BBC Radio 2, “The People’s Songs, The Love Cats”

smithThat’s what we’ll miss about the BBC after the Government has dismantled it and we are forced to endure adverts (and **** programming) – loads of notice for upcoming top notch programming… Hmmmm this looks good… for a Halloween show!

The Love Cats – A Peculiarly British Style

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: Wednesday 30 October 2013

Goth is very much a British invention and something most British teenagers will have dabbled with to some degree in their lives, as it tends to be the alienated kid’s look of choice. Goth emerged as a musical subculture in the early ’80s, with bands like The Cure, Bauhaus or Siouxsie And The Banshees, but the term was first used musically by Tony Wilson to brilliantly describe Joy Division’s monochromatic oeuvre.

 

The notion of Gothic was already an historical artefact by the time British teenagers latched onto it at the end of the dour, dismal ’70s. Gothic, as an art form, has its roots in the brooding anti-heroes and heroines of 19th Century fiction from the likes of John Keats, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron and, a little later, HP Lovecraft, Bram Stoker or Henry James. It is typically melodramatic and abounds with ghosts, and ghouls, castles and caskets, velvet and vampires. It’s also very much the product of an island nation with an over-active imagination and centuries of folklore and tale-telling.

But for a teenager (or even the odd grown-up) wanting to rebel, the Gothic look is one of the most enduring and arresting ways to do it; pale white skin from brooding in your bedroom all night, black clothing to signify you’re an outsider (and possibly one of the bad guys) and morose music that echoes your belief that life is all too tough and transient.

Its appeal lies in it being quite outside of, and more authentic than, contemporary life, with its emphasis on the disposable and plastic. Having said that, Goth has entered the mainstream of late through bands like My Chemical Romance, as well as the Twilight films and the BBC’s own Being Human series.

A little dash of the Gothic obviously appeals to the melodramatic romantic outsider in all of us and has certainly long resonated with us as a nation, as our enduring relationship with things like Black Sabbath, Hammer Horror films and Buffy the Vampire Slayer clearly shows

via BBC Radio 2 – The People’s Songs, The Love Cats – A Peculiarly British Style.

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