributor to the blog

The blog hasn’t engaged with this painfully prominent topic yet – because as a white Western man my voice has been heard for far too long. I would like to maintain that position, and instead invite my readers to visit a guest article by Jacqueline Ecclestone, a black woman in the US goth scene.

You could also read this article for World Goth Day by model and activist Yasmin Benoit, who also talks about her experience – her struggles – as a person of colour in the UK goth scene.

Finally, there are many ways we can contribute to and support the struggle using these carefully curated resources.

I do have some words for the subculture, as a community. There has always been an issue with gatekeeping, legitimacy and exclusion in the goth scene. Self-proclaimed ‘authorities’ issue utterly ludicrous proclamations of what is and isn’t goth, and who is outlawed as a result. That has been a serious error of judgement at the heart of this peculiar and rebellious subculture.

If it suddenly turns into exclusion based on somebody’s race, creed, sexuality or other basic human right – it goes beyond petty goth politics and into the realm of crime and cruelty. That is not permissable under any circumstances.

Now is the time to amplify the voices of those silenced, stand with those oppressed, and remember that we are supposedly united by a willingness to embrace different lived experiences. We must never, never ostracise someone because of their race or skin colour. If there’s one thing goths can agree on – it must be that.

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World Goth Day: In the Shadow of CORVID-2020

You’d think being forced to stay indoors, hiding from the sun and shunning close contact with other humans would be pretty easy work for goths. In reality of course, we’re just as hungry for interaction as everyone else – so it’s a joy to concentrate on celebrating World Goth Day 2020 even if we’re restricted to only what we can experience through our screens.

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Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival – November 2019

Right now, we should all be in Whitby enjoying the sounds, shopping and socialising with our favourite festivals. Instead, of course, all is delayed. So I thought I’d publish my review of last November’s Spa event, Tomorrow’s Ghosts Winter 2019 festival – let’s remember how it was and look forward to when it will be again!

In the meantime, you can get online and browse some of the traders that would attend Whitby Goth Weekend or the Art D’Morte Exhibition.

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“What Year Is This?” Twin Peaks in 2020

“There’s a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want. A darkness, a presence. It takes many forms but… its been out there for as long as anyone can remember and we’ve always been here to fight it.”

Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) – “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”

On this day in 1990, the network ABC broadcast the premiere of Twin Peaks, beginning a story that continues to defy description, convention or resolution. A surface read indicates a mystery/thriller about murder in small-town America but rapidly became a baffling, intriguing and alarming juxtaposition of the real and the supernatural, familiarity and unsettling horror, with characters beloved and feared.

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First and Last and Forever: The Sisters’ debut album, thirty five years on

Tim FALAA 2009

Tim Sinister, 2009

I should lead with a confession. The first Sisters album I listened to was 1987’s Floodland, and it made a more significant impact than their debut ever did.

How could it not? Eldritch was in top form, flush from victory over his treacherous minions and armed with the pulchritudinous Patricia Morrison and devoted Doktor Avalanche to produce his ultimate vision of The Sisters of Mercy. The techno-experimentation of the ‘Sisterhood’ era gave way to a polished collection of icy synths and sneering superiority led by three of the finest singles the band has ever produced. Less than a week ago I saw The Sisters of Mercy live and they ended on the triumph that is This Corrosion – still a potent weapon in the band’s live arsenal.

And yet, for all Floodland is a finely honed, bombastic blast of Sisters creativity, it is to First and Last and Always we must look for what I believe to be the ‘truest’ sound of this most definitive band. To many fans, the cowboy-hat wearing smoke-wreathed silhouettes are the golden-age lineup – Gary Marx, Andrew Eldritch, Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams, clawing their way up the indie charts and into WEA’s signing book, before breaking into America in debauched and doom-laden style.

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