Have you read our review of the Friday Night at Whitby Goth Weekend April 2016? Click to head back, or read on to hear about the Saturday lineup at the UK’s premier Goth music event!
She Made Me Do It:
They start nervously, but as soon as She Made Me Do It get into their stride, they’re consummate professionals. This is clever, sultry rock for naughty people, ably delivered by swaggering, sexy musicians.
Their beat is relentless; their guitars excitingly shredded. The only issue is their lead singer, Shaheena, being somewhat low in the mix. But if your passion is for hypnotic riot-girl style rock, this will tick your boxes – I was more than satisfied with this impressive first performance.
“One track mind”, Shaheena calls out as she struts across the stage, vibrant and challenging the crowd. This band are confident, and it gives them incredible presence. They’re an ideal opening act for the night, and performances like this help them roughen up those smooth edges and start building a solid reputation for themselves.
A welcome return for these much-lauded Goth rock champions, veteran mainstays of Whitby Goth Weekend lineups as well as gigs around Europe. “You’re looking lovely” flatters Ed, he of mighty hats and thundering bass, before launching into Lifeline.
There’s been a lot of lineup changes in Rhombus – and yet their quality has only increased. The tiny but powerful Alix is a worthy counterpart on vocals to the warbling deep tones of Ed, Andy is spiking away with guitars on the left of the stage, and even more dramatically Lee is carrying drum duties after Rhombus ditched their drum machine! Surely this is self-destruction for a Goth band?
Yet this relatively new ensemble delivers treasured classics and rip roaring new tracks with all the ease and enjoyment of a band with such a strong reputation.
Their new album is out today – canny operators – and as the sun goes down, we revel in a new track called DAYLIGHT. It’s soaring, uplifting even, yet still laced with menace and excitement.
“Why don’t you shimmer, why don’t you shine?” Ed and Alix demand, then thrash the drums and guitars whilst the audience roars approval. “It’s on the new album”, quips Ed. “You can see where this is going.”
Rhombus KNOW how to stoke enthusiasm. That, and the huge projection of their new album on a screen behind them. Quite simply, when these master promoters end, it feels far too soon.
Fuzzbox are GO! Five talented musicians storm the stage from off the cover of Eighties Smash Hit covers.
They unhesitatingly acknowledge their limitations – Mags bellows “I have to wear spectacles all the time and I still can’t fucking see!”
And yet you see them bounce around the stage like no time has passed. Two opening tracks of energetic pop-punk fun – “There must be more to life than this!” they sing of boring routine, and help us feel so far away from it all!
There’s an exciting track where Mags takes lead vocals and Vix produces a violin – and again the girls hurtle about the stage, punk credentials flying. The audience is moving, bouncing in sympathy, as the band are putting out some tightly woven, hard hitting rock and roll!
Occasionally you notice on tracks like ‘Love is the Slug’ that there’s some strain on voices, but after time, this is unavoidable. I hear mutterings from individuals about the decrease in quality – yet the crowd as a whole cheers enthusiastically for every track!
They certainly excel at the slower numbers, Vix’s voice is cool, slow and seductive – she’s singing to her strengths, over throbbing bass and swirling Eighties guitar riffs. The applause starts before the notes die away. Vix is discovering how little time they have left, and the crowd just doesn’t seem to want to let them go – they have time for just one more though. So it’s their massive hit of course, ‘Pink Sunshine’ thumping out over this packed out Venue. The crowd unashamedly love it, and it’s the perfect nostalgic end for this punk performance.
WE WANT WAYNE! A harried stage crew struggles to prep Wayne’s equipment as the crowd demands their headliner. Finally, the glittering compère Craig thanks all for their work, and yields the stage to a slight, sunglasses-wearing figure – it is Wayne Hussey, lead singer of The Mission and a titan in the Goth scene.
“Evening everyone. Want to hear something new?” The crowd hollers for ANYTHING and he proves there’s life yet in this thirty-year old scene. There’s a drawling cover, muddy yet exciting cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’, and then a melodic and poignant ‘Islands in the Stream’. It just sounds superb delivered acoustically and raw like this.
At one point, I’m astonished as Wayne produces a ukulele and actually hammers out a couple of classic tracks on the instrument he keeps for ‘around the fire’!
Then before his next track and a more familiar guitar, he causally swigs from a bottle of red – and the crowd laugh knowingly and appreciatively. A man with a legendary history of high living indeed!
The audience seems captivated, the front row a wall of veteran fans hanging on every maudlin note. Hussey’s voice throbs, lingers and howls every word with barely a rasp to be heard. The room is spellbound.
Then he hits us with two treats – firstly the brand new single, his haunting new take on the classic anthem ‘Marian’ that he created with Andrew Eldritch more than thirty years ago. A lone voice and a guitar take that famous echoing dirge in a brand new direction, more ethereal and yet tangled up with Hussey’s lingering tone.
This author prefers the original – I’ve said it, and may I be cast out for my heresy. I’m no fan of remakes, even though Hussey has made it authentically his own. But I remain a fan of the spine-chilling original.
Next up is his female companion Evie, and her gorgeous high pitch is a brilliant counterpoint to Hussey’s low drawl. They deliver the second treat, a cover of AAE’s Martha’s Harbour, echoing Hussey’s partnering with Julienne Regan. It’s another Marmite track, but being less attached to the original I really enjoy their duet that beautifully weave her higher tones and his lower notes.
Wayne returns for an encore after ceaseless applause – and it’s Butterfly on a Wheel. The crowd join in passionately, and an acoustic gig like this gives every fan the feeling they’ve just connected specially with this beloved singer. And yet, sadly, for the crowd itself – the mass of people – it lacks the fire and energy that Therapy delivered last night.
The headliner needs to be a heavy-hitter, and whilst the dedicated core of Mission fans undoubtedly loved it, far more people will relish the entire lineup’s performance at November’s Whitby Goth Weekend.
So ends the bands who performed at April 2016’s Whitby Goth Weekend. The lineup has already been announced for November 2016, which will undoubtedly see The Mission reign triumphant – expect to read all about it, right here, on The Blogging Goth!