- DragonForce at Download 2013: Awkward mosh and festival groomingPosted 4 hours ago
- Serpent Omega: Kat’s Band Of The DayPosted 10 hours ago
- Carpathian Forest announce one-off London showPosted 11 hours ago
- Hellfest 2013 preview: Into the lungs of HellPosted 13 hours ago
- Turisas at Download 2013: Exclusive first listen to ‘Turisas2013′Posted 1 day ago
- Rotting Christ premiere ‘Χ Ξ Σ’ video exclusively with TerrorizerPosted 1 day ago
- Melechesh live at The Joint, 16th June 2013Posted 1 day ago
- Katatonia join Paradise Lost tour and re-issue ‘Viva Emptiness’Posted 2 days ago
- Esoteric Youth stream ‘The Burden Of Living’ with TerrorizerPosted 2 days ago
- Download WTF?! – Day Three at Download Festival 2013Posted 3 days ago
Live Review: Midlands Goth Festival
MIDLANDS GOTH FESTIVAL
Twilight Laboratory, Zeitgeist Zero, Mechanical Cabaret, Salvation, Inkubus Sukkubus
The Midlands Goth Festival, on the 18th February, was begun by a group of likeminded people who decided Birmingham’s goth scene needed ‘a good kick up the arse’. Some months, and a few hundred emails, later the MGF opened it’s doors at a very optimistic 10am.
With the Dark Market playing host to a large variety of different stall holders there is genuinely something for every taste. Even gothic jam and cup cakes. The fairground games, while a nice idea, did not seem to draw a crowd. It is a shame as a lot of effort had obviously gone into putting them together and the money raised through them was for charity. Perhaps a few more drinks were required before goths would play graveyeard golf. The event closes for a short while as the stage is set and venue cleared. Scruffy Murphy’s, the rock pub down the road, fills with goths for a bit – so much so that they run out of draught cider – and at 6pm everyone files back to The Ballroom for the evening’s entertainment.
First up is Twilight Laboratory, an electro-industrial duo with guitars refreshingly high in the mix. Being the opening act is a tough job and by anyone’s standards it’s an early start to the evening, but their Cubanate-esque-genre-stradling formula soon entices people from the bar and toward the stage. Though there’s a couple of minor hiccups in the set, their hard beats and dirty riffs win out and piques more than a few people’s interest. On the basis of this outing it would be good to see these guys develop a more frequent live presence.
Next is Zeitgeist Zero, one of the few bands that seem to still get better every time they perform. Now with a real drummer in the form of Tom Curse in tow the band’s live presence feels complete and their repertoire takes on a new energy as a result. The crowd is feeling it too and they get exactly what they’re looking for as the band burns through songs like ‘Grudge’ and ‘It’s Not Easy Being Strange’. ‘Dance Or Die’ from their forthcoming EP proves to be a crowd pleaser too. With solid songs and a high-quality live show it’s hard to believe this band is still unsigned.
If you don’t know who this next band are you must have had your head buried in the sand for the last decade. Roi Robertson and partner in crime Steve Bellamy are Mechanical Cabaret and have played with probably just about everyone in the electro scene (and outside) you can think of. Unsurprisingly the duo take quick command of the stage and seduce the crowd with their electronic stimuli. Twelve years of honing and perfecting shine through in a veteran calibre performance that can only be compared to acts like Soft Cell and The Pet Shop Boys in terms of skill.
Leeds’ Salvation seem to be the only real oddity in their line up with their stripped-back psychedelic indie sound throwing a curve-ball after the previously electronic-heavy bands. The band’s pedigree though is undeniable given their long-standing connections to the likes of The Mission and their inclusion on the bill is met with a rabid response from a big chunk of the crowd, though it seems mainly for the benefit of the older generation in attendance who have patiently waited for the guitars to come out in force.
Finally the institution that is pagan goth stalwarts Inkubus Sukkubus take command of the crowd to lull them on toward the midnight hour. As one of the most veteran bands as well as one of the most consistent in terms of releases, the ‘Inkies’ have a strong live following wherever they go. Much of the crowd are followers, and if not followers, certainly familiar with the band’s work. The crowd knows what the band can do and in response, Candia and co. are happy to satisfy their thirst with a strong selection from their twenty-plus year career.
It is then left to the cabaret styling of Vince Ripper and the Rodent show to usher on the drunken dancing part of the evening with demented rock ‘n’ roll ditties from the ’50s and ’60s. A bombardment of Theremin and cheesy horror visuals are washed down with the playful Elvira-a-like witticisms and occasional lead vocals courtesy of ex-Sex Fiend Ratfink. More fun than watching two drunk Dominion Magazine reporters dancing to ‘Surfin’ Bird’… Oh wait.
All photos courtesy of Unholy Racket. You can see more (with more to come) at our Flickr account or join our Flickr group and post pictures of your own from the MGF.
Words by Lenore and Sean M. Palfrey.