Nowadays everyone is so concerned with putting things into a boxes. They want everything to be categorised, including goth.
You have to understand this is a subculture and ‘goth’ is basically an umbrella term. It is a category all by its itty-bitty lonesome and it doesn’t need to be broken down further.
It’s so hard to keep track, you have: ‘gothic lolita’, ‘nu goth’, ‘trad goth’, ‘romantic goth’, ‘Victorian goth’, and erm…’bubble goth’…whatever that is.
There is this mindset that your whole identity is tied to the style you choose and you HAVE to choose.
If you happen to own a belle-sleeve lace gown and a few chokers then that’s it, you’re romantic goth! That is your identity! You may choose no other style!
Now this concept is a very dangerous way of thinking.
You’re breaking something down that’s already been broken down for you.
Goth is a subculture, it is a category by itself.
When you’re shunting things into all these little boxes you’re causing an unnecessary divide.
Goth is already a small and often misunderstood subculture, so the last thing we need is to be creating divides amongst ourselves.
Let’s look back a little further into the 80’s when goths didn’t even know what they were. They were a new subculture rising out of the punk scene. They just wanted to listen to the music they liked, dress up, and have fun in the clubs. There were no rules, there were no exclusions, and there were no guidelines to follow.
The standard goth didn’t fit into any category other than ‘goth’. They weren’t ‘trad’ or ‘Batcave’, but they were very unmistakably goth.
This doesn’t mean there wasn’t a wide array of different styles of clothing, it just didn’t define us. It was simply just a part of your wardrobe.
‘Labels are for clothes, NOT people.’
There was a time when I refused to call myself a goth. I was afraid that if I adopted the label then I’d be put into a box that would limit me. I believed I couldn’t claim to be goth but then listen to Katy Perry and wear colour because it would present an opportunity for elitists to start up the whole ‘gother than thou’ dispute. Categorising people through stereotypes can be bad enough without making those categories even smaller.
If you were to go through my wardrobe you’d find pieces that you would deem nu goth, post-apocalyptic, trad goth, Victorian goth, fetish goth. Just because one day I decide to pull out a fishnet top and tease my hair this doesn’t automatically make me trad goth. It just means I’m exploring one of the many fashions relating to my subculture.
But honestly dressing to the extreme everyday would just be tiring. Usually I just chuck on a pair of skinny jeans and a band t-shirt, does this stop someone being goth? No. You don’t have to wear makeup, dye your hair black, and live in black clothing to be goth. This is just a stereotype, goth is mostly about the music and having an interest in the culture anyway. You’re style doesn’t define who you are.
There’s nothing wrong with using descriptive terms to find a pair of boots or a dress online. Labels are great for describing the fashion itself. However, that’s probably where you should draw a line.
If you’re a goth then you’re a goth, there’s no need to bust it up into a million fragments and add additional labels.
Pale Waves are a four-piece band, hailing from Manchester, mentored by the highly revered indie-rock band The 1975. I remember when I first discovered Pale Waves’ music; I was listening to 80’s new wave bands like The Cure on YouTube when I saw the thumbnail for their song “Television Romance” as a recommended video. The picture was of a woman with short black hair, dark grungy makeup and gothic attire (which I later learnt was the lead singer, Heather Baron Gracie). I prayed that their music would be just as captivating as their style.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but felt that it was safe to assume that their music would be slow, melancholy dark wave, similar to that of bands like Lebanon Hanover. Instead what I heard was something completely different. I was beguiled by how they had blended dark atmospherics with pure synth pop. Pale Waves are clearly the sort of band who delight in subverting expectations.
I was surprised to hear their announcement of the ‘DIY Class of 2018 Tour’ so early on. At the time of the announcement they had only released three songs: ‘New Year’s Eve’, ‘Television Romance’ and ‘There’s a Honey’. It seemed like a risky move to go on tour before releasing the full album ‘All the Things I Never Said’, however, I could tell from those three songs alone that I was going to like whatever else they produced so I bought myself a ticket.
Given the sudden surge in their popularity with the release of ‘Television Romance’ gaining them over 4 million views on YouTube, I was surprised and extremely excited to hear they were coming to a small, local venue: The Westgarth Social Club.
On the day of the concert I bagged myself a spot at the very front of the stage on the left-hand side so I would be directly in front of their keyboardist/guitarist Hugo Silvani. The full line-up for that night was Bloxx, Our Girl, and headliners Pale Waves, with all three of the bands being fronted by women.
Bloxx kicked off the evening’s proceedings including a mix of released and unreleased music in their set. Standouts from this band were their angst-filled song ‘Coke’ and exuberant ‘Your Boyfriend’. Their latest single ‘Novocain’ even had people dancing. This was impressive for any support act as I’ve often seen situations where the bands are booed from the stage. It was a pleasant change to see a crowd enjoying a lesser-known band so much.
Brighton rock band, Our Girl, were up next and opened their set with ‘Being Around’. I have to admit I thought they were extremely talented and I thoroughly enjoyed the lead singer Soph Nathan’s hypnotic and heartfelt vocals. After this second stellar act the stage was prepared for the band we had all been waiting for – Pale Waves!
I was in awe of Heather Baron Gracie’s outfit, she was sporting a leather jacket, blue checked trousers and creeper shoes, and played what looked like an almost coffin-shaped guitar. The audience also seemed to be in deep admiration of her.
Ciara Doran’s punchy snare leads us into their debut single ‘Television Romance’ as the opener, occasionally drowned out by the rapturous audience as everyone sang along. This was followed by their upbeat number ‘The Tide’. Although this track had only been released a couple of weeks prior to the gig everyone knew it well from their older demo before it was reinvented with more catchy, twinkly riffs for their EP.
The fans couldn’t get enough of Heather’s eye-rolls and puppet-like vogueing but there is still a freshness and vulnerability to her. Her vocals soar over the power ballad ‘My Obsession’. This was my favourite song from their set; its emotional lyrics cut deep. The song deals with the darker aspects of love using romantic, yearning lyrics like ‘You’ll always be my favourite obsession’ and ‘I’ll die by your side if you want me to’. The song felt honest, reflective and endearingly open. Their recent single ‘New Year’s Eve’ is an earworm of a melody capturing the teenage naivety and angst of an overhyped party.
Pale Waves ended the night with their final track ‘There’s a Honey’. This track pretty much sums up Pale Waves sound: dreamy synths, cheery nostalgic guitar and a bouncy bassline. At this point the whole crowd was jumping along, and I was wary that being on the second floor in a room this packed might result in the whole floor caving in under us. Luckily it managed to withstand the craziness of the crowd.
I felt like the show didn’t last nearly as long as I had wanted it to. Before the crowd left all the bands were kind enough to greet everyone. I was one of the first to rush over to Pale Waves to ask for a picture with them before a long queue formed across the entire room as people waited to meet them. I was pleased to find the bands were engaging with the audience as it’s accustomed for artists to rush off after their set to avoid being swamped by fans. It was clear these people were still extremely down-to-earth and grateful for the support they were receiving. By the end of the night I was exhausted, ears-ringing, but on a high from the amazing performances.
It’s easy to get lost in the dreamlike sound of Pale Waves yet the lyrical openness packs a punch. There is nostalgia running throughout every song and clearly driven influences from 1980s artists like The Cure with a modern twist- the result is mesmerising. In a live setting they are just as intriguing with their black-clad appearances contradicting their dance-friendly sound; it’s an intricate blend of happy and sad. It’s definitely the right time to be making funky, eighties inspired indie-pop.
First off, I apologise for the lack of posts this past month. If you follow my Instagram you may already be aware that I have been very busy this month attending parties, events such as Steampunk weekend and The Circus of Horrors, and going to gigs like Pale Waves and The Xcerts. I still have more trips planned and other concerts coming up as March approaches, but I do hope to share some of these experiences with you all on my blog.
Anyway, in this post I wanted to talk you all through my experience with dyeing my hair black, as I know when I first started dyeing my hair (about 2 years ago) I was very nervous that something might go wrong. I had to ask someone who was experienced with box dyes about how to get the best results. I wanted to share my experience with you all, in the hopes I help some people who are planning on using box dyes for the first time.
As a child I always wanted black hair, even before the whole goth-thing began. I know black hair is a very popular colour amongst goths, but remember, you don’t have to dye your hair black to be goth, don’t let people tell you otherwise!
Before I begin I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way a professional or expert on this. This is purely my own experience and for other people it may be different, if you have any concerns or problems through your hair dyeing process, then you are best asking questions to a qualified hairdresser who knows what they are doing.
So I’m going to take a look back at the questions I asked when I was first beginning dyeing my hair and the answers that I have now through my experience.
Which hair dye should I use?
I personally use box dyes because they are cheaper and faster than attending a hairdresser. I have always used Clairol Nice ‘N Easy (Black 83) in demi-permanent, as this has always worked for me. My hair was originally a light brown colour and I find that this covers it.
Now this bit is important for me; I use demi-permanent, (not semi-permanent or permanent dye). I didn’t use semi-permanent, because I didn’t want it to wash out quickly. I don’t use permanent, because the dye penetrates more layers of your hair and is therefore more damaging.
The box I use of demi-permanent says that the colour will wash out in ’24 washes’. In my experience this is not the case (so if you want a temporary colour that will wash out, don’t use this!). The colour remains in my hair until my roots have grown out again, and by that time I am re-dyeing it again to cover up my roots anyway.
How do I prepare for dyeing my hair?
Don’t have hair products in your hair, e.g. hairspray, dry shampoo, and so on. You don’t want to risk anything making your hair patchy.
Don’t wash you hair right before you dye it, leave your hair 2-3 days if you can, so the natural oils will protect your scalp.
Dyeing hair can get messy! Be prepared with a wet cloth in case you get any dye on your skin so you can wipe it off straight away. Alternatively, if you put Vaseline round the edge of your hairline this stops the dye getting on your skin. Although usually I find any dye on your skin will wash off in the shower anyway.
Don’t wear your favourite clothes and preferably have a shower cap so that you can put it over your hair while you wait for the dye to work.
Wear gloves so you don’t get it all over your hands, the box dyes come with a pair in the instructions.
Always do a patch test a few days beforehand, so that you know you aren’t allergic to the dye.
Always read the instructions in the box.
Preferably don’t use a white or fancy towel to dry your hair afterwards.
Should I cut my hair before or after I dye it?
Cut it afterwards. Don’t worry, you won’t see the natural colour on the tips of your hair because your hairs are too fine for that. After dyeing your hair, it can get damaged so getting it cut can give it the revitalising it needs. Every time you dye your hair, the tips are getting more and more dye into the layers, so the tips are more damaged. If you get regular trims this will maintain the health of your hair and avoid split ends.
My hair colour before dyeing
My hair with hair dye
I’ve heard people say they left the dye on for several hours or overnight? Should I do this?
Definitely not. The instructions are there for a reason. You shouldn’t need to leave the dye on for longer than the instructions say. If this is the case then the dye isn’t very good. The longer you leave it on the more chance you have of getting an allergic reaction, burns or hair damage. The dye I use says to leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse immediately. I do this and it has always worked.
Will I need more than one box to cover my hair?
When I first dyed my hair, I had very long hair and I only needed one box of dye. One box should be enough. However, my hair is very thin and fine. If you have thicker or super long hair and are worried about it not covering all your hair, it won’t harm to grab two boxes just in case.
How do I care for my hair after I have dyed it?
After rinsing out the dye use the conditioner that comes in the box. I know people who just throw that away, but it really helps. My hair always feels very brittle after putting the dye on it and using the conditioner helps it feel strong and healthy again. I leave it to soak into my hair for 5 minutes.
After dying my hair I try to avoid washing it or using shampoo on it for a few days. However, I will always use conditioner when washing my hair.
I use shampoo and conditioner which says it is ‘colour revitalising’. This is supposed to protect and maintain the colour in your hair.
I also always use heat protection before blow-drying, straightening, crimping or curling my hair.
Note: Hairspray will pull out the colour of your hair, you will notice that more dye comes out in the shower if you have used hairspray. However, it’s never been to the extent that you can see the natural colour through it again. But I tend to only use hairspray when I am crimping or curling my hair.
When should I re-dye my roots?
I leave my hair to grow a good 3-4 cm approximately. This is probably around a month and a half to 2 months of growth before I dye it again. I don’t want to dye it too frequently because I don’t want to risk damage. You can buy root covering sprays for the days you feel you need to cover over your roots. I bought ‘L’Oreal Magic Retouch Black root touch up’ while it was in the sale. I tend to only use this to cover my roots on special occasions or events where I want to look my best, as I feel this stuff is rather pricey for what it is. (It’s more expensive than the dye itself!). However, it does the trick of being a temporary solution until I re-dye my hair.
What do I do when it is time to re-dye my roots?
It is recommended to always test the dye before you redye your hair in case you develop an allergic reaction, especially if you choose to switch brand.
I personally stick to the same dye. Why fix what’s not broken?
You should only need one box, as you only need to cover your roots. The rest of your hair should still be covered as it usually hasn’t washed out.
I start by applying the dye to my roots first. Then, when I have finished I will continue to apply it into the lengths and tips of my hair.
That’s it for my experience with black hair, I have yet to try any other colours.
The first two times I dyed my hair I had my mother apply it to make sure I didn’t miss any spots and that it wasn’t patchy.
After that I find with practise I am able to dye my hair myself with ease and don’t have any problems with missing a spots or patchiness.
However, remember that hair dye comes with risks and I would say wait until you are 16+ years old before you attempt to permanently dye your full head of hair.
Dyeing hair is great for expressing yourself and I personally feel a lot happier and more myself with my black hair, so if it is something you want to do then definitely go for it.
It’s that dreaded time of year again. All the decorations are pink, sweets and chocolates are overpriced, and sappy gifts fill the stores. I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day, in fact I thought we should petition to have it replaced with a second Halloween.
If you are anything like me, the cliche traditions might put you off celebrating, however, just because you prefer the darker things in life doesn’t mean you and your significant other should avoid the day entirely.
I personally get through this holiday by imagining the hearts everywhere are those of my victims, and renaming the day ‘Frankentine’s Day’. Imagining everything to be spookier than what it is helps me cope with the sickly sweet decor and lovey-dovey themes that surround this day.
There are a number of ways to celebrate this holiday that don’t include red roses and heart-shaped balloons. Here are a few ways to make your Valentine’s Day more gothic.
If you are willing to plan ahead and order early, then it is surprisingly easy to find spooky and gothic Valentine’s cards online. They often have some creepy-cute quotes on them and the images are far less generic than everything else in the regular card shops. You can usually find Valentine’s cards on gothic online stores at this time or by simply searching the internet, however, I think one of the best brands for gothic cards are Nightmoth.
If your are still wanting to get a cute gift, you can often find left-over Halloween teddies in some stores, e.g. TY Halloween collection. You could always search online, there are often collections of zombie teddies or maybe search for brands like: Skelanimals or Gloomy Bear.
If you still want to stick to ‘traditional’ gifts like chocolates, you can add a spooky twist by getting an anatomy heart, skull chocolates or gothic themed boxes. Again, the internet is your best friend for items like these, I tend to find that buying unusual and quirky gifts is a lot easier online.
I’ve never been one for flowers, but I can’t deny the beauty of black roses. You could buy a single rose or a whole bunch, and depending how much you want to pay you can buy them real or fake. They would be perfect as a gift or just as decoration if you plan on having a quiet dinner at home.
Want some mood lighting? Candles are perfect for creating a romantic setting. You could just buy your bog-standard plain candles or get some red or black taper candles. If you want to be extra decorative then skull candles would be perfect (these would also be an amazing gift).
If you’re planning to have a quiet dinner at home, why not get creative with your food and drinks? You could put drinks in these cute ‘love potion’ bottles, or create a vampire theme with bottles filled with ‘blood’.
A heart locket is a sweet way to show your love and is a perfect sentimental gift. You could also opt for other designs such as a coffin or book locket.
Valentine’s day is also great for fetish goth fashion as stores stock up on kink and BDSM inspired clothing. Great just for some fun on Valentine’s or for use all year round. The majority of gothic clothing stores will have this style clothing for sale everyday, however, you might be able to find it cheaper in other stores round Valentine’s day. I recommend checking out the online store, Kinky Angel, they do a lot of alternative clothing, as well as leather and PVC pieces and other gothic Valentine’s gifts.
Deciding what to do to celebrate can be difficult, you might have already booked a table at your favourite restaurant. But if not here are some activities to consider: strolling through a cemetery or graveyard picnic, horror movie night, ghost tour, stay in a haunted hotel.
Alternatively, if you are single, invite your single friends over and have an anti-Valentine’s party, hex your ex or do a Friends inspired ‘boyfriend bonfire‘.
I was in the middle of one of my usual YouTube binges, when in the background of a Gothic makeup tutorial, I heard some music that really appealed to me. It had a kind of dark wave, electro Goth vibe to it. Immediately, I thought “I need to know who this band is!” A quick look in the description revealed to me that the song was ‘Svea’ by Foghorn Lonesome, something I later found out is that ‘Svea’ is the name of Eric Sparkwood’s grandmother.
Eric Sparkwood is the face behind Foghorn Lonesome. He started in 2011 as a one-man band in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2016, he played his first show with Jessica Isaksson on vocals and Nikita Smirnov on bass. In 2017, Krzystof Rozwadowski and, long-time producer, Tomas Rosenberg joined the band.
After speaking to Eric Sparkwood I could understand how the music came to be. It was clear he uses his life experiences as influence in his music. Even as someone with such talent to produce this music, Eric revealed to me that he does have his struggles. He came across to me as someone very kind, thoughtful and dedicated to his music and fans.
How did you come up with the name Foghorn Lonesome?
“I never reveal that actually. But with a quick Google search I’m sure people can figure that out.”
What made you want to start creating music? Is it something you would like to pursue full-time?
“I started playing bass when I was 16 and joined my first band. I guess it felt like the natural thing to do at the time, since I’d been constantly listening to music as a kid. I have mixed feelings about having this as a full-time thing since the music industry is in bad shape these days.”
I’m curious to know more about how you feel about the music industry. What do you think the main issue is nowadays?
“I think the main issue is that artists don’t get paid. We’re not signed to a label, but usually they tend to make most of the profits. I grew up before the internet and the MP3, so we had to pay for all of the music we wanted. Most people today don’t. But I’ve let go of all that. Sometimes I offer free downloads on the music on SoundCloud. I’m very grateful if someone purchases the music off Bandcamp or iTunes, but it’s fine if people don’t. The most important thing is that people have access to the music. Today’s mainstream music isn’t for me. But I do wish I could write three-minute pop songs. Then maybe I’d be summering in the Hamptons.”
How did you meet the other members?
“Jessica and Krzystof answered an ad I had online for new band members and I already knew Tomas since he produced all my music. The debut album was done and recorded by the time the band was put together.”
How would you describe your music?
“Melodic, varied and dark I suppose.”
What are the current projects you are working on?
“At the moment, we’re rehearsing for a show in March. I’m also off and on working of two new songs: ‘Strawberry Moon’ and ‘Stockholm, You Have Let Me Down’. There are demo samples of them on SoundCloud. I’m also working on another song, which at the is titled ‘Dumb Boy’, but the song isn’t the priority right now. I’ve also been putting tigether an acoustic rendition of a previous song. But I’m in no rush to finish them. I’m rarely in the mood to work on them.”
Do you have a favourite song you have produced or that you recommend people listen to first?
“No, I don’t have a favourite song. If someone was going to be introduced to Foghorn Lonesome, I would recommend songs like ‘Svea’, ‘Uliecry’, ‘All I Want Is Some Love’, ‘Night & Gale’, ‘Winter Blue’ and ‘Like A Storm’. Choosing just one is difficult.”
Where do you get your influences from?
“I would say my personal experiences are where I draw most of my influences. I think all of the music I’ve been listening to in my life has gone into my musical DNA. But when I discovered Diary of Dreams back in 2003 I was introduced to a new genre that kind of combined electronic music with gothic music. So when I started Foghorn Lonesome I knew that these genres would come together in my music too”.
Foghorn Lonesome seemed to disappear for a while, but you are back with new social media pages and working on a new gig and some songs, was there a reason you took a break from your music?
“My girlfriend left me and I hit rock bottom. Then I hit a level lower than rock bottom and did some things I’m not proud of. Eventually, I started working on new music.”
Do you find that writing helps you deal with that?
“I’m not sure, but usually I would say no. The problem doesn’t go away just because you express it. Sometimes it can make you feel worse. You just get reminded of it when working on the song. Especially when writing the lyrics.”
I’ve listened to your song ‘Like A Storm’, and something that always fascinated me was at the end of it you have a monologue with you crying in it. I wondered if you were crying for real during that recording. Could you talk a bit about that?
“The crying is real. It was the first thing I wrote and recorded for the song. It’s a very personal song, but in that part I took things one step further and let it all out in the moment there. When I recorded that part my sound card wasn’t working because it was old. So the only way for me to record it at the time was through the microphone in my laptop. But the only way to activate the microphone is if you record a video. Then I removed the video part and just kept the audio to use in the song. I still have the video of me sitting in front of the computer crying recording that part which I won’t be showing to anyone.”
What is the song writing process like for you?
“I always start working on the music first. Then the lyrics. Sometimes I have to put some more effort into it. Maybe I’ll go sit at the cafe and listen to the song and try to come up with lyrics and vocal melodies in my head. When I’m really into working on a song I will listen to it a lot. I’ll listen to it when I’m out for a run or on the subway and at the same time be thinking about the lyrics. Usually you reach a point where things just feel done. Then you know it’s time to stop. You can rework things forever if you wanted to.”
You seem very interactive with fans through social media and I noticed on your Instagram page that you have some fans who got tattoos of your lyrics, how does it make you feel to know that your music creatively inspires and also connects so strongly with people?
“It means I must be doing something right. It’s a great honour of course. James Hetfield of Metallica said it well when he said: “It means a lot to me when my darkness can connect with your darkness and make it ok.” So if my shit can help someone else cope with their shit better then that’s a good thing.”
Do you have other hobbies outside of music that would help rejuvenate your creativity?
“I try and run often. I go running for an hour. I get energy from that. Sleeping is probably the best thing I know. It’s the closest to death I can get.”
You recently became a grandfather, how that make you feel?
What is your ultimate goal as a band?
“I don’t think there is a goal. We’re lucky if we can get a gig somewhere. It’s difficult for all bands to get anywhere. Originally my goal was mainly to release an album and hope some people would enjoy the music. Both of which I have achieved.”
Where has been your favourite place to perform?
“We’ve only had three gigs so far. The first one was the best. It was at Klubb Död here in Stockholm. We might be doing a festival in August.”
Would you like to travel and perform in other countries?
“We’ve looked into it. Unsuccessfully so far. Again, it’s hard to get gigs.”
How do you think your music has evolved?
“That’s hard to say. Two songs have been released since the debut album, ‘Like A Storm’ and ‘Neon Thighs’. I think they sound like they could’ve been on the album in the sense that they’re similar in style. Now I’m working on some new music. I don’t know. It sounds similar I suppose. I guess I haven’t really evolved. Hah.”
What has been your greatest challenge?
“Finishing the debut album was a long and tiring ordeal. It demanded a lot of patience. Something I don’t usually have.”
More of a fun question: What would you do if you had £10 million?
“Pay off my debts and buy a house far away from everything and everyone.”
When I started my blog I didn’t think I would get many readers interacting and enjoying my work. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of people were reading and enjoying my content.
My blog started off as part of a University project for my journalism course, but I have grown to love writing content for you all and it is something I will definitely be continuing.
Writing and the Goth subculture are two things I’m very passionate about. So combining the two together to create this blog has allowed me to express my views and opinions and share my interests with you all.
For me, blogging has became a hobby of mine and I put a lot of dedication into coming up with ideas and creative content that I think my viewers would like.
So naturally I was so pleased when Lulu_chan★ nominated me for the 2018 Liebster Award. I’d like to thank her and recommend you check out her blog.
So for those who don’t know about the Liebster Award, here are the rules:
Give some recognition and promotion to the blogger who nominated you.
Create a post about the award on your blog.
Give a reason you are passionate about blog posting.
Answer the 10 questions you were asked.
Nominate 5-11 other blogs.
Inform those bloggers you nominated them.
Make sure you put these rules on your post so everyone else knows what to do!
So here are the 10 questions I have been asked:
If I were to give the obvious answer, being a goth, it would have to be black. But if I had to pick a colour other than black, it would be purple.
2. If you had to choose between your life or your honour which would you choose?
This is a good question. I had to think about this for a while, because I thought it would depend on the context of how your honour would be lost. However, when you define ‘honour’ it means to be respected and I personally am not one to fuss over what other people think of me. I think what you feel about your own self-worth is more important. Therefore, I would choose life, over honour.
3. Favourite band or singer?
This one is difficult! I’m a massive music lover and there are so many people I adore. I think if I had to choose based upon who I listen to most I would say The Cure.
4. Song that makes you dance at the moment?
Snap Out Of It by Arctic Monkeys. This song never fails to lift my mood and get me dancing.
5. Best 2017 decision?
Setting up this blog!
6. Cat lover or dog lover?
I’m a big animal lover, but if I had to choose one it would be cats.
7. Why WordPress and not the app Blog on Google?
I had a blog on here a few years ago, but I didn’t have a main theme and it didn’t feel personal enough, so I never felt the dedication to write for it and gave up. So when I decided to set up this blog, I used WordPress just because it was so familiar to me and I find it easier to navigate. This time I feel like I’m more focused on subjects that interest me, so I find the motivation to write comes a lot more easily.
8. Perfect day?
Not sure whether this means a day that I have lived through that was perfect or my idea of what a perfect day would be like. So I’m going to say visiting a cat cafe and being surrounded by fluffy companions comes pretty close to perfect!
9. How did you create your blog name?
My blog name sounds simple, but it actually took me ages to think of something suitable. In the end I decided on ‘The Everyday Alternative’, because being goth is not just a phase or a costume, I will continue to be alternative everyday.
10. What do you think about the Liebster Award?
I think it’s great because it gives small blogs the recognition they deserve.
So recently in my hometown, Middlesbrough, a pub called Doctor Browns banned female-fronted bands, with the excuse that ‘women can’t sing rock’. You can read more about the incident here.
I personally thought this was a sexist and unjustified complaint. Fair enough, if you don’t want your business to fail then you only hire the best musicians. But saying ‘women can’t sing rock’ and therefore aren’t welcome to perform there is discriminating.
They claimed customers ‘didn’t like’ previous female rock singers they hired – I don’t think this justifies an outright ban on female rock singers. This simply suggests they didn’t hire a good enough singer.
Banning all other female singers based on someone else’s less-than-impressive performance is incredibly unfair. People shouldn’t be refused a chance based on their gender.
I found it appalling that gender discrimination is still happening in my area. I personally believe women can be incredible rock artists, so I thought I’d respond to this by listing some of the best female rock artists I know.
I realise genre of music is rather debated, but I’ll just say these are the artists that are loosely described as rock. Obviously their music may incorporate other genres, but in my opinion they deserve a place on my best female rock artist list. So here it is, my favourite 20 female rock artists in no particular order:
#1 Siouxsie Sioux:
Siouxsie was an obvious choice for me to mention on this list. As the lead singer of one of my favourite British bands, Siouxsie and the Banshees, I think she represents the best of female gothic rock. Siouxsie has been adored since the 70’s with her iconic look and haunting music – and all but invented goth.
#2 Stevie Nicks:
Stevie Nicks is an American singer best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac. She had a chart topping career and is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Rock and Roll’, so she definitely earned her place on my list of the best female rock artists.
#3 Lzzy Hale:
Lzzy Hale is the lead singer from the band Halestorm. Lzzy pretty much sparked my interest in rock music. She has one of the most powerful female vocals I’ve heard. I’ve seen Lzzy sing live and at the time she had a bad throat, but powered through and I can honestly say she still sounded better live and I couldn’t even tell she had been ill.
#4: Amy Lee:
Amy Lee is the lead vocalist of Evanescence. Critics vary on whether Evanescence should be classed as a rock or a metal band. Personally I refer to them as symphonic metal, but I think Amy Lee still deserves a place on this list. If you check out other symphonic metal bands you will see the majority are female fronted, such as Epica, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Delain and so on… all which deserve a mention as they are amazing bands, but I’ll try to keep this list to strictly rock.
#5 Patricia Morrison:
Patricia Morrison is probably most known for her backup vocals in The Sisters of Mercy, and although Andrew Eldritch takes main stage as the lead vocalist, I think Patricia Morrison still deserves a mention for her musical talent and contribution to goth rock.
#6 Taylor Momsen:
From the sweet little actress who played Cindy Lou in The Grinch to the lead singer of the American rock band The Pretty Reckless, Taylor Momsen has come very far. Taylor Momsen is a talented actress and model, but the music she produces is worth some recognition for her contribution to female-rock.
#7 Hayley Williams:
Hayley Williams is known as the lead vocalist for Paramore. Their music has vastly evolved over time. I started listening to them back in what I like to refer to as my ’emo’ days, but I still have lots of appreciation for the music they are creating today.
#8 Avril Lavigne:
Often referred to as the ‘Pop Punk Queen’, but releasing many tracks I would consider punk rock and alternative rock, Avril Lavigne has been massively successful. The Canadian singer is known for presenting a ‘rebellious’ attitude and looking eternally like a teenager, how does she do it? I grew up listening to Avril Lavigne and she has always been one of my favourite artists.
P!nk has released some incredible pop rock tracks and is an all around badass. She definitely represents the best of a girl-power attitude, just check out her motivational speech to her daughter here. I personally find her inspirational as an artist so I had to include her in this list.
#10 Emelie Autumn:
Emelie Autumn’s music is very different from any other music I have heard. Sometimes describes as ‘fantasy rock’, her creative and unique music alone earns her a place on my list. This quirky style of music is not for everyone, but I adore it and her work and talent is still to be admired.
#11 Dolores O’Riordan:
Dolores O’Riordan is an Irish musician known for leading the rock band The Cranberries. They have had worldwide success and produced some iconic tracks such as ‘Zombie’.
#12 Courtney Love:
Courtney love gained a notable presence in the punk and grunge scene in the 1990’s and rose to prominence as front-woman for the alternative rock band Hole. She had a highly publicised life after her marriage to Kurt Cobain (lead from Nirvana).
#13 Chelsea Wolfe:
I hadn’t known about Chelsea Wolfe long, but I fell in love with her haunting music. She is continuing the evolution of goth rock with her modern experimental sounds. If you are looking for a modern gothic artist then she is worth a listen.
#14 Ellie Rowsell:
Ellie Rowsell is part of a four-piece band called Wolf Alice who have been going since 2010. Their early work sounds folk-tinged but has evolved to a more rock-orientated sound.
#15 Natalie Bassingthwaighte:
Natalie Bassingthwaighte is known as the lead singer of electronic rock band Rogue Traders. I listen to their most popular song ‘Voodoo Child’ on repeat. For me it is a song that never gets old and will always be a favourite. I also come across a lot of fellow Whovians in the comments of this music video from when this song was featured in a Doctor Who episode.
#16 Debbie Harry:
I couldn’t miss Debbie Harry off this list. Most known for being part of the rock band Blondie. They pioneered early American new wave and punk scenes from the mid-late 70’s.
#17 Tina Root:
Tina Root is the vocalist of the band Switchblade Symphony who were prominent in the goth scene throughout the 90’s. As this is mostly an Alternative/Goth based blog I think it’s important to mention female vocalists who have had impact on the goth rock scene. Again, this is something that might not appeal to everyone, however, as this is the type of rock music I prefer to listen to, it’s worth a mention.
#18 Johnette Napolotano:
Johnette Napolotano is best known as the lead singer from American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde. Concrete Blonde built up their popularity in the 90’s with their top 20 singe ‘Joey’.
Chibi is the lead singer of The Birthday Massacre, a band well known in the Goth scene. The Birthday Massacre’s musical style has been described as new wave revival, electronic rock, gothic rock, and dark wave. As an ongoing goth band and one with an amazing sound, Chibi deserved to be mentioned on my list.
#20 Theresa Jeane:
Last but definitely not least, Theresa Jeane is the lead sing from The Nearly Deads. I found this band a few months ago and have loved their music ever since. They appealed to me when I found their song lyrics relatable and was pleased to find they are rather interactive with their fans on social media. They quickly became one of my favourite alternative rock bands and I’m looking forward to seeing what their future in music will involve.
I think this list proves my point that women are totally capable of being successful rock singers. If you want to share your opinion on this debate or if I missed any of your favourite female rock singers off the list, then feel free to leave a comment. I’m open to discussions and hearing new music.
So after the soap-opera that my life was in 2016 (if you’re curious to find out about this let me know and I’ll do a few ‘story-time’ posts for you, although they will be verging on all round depressing topics), I hoped for some vast improvement in 2017.
Of course, there were highs and lows to the year (granted there were generally more low points) and I can’t say there was much improvement from 2016. However, I want to look back at the best that came from 2017 and step into the new year with optimism for a better year and greater things to come.
For this post I want to focus on all my favourite experiences and the best things that I lived through in 2017. I know in years time it will be great to look back and see all my best memories.
The Poland Trip:
So I kick-started my year off with a trip to Poland with my University. I really recommend people go there, because it wasn’t just a regular holiday. For me it was a learning experience and a really valuable insight into the past. I visited Auschwitz concentration camps, Schindler’s factory, and visited the Jewish Quarter. As well as having a guided tour around Krakow and meeting a holocaust survivor.
Mog On The Tyne:
I visited my first cat cafe in Newcastle! I loved being surrounded by these adorable felines. It was brilliant to see the personalities of each individual cat from the cheeky one trying to steal our milkshakes to the shy one who would hide in a box and peek out at us. It is not just an experience for us, the money goes towards caring for these precious bundles of joy as they now live permanently in the cafe after being brought there from Rescue Homes.
Climbing Roseberry Topping:
Seems like a simple task, but when you have the elements against you it’s a challenge. I had a really amazing day, my friend drove us all the way there and for a little while we thought we were going to be lost when we took a wrong turn and ended up on some farm land. It was a laugh trying to get up the hill, as it was so windy we thought we might die up there. My friend was freaking out saying “Lets go back down!” as even some big tough jogger gave up halfway. We did manage to make it to the top eventually, and rewarded ourselves when we got back down with some tasty parmo burgers.
First Publication in the University Newspaper (Tside):
I was pretty pleased with my article getting published and also creating awareness for the Gothic Subculture and Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It’s a great feeling to know someone enjoys your work and that it will be shared with others. Hopefully there will be more of my content getting publish as I continue towards finishing my Journalism degree and life as a student, and move on to finding a career.
I was happy to get a new conch piercing. I had been debating it for a while and I can say that I’m happy I did. For those who aren’t aware the conch is the inner shell of your ear. This is my seventh ear piercing, I’ll go into more detail about the piercing and healing process in future posts.
Whitby Steampunk Weekend:
This was the second year that this event has been run, however it was the first I had attended. I usually go to Whitby Goth Weekend every year, so I was interested to see how the Steampunk weekend would differ. I was surprised to find that there were a lot more photographers taking my picture. I felt more dressed down than usual and as a goth girl I didn’t really own anything I would class as ‘steampunk’. However, my style did seem to grab the attention of a lot of people as we developed quite a crowd round me and my brother as we stopped to pose with people. There were plenty of interesting stalls and although steampunk isn’t really my style, I would definitely attend again as I felt really welcome with other alternative people.
My First Goth Club:
As my teenage years ended and I turned 20, there was conveniently a goth night called Contagion in one of our local clubs. I attended it with a bunch of friends to celebrate my birthday. This was the first goth club I ever attended and it didn’t disappoint. I was so pleased to finally be able to dance to my type of music and to be surrounded by beautiful like-minded people, who were welcoming and happy to start up a conversation with us. It was a great first experience and something that has persuaded me to attend more goth clubs in the future.
I took a cruise with my Mam and Nanna visiting France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Gibraltar and Ireland. I loved visiting new towns and cities and it was fun spending quality time with my family. I made an amazing new friend on the ship, who I still keep in contact with through video calls. If you want to see many places in a short space of time then I recommend taking a cruise. It’s so exciting to wake up to a new destination everyday. By far my favourite place was Ireland, I loved seeing Dublin and Cohb and it’s somewhere I’d love to go back to and explore for longer.
A New Hairstyle:
I’ve had a few hair changes the past couple of years and I never expected to do this, but I did. I decided to get a full fringe cut in. A lot of people were telling me not to do this as its hard for this hairstyle to suit people. But I can say that I do love the way it looks on me and I’m planning on keep my fringe this way for a while as I continue to try and regrow the rest of my hair long again. I think with all the changes made to my life, it’s nice to see a change in myself too.
So there we have it – some of my favourite moments from 2017!
Of course, I cannot forget all the new friends I have made. For a long time I was feeling lonely and, as cheesy as it may sound, they came into my life and helped to brighten it. I want to thank them for sticking around through my struggles, making me laugh, and helping create new experiences and happy memories throughout this year.
Also, the fact that 2017 was the birth of this new blog! It’s only in is early stages, but I’m loving sharing my opinions and stories with you all and I love the interaction I get from you, so thank you to all the people who read, comment and follow my blog, it means a lot to me.
If you have any experiences from 2017 that you want to share then please leave some comments, I’d love to hear your stories too.
Here’s to 2018, hope it’s a Spooktacular New Year!