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The Goth scene has its antecedents in pre-punk acts such as Alice Cooper, and UK proto-punks The Damned.And it was the late-Seventies post-punk bands, such as Bauhaus, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, who created its music, often characterised by languorous instrumentals or pounding drums.“But there were times growing up when I felt so isolated and different that Goth gave me great comfort.For me, Goth is a feeling, it’s a way of thinking and being, it’s finding beauty in darkness and destruction.But I was fascinated by a scene where men wore black lipstick and eyeliner, and women were accepted whether they squeezed into tight corsets or worse baggy black hoodies and jeans. Goth culture seemed instead to value intelligence, and to engage with the inescapable constants of existence.
It was a time when fashion favoured “glamazon” WAGs with fake boobs, coiffed hair and tanned skin.
With hindsight, I can see I was more of a part-timer, just as taken with the tight jeans and vision-impairing hairstyles of emo (a dirty word in Goth circles).
So for a deeper understanding, I contact Lisa Buttery, now 25 and an artist working for a social enterprise at Brighton university, but 10 years ago the arch-Goth in our group: a trusted source of information on the best music or where to buy niche-band T-shirts in the days before everything was available online.
When I look at bones or dead flowers or a ruin, I see beauty and potential to live on in a new way.” Recalling how difficult it was to source her favourite clothing or music, she now celebrates the fact that Goth culture is easier to access than ever before.
She also believes perceptions have changed since the tragic murder of Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007 simply because of her Gothic appearance.