2006-08-15 : Bela Lugosi wasn’t looking well last time I saw him
So, the other week Richie, Hilary & I head up to Kentish Town Forum to go see Bauhaus – that'd be one of my least favourite venues (a cavernous dive is probably the best description) to see an 80's goth band I'd never heard of.
Based on the fact that the ONLY description I'd heard of the band was “an 80's goth band”, I had no idea what the music was gonna be like, but hey – embracing new things is all part of life's rich tapestry, and so there we was.
Amazingly as I neared the venue I started to feel intimidated, because I knew it was gonna be a big goth gig, and I wasn't sure about being a Mundane in the middle of all of these Children. Once inside though I cursed myself for my own stupidity – it was really no different to any normal trip around Camden Markets.
You wouldn't say the music was predictable, but it certainly fit with what expectations were conjured up – as if that makes any sense. As usual with these things I'm at a loss to comment properly on the whole arrangement, because I didn't know any of the songs and therefore can't tell you whether the renditions were particularly good or not. What WAS obvious though was that these guys were getting old… or at least the lead singer was. A couple of times he complained about being tired, which nobody really wants to hear in a heaving gig.
The other thing about the singer – he started off the night looking like a sorta tending-towards-Meatloafy-type-Vampire-LeStat arrangement. Very sharp sideburns, pallor, cravat & jacket. Quite striking. Clearly it was hot in that venue though (certainly was on the floor), as the jacket was shed during the second or third song. The bogus bit though was well into the gig. See the thing I felt about this music was that a lot of its power came from the visuals and atmosphere: at least for me this was the case. I know the singer bemoaned his exhausted state, but you can overlook that as a circumstantial thing rather than bowing to the effects of age. However as the room heated up and the band got sweatier, the singer's shirt started unbuttoning. No problems there – Robert Plant spent most of his singing career sans-buttons (although has the good sense to button up these days). But you can't do something like that in a half-arsed manner, and it just looked weird that his shirt was unbuttoned to half way down. We don't deal in half-measures here son. A song or two later and the next button came undone, and suddenly it occurred to me what the sheepishness was all about – where you'd expect the pale V-shape of flesh (perhaps with a sprinkling of hair) to continue its transition down his middle as each button sequentially popped, there was now a solid black horizontal. That's right folks, this chump was sporting a girdle ! Now I've no issue with middle-aged spread (I think I've been sporting one since the age of about 25), but for god's sake, don't try to bullshit your fans into thinking that it's not happening. Just that one simple revelation made the whole thing go from “kinda dark & broody bass-heavy music with a semi-ethereal vibe to it” to “sad pasty fat hasbeen trying to pretend it's still the 80's when everyone was skinny”.
Cruel, but fair. Otherwise, a craking good gig. Apart from the fact we wound up in Worldsend (quite distinct from its Adelaidean namesake, the website of which seems a lot swankier than the vibe I recall it having when Douggy and Nige used to work there) – another cavernous barn of a place, with approximately one barstool per table in the place, and some imbecilic bargimp who tried to serve us Glenfiddich in shotglasses.
Not that one wants to sonund like one is complaining… Ergh, bedtime methinks.