I've had a hard fortnight. Nothing I couldn't handle, but it was very... full. Family medical emergencies, lots and lots of work, a talkative sister staying with me for ten days, a cold, plus my band finally starting to rehearse again after a nine month layoff (our much awaited* comeback tour** starts mid September) all put together left not a minute to spare, and it was exhausting.
But on Saturday night there was a window of opportunity to let my short hair down. A bandmate had been invited to a birthday party at a nightclub called DV8 and the invitation was open to the whole band. Three of us went - cashed, liquored, narcotic'd and goth'd up.
DV8 is a 'goth/metal/punk' nightclub, and I had actually been there twice before. Once on its opening night (early to mid 90's, somewhere) and once a few months ago when Melbourne ska legends Commissioner Gordon did a one-off reunion gig, on a midweek night, but both times I was just a one-hour pop in visitor. I hate nightclubs, but if I'm forced to go to one I prefer something like DV8 because, really, what other nightclub will play Motorhead's 'Ace Of Spades'?
But I worry for the next generation of goths.
When I was in my early 20's, us goth-punk hybrids knew our music, and, we also knew how to behave. We were nerds... we were kind to each other. It's not exactly like that anymore. There at Melbourne's premier goth nightclub I detected a certain, I dunno, urgency. I also noticed a lot of beer. Beer? You're goths! Goths don't drink VB! Also, goths shouldn't be on ice, or speed. But some people there were... you can just tell. Yes, we had an ecstacy pill but that's goth-friendly narcotics, it's a happy pill, not an edgy ticking time bomb.
But it wasn't just the sense of agro in the air, it was also the music. There were three levels in the nightclub and I heard a lot of great music, but, I also heard a lot of music that made me despair for my goth-punk sub-genre. Bon Jovi's 'Living On A Prayer'! No joke. One hundred young goths on the dance floor singing this at full volume, with not even a hint of irony! What the fuck? And a pool table? What happened to my genre?
I'm getting old. The genres I knew as a young'un have blurred. Goths are listening to bogan music, bogans now drive expensive cars and collect art, yuppies drink Crownies and I haven't seen a Nazi skinhead in years.
But at least a few things hadn't changed. Goth girls still show a lot of cleavage, and they still all smoke cigarettes. Goth bars are still drastically understaffed, and you have to wait about twenty minutes to get a drink. Science students still seem to be the majority. Goth sexual mores are still very liberal. There are still many, many nerdy pleasant goths around. At least on those levels I felt at home... and I managed to pick up and score a root, so, all in all, I ain't complaining too much.
* Not much awaited.
** By 'tour' I mean we're doing a series of pub gigs that we'll get about fifty bucks for.