martin oldgoth

By on 18 February 2011

‘You can take your glowstick and shove it up your arse’. You must know that quote – it was from martin oldgoth, all lower case, the man whose opinions on Goth we all know, love and look forward to hearing.

He was a self-confessed disillusioned punk that arrived in the dark side way back in 1985, thereby earning him the moniker ‘martin oldgoth’. It all started when the DJ that ran a night that he was a regular of moved abroad so the group that martin hung around with, with absolutely no experience whatsoever, took the night over to keep it going. This first venture was held at The Rezz in Romford and it was a weekly club with occasional live bands.

The Rezz closed in 1988 and the night moved to Kings in Seven Kings and that was the start of Playground, by now martin was learning all he needed to know about avoiding a ‘proper’ job. Another move to Ilford caused a slight name change of the club to Playground II and this was followed by a night called Asphxia in 1989 and then to the new club called Berzerka. At this point, ‘Resolve’, named after the hangover cure, was opened and ran on Friday nights alongside Berzerka’s Wednesday nights.

By now, martin had moved to Colchester and spent loads of time travelling to and from Colchester and Ilford so Berzerka was then moved to Colchester and he also ran a few events in the town, including one on a boat, eventually settling into the Embassy Club. Berzerka ended in 1992 after the venue’s owners fled to Spain with the Christmas and New year takings.

martin spent the next couple of years doing occasional guest slots at a number of clubs and in 1996 he began a new club night in Ipswich called ‘Death By Misadventure’ and got himself up to Whitby to DJ there, in what would be the first of five appearances, and of course martin’s connections with Whitby are one of the things that he’s most known for.

By 1998 he had joined forces with Jamie and InsanitoriuM began, it was initially called Bedlam but since there was already a club of that name in existance, it was promptly changed. It started as a club night at The Cambridge Arms that had a short spell of running a live band night alongside it but it was then changed back to a club night. InsanitoriuM ceased on it’s tenth anniversary as it was felt that it had run it’s course in Colchester and one of the DJs was suffereing from ill health. They saw that they had two choices – either to tone down the music policy or end on a high note.

Brigitte Gothtart

Thirteen 13 Ltd was launched in 2006 with martin’s wife Brigitte and this was set up with the aim of helping overseas artists from martin’s favoured genres – the dark indie scene – get heard in the UK and to help them tour. The aim was to help promote music via a members list of international DJs and magazines, since 2006 they’ve helped to promote some newer names to the scene, such as Solemn Novena (now split), The Mumbles, The Opposite Sex and The Beauty Of Gemina, as well as help out bigger bands such as Blacklist, Whispers In The Shadow, The House Of Usher, Collide and Clan of Xymox with promotion for new material.Their Migrant Worker Sponsor license enables them to bring musicians into the UK from all over the world and alongside this is their distribution company. Thirteen 13 Ltd changed it’s tactics 3 years later and they concentrated on CD promotion only, although they still exclusively book tours for The Last Dance.

martin’s monthly podcasts also started in 2006 and at it’s height it reached almost 5000 people per month, he then made the decision to move to radio and in 2007 he began a monthly radio slot as part of Cruel Britannia’s ‘Fadeout’ show called ‘oldgoth’s bit in the middle’. A couple of years later martin started a show in his own right on Nightbreed called Thirteen 13. These shows, also taken up by Cathedral 13 and Radio Chaos Tampa, are available for download on martin’s site. He’s now heavily involved with World Goth Day with Cruel Britannia.

Going back to martin’s Whitby Gothic Weekend connections, and this is where Nostalgia, the club that martin runs as part of the Whitby weekend gets a mention. It was started in 2009 and martin’s at pains to stress that it isn’t a retro night but a night with a feeling of how clubs used to be, and hopes to give a fresh look at a club night in the sense of not playing what martin dislikes most which is metal, EBM and Industrial. martin is one of our more opinionated members of the Goth scene and he takes this stance quite publicly and Nostalgia reflects it. This year sees the start of a new night at WGW called Recollections.

The S.O.P.H.I.E. campaign is very close to martin’s heart. He read about Sophie Lancaster’s tragic death in 2007 on the Whitby Gothic Weekend Forum via a relative of hers on there. This gave rise to the idea of raising funds for a memorial for her which in the end raised over £3,000 between the August of 2007 and the WGW that October. The memorial is in the form of a bench outside the Spa in Whitby, the remaining money went to Sophie’s mother Sylvia to kick start the work that the charity does in raising awareness and to Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. To this day the bench usually has some form of tribute left on it.

In 2009 martin was talking to Andi Sexgang about the possibility of releasing a CD to help raise more funds for the charity and the idea of the ‘Hope’ CD was born. It consists of 15 bands who each donated a song free of charge, some tracks being written especially for the charity, and the ongoing sale of this as well as a regular night at WGW still raises funds.

I asked martin about his views on the current Goth scene as it is today and he thinks that at last it’s all looking a lot healthier. He says that there are quite a few bands that are appearing almost weekly that impress him, currently he’s into The Death Notes and thinks that the scene today has never been stronger. He reckons that ‘we’ve dragged ourselves out of the nineties at last, shaken off a lot of the Metal and Industrial stuff and people are once again looking back farther than the late eighties for inspiration. The current crop of indie/postpunk bands are really doing wonders for reminding people about what this scene used to be like’. martin’s a huge Clash or New Model Army fan, depending on his mood, and he is another person who is passionate about his music and what he does. Brigitte, who he has been married to for fifteen years, and he are very similar in that they both share the same opinion on glowsticks, EBM and ‘the sheer quantity of bands that want to be either Depeche Mode or Rammstein that Europe seems to produce’.

The thing that really gets to him is ‘laziness within the scene, where so called ‘goth’ DJs will rush out to get hold of the latest EBM/Industrial releases but ignore the new goth and post punk bands, and where the only goth they’ll play is outdated and overplayed. How does that help the goth scene?’.

martin’s due to celebrate 25 years in the business with a guest slot at ‘When We Were Young’ in Leipzig during Wave Gotik Treffen.

Read about Nostalgia HERE

Find martin at:





‘Hope’ CD



About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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