The History of Goth

The Art of Darkness: The History of Goth by John Robb was published earlier this year. The posted description says:

“This is the first comprehensive history of goth music and culture. Across more than 500 pages, John Robb explores the origins and legacy of this enduring scene, which has its roots in the post-punk era.

“Drawing on his own experience as a musician and journalist, Robb covers the style, the music and the clubs that spawned the culture, alongside political and social conditions. He also reaches back further to key historic events and movements that frame the ideas of goth, from the fall of Rome to Lord Byron and the romantic poets, European folk tales, Gothic art and the occult. Finally, he considers the current mainstream goth of Instagram influencers, film, literature and music.

“The Art of Darkness features interviews with Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, The Damned, Nick Cave, Southern Death Cult, Einstürzende Neubauten, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, Throbbing Gristle, Danielle Dax, Lydia Lunch and many more. It offers a first-hand account of being there at the gigs and clubs that made the scene happen.”

Meanwhile the Genre Is Dead book review notes:

“Before The Sisters of Mercy, black fishnets, and heavy eyeliner, there were the original Goths: the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths. Robb lays down Goth’s roots by taking us back to the Viking age, which spawned the term “Gothic” and has been used to describe art and styles that dabble in the morose and the melancholy. Robb does a fairly good job tracing Goth’s history through various periods, including Roman Empires, European folklore, and the Victorian era. He even spends time highlighting Gothic architecture and artists who flirted with the dark side, such as Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, and Edgar Allen Poe detailing how their influence can still be felt in the subculture to this day, especially in its music. And, as Robb shows, there’s more to Goth music than just being macabre.”

read the whole review:

PS Alice Bag of The Bags, Gun Club and Sisters of Mercy is married to The Damned’s Dave Vanian (who pulled his stage name from “TransylVANIAN”)

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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