I discovered Bauhaus in 1982, and Bela Lugosi’s Dead, In the Flat Field and Mask were essential listening for the next ten years. I think Mask is an underrated LP – both as a Bauhaus LP and as a goth LP – it is dense and dark and contains some fantastic moments of high camp (Of Lillies and Remains anyone?
“In the marbled reception hall I received a three band gold ring from Mark – a token of esteem. Running through ghost closet locker rooms, to hide from Peter, who has fallen to the old cold stone floor, wheezing and emitting a seemingly endless flow of ectoplasmic white goo from ears and mouth…”).
But Mask also contains many of Bauhaus’s finest moments, of which Kick in the Eye is definitely one.
Play Dead should have been much, much more successful than they actually were. As I have mentioned my first proper gig, i.e. one that wasn’t the local goth/punk band in the local goth/rock pub/venue (so for us in Cheltenham that was the Screaming Dead at Charles’s Night Club) was Killing Joke supported by Play Dead at Digbeth Civic Hall, 30th July 1983.
I was only 15 and in awe of Killing Joke but when Play Dead came on I was gob-smacked. Now, hard-core Play Dead fans will hate what I am about to say, but, Play Dead were like the world’s best Killing Joke tribute band. The songs were different, but the components were nearly all Killing Joke – tribal drums – check, chugging bass – check, arpeggiated, dirty, chorused guitar – check. In fact it is really only the vocals which are different.
As I collated the information for the main Gods & Alcoves website, it occurred to me that it was exactly thirty years ago that I started buying records – I was 14 – and that was 1982, right in the heart of the very best years for goth, alternative and post-punk (in June 1982 you could see The Cure, Siouxsie, the Birthday Party, the Southern Death Cult, the Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus live in the UK). If I had been able to get to gigs (and managed to fund it!) I think I’d have been at a gig every night.
So I thought it would be interesting, every month, to look at what was happening exactly thirty years ago. So welcome to January 1982. Killing Joke release the Unperverted Pantomime live fan-club cassette, the Birthday Party are touring and The Cure and Play Dead have John Peel sessions.