You often read a load of negativity and moaning (from goths? Surely not) about the goth / industrial stuff in this country, so maybe it’s time that someone tried to balance this out by writing something positive and singing its praises! To try to cover the wealth of stuff happening in the UK would take forever, so instead I’m going to concentrate on what is going on in my own fair city of Leeds…
Now, I’ll start by being deliberately contentious. I’m fiercely proud of our city and I think that Leeds is the most “happening” place in the UK, or at least outside of the capital! Obviously I would say that as I live here and maybe I’m wrong… actually I’d love to be wrong as that would be yet more proof that the goth / industrial scene in the UK is in rude health! So what follows is a celebration of the Leeds scene and, by all means consider it a gauntlet laid down… if you think you can beat it then grab yourself a keyboard and write up a celebration of what’s happening in your town!
Obviously we’re not living in the 1980s anymore (well, most of us aren’t!) but I think Leeds is still flying the flag for quality, quantity and passion. To hopefully prove this to you, here is what was on offer last year…
Let’s start with the obvious. We have the ‘Wendy House‘ (/ ‘Mutate‘), probably the biggest goth / industrial night in the country. Call it ‘dark alternative’ if you wish, the place is always full of goths, around 1,000 of them a month!
Then we have ‘Black Sheep‘, obviously nowhere near the same scale of Wendy, but nevertheless a weekly goth night, and there can’t be too many of those left nowadays!
But, it doesn’t stop there! Aside from the Wendy House we have two more monthly nights in the form of ‘Friday Flock‘ and ‘Black Veil‘, along with the more sporadic ‘Mortaled‘ and ‘Gothic Society‘ events.
There have also been a number of other nights that have burned briefly but brightly in recent years (off the top of my head there’s been ‘Bad Wisdom‘, ‘Darkside‘, ‘Integration‘ and ‘Resurrected‘) and even though they’re no longer with us I think they still stand as testament to a vibrant and ever-changing local scene.
There’s only really one way to do justice to the wealth and variety of goth / industrial bands that have played Leeds this year, and that’s to list them all. This is my best attempt, but I bet I’ve missed a fair few!
Action Directe, Abigail’s Mercy, Attrition, Ayria, Blind Before Dawn, Capital X, Cruxshadows, The Cult, Cybercide, The Damned, Death By Electro Giants, Deviant UK, Digicore, Dyonisis, Eternal Fall, Flesh Eating Foundation, Ghostfire, Goteki, Heavy Current, Imprint, Inkubus Sukkubus, John Merrick’s Remains, The Ladder, Lahannya, Legion, Lupine, Luxury Stranger, Mandro1d, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, Midnight Configuration, Pro-jekt, Psilopsyb, Psydoll, The Realm, Resist, Rhombus, Rome Burns, Rosa Crux, Scary Bitches, Screaming Banshee Aircrew, Sieben, The Sisters Of Murphy, The Sisters Of Mercy, Skinjob, Uberbyte, V2A, Vendemmian, Violet Vortex, Volatile Gentlemen, Zeitgeist Zero.
Good lord that’s a long list, and some of these acts have played more than once!
You can’t have this much live music on offer without a city generating some of it’s own talent, and Leeds is no different! In recent years we’ve given the world Action Directe, Alice Moving Under Skies, Coreline, Cybercide, Legion, Little Match Girl, Mandro1d, Mourning For Autumn, Rhombus and Zeitgeist Zero. I bet I’m missed a few here as well! Previously we’ve given you the Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, The March Violets, Lorries, and… Utah Saints. I could go on.
Since 2007, Leeds University has had it’s own ‘Gothic Society‘ which has directly contributed to an influx of new blood into the local scene. Members of the society now regularly help out with existing events and indeed often run their own.
Leeds might not have an event the likes of Whitby Goth Weekend or ‘Infest‘ but in recent times we’ve had the likes of ‘Woolstock‘, ‘G-Fest‘, ‘BTV‘, ‘Amalgamation‘ and ‘Gothica‘ providing all-dayers and weekend events.
With goth stuff taking place in some of the biggest venues in Leeds (Academy, University Union, Cockpit, Rios) it’s refreshing to know that the city’s mainstream venues appreciate the potential draw of such events. You sometimes hear of venues being supposedly ‘allergic to the g-word’, fortunately this doesn’t happen here.
While Leeds might not be a mecca for alternative shopping since the Corn Exchange was ransacked by developers, the city has still got three independent record stores and is home to online goth / industrial retailer Music Non Stop.
I’m sure I could go on, but I’ll end this section with the radio show ‘Assimilation‘, admittedly it’s technically broadcast in Bradford but it’s also available online and is run by Leeds folk.
Finally, as this is starting to sound like a goth tourist guide, Leeds is also ideally situated for enjoying other events out in the sticks. Both Bradford and York are less than half-an-hour away and have regular events run by ‘Bad Moon Rising‘ and ‘Darklands‘ respectively. Bradford is, of course, also home to ‘Infest‘. Any bands not playing Leeds are likely to be found at the Corporation in Sheffield, and even Whitby Goth Weekend isn’t that far away, as long as you’re not braving public transport.
So yes, there you go. Leeds is one of the most vibrant and lively places for lovers of goth and industrial music in the country, and I think that’s worth celebrating.
For more visit the Black Sheep club’s Facebook group.
Watch Leeds’ Legion in action below: