Ego Project Issue 1

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Welcome to my 'zine. Ego project #2. :-) Since the Sisters Discography Book went so well and isn't actually finished as I write this I figured 'what the hell, I as gonna do it ages ago and I've got a computer now so why not.' :-) So this is forewarning, this 'zine is a product of me and as such will contain anything I feel like putting in it.

Whatever I feel like putting in it shall include, but is not limited too, anything I feel applies to Gothdom in general. Album/single/tape reviews, book and movies reviews, etc. The Sisters of Mercy and the Mission are my main focuses, but since neither of them put out music on anything resembling a frequent basis I imagine other groups will be featured quite frequently.

Most US Goth related 'zines are either dead or I can't get them around here, which is also a great impetus. Propaganda simply doesn't count with me. It occasionally has cool stuff. but it's simply to silly to take seriously most of the time. :-)

Goth shall be defined quite widely because I define it quite widely. Say for instance, I'd review anything by Skinny Puppy even tho the Industrial tag for those that insist on tags fits them much easier than Goth, I think you should like them :-)

So write or e-mail me if you want to comment or contribute. I'm quite interested in keeping this thing vital and that will require outside input. I'm particularly interested in people willing to do a sort of 'scene report' from various cities round the world, esp. New York, London and L.A. Any feedback will be will be accepted, I may not pay any attention to it if I disagree, but it will be taken into account. :-)

USnail address is:

Ego Project
1717 Monroe #b
e-mail is <>

so welcome and i hope you enjoy!

Oh, yeah this baby is Copyright 1992 by Corey W. Nelson and may not be reproduced without express permission. Permission is given for a single printout for personal use. All things written by me unless it's says otherwise. All other things copyright 1992 by me for the contributers.

Andrew Eldritch on 120 Minutes-1/28/91

My comments and Andrews facial expressions are in ( ) Andrew holds an unlit cigarette throughout the interview and has his dark glasses on so you can't see his eyes and makes frequent eyebrow gestures which are very amusing and impossible to describe.

Brief clip of "Black Planet"

Dave Kendall -It's MTV's 120 Minutes. Andrew Eldritch of the Sisters of Mercy is here
D-And if there was any doubt about the Sisters of Mercy's latest album title Vision Thing being a reference to the lack of George Bush's vision thing, that doubt is dispelled by a lyric in the title track where you talk about the million points of light.
A-(shows t-shirt with Bush/Noriega 88 on it)
D-Oh, Bush/Noriega. Can we get a close-up of this wondrous shirt?
A-It says on the back, "a desperate choice for desperate times."
D-Now did you read about Bush's lack of vision thing in the press? How did you, is that widely reported in Europe?
A-It came from his own mouth. Yes it is widely reported in Europe. Not only widely reported, but probably more widely listened too than in America.
D-And you, you've been living in Hamburg for the past, what, few years now.
A-Yeah, about six years now on and off. yeah
D-And since we're talking politics. What do you think of Mr. Bush's war?
A-I wish it wasn't his war. Think there has to be a war. But I wish it wasn't so much his war, that not his fault. That's the fault of other people for not joining in enough. I just wish he was doing the right thing for the right reason.
D-Why does there have to be a war? (Dave gets in over his head here) Do you mean Christianity and Islam? Or just about this specific issue?
A-About Kuwait. I don't like the Kuwait government more than anybody else. But it's the government of Kuwait(short pause before each word to sort of convey the least vile of two choices but I don't have to like it kind of thing)
D-Now as an album, Vision Thing is probably as horrific and intense as pretty much anything including classical music.(Stop trying to be intellectual Dave!) Now when you're writing songs.....
A-(interrupts, playfully indignant) It's a very jolly record!!!
D-Oh yeah, right. (somewhat incredulous) A barrel of laughs, right.
A-It is, it is! (short pause, then serious again) Anyway, yes.
D-Are you in a rage when you write lyrics?
A-No, I was in a very droll mood when we wrote Vision Thing. I don't think it's a very angry record. It's a gung-ho record, but it's not angry because it's very confident. I think people only get angry when they're frustrated. And for me there's no sense of frustration or victim on this record. It's wonderfully cruel, wonderfully arrogant. And very droll I think. I think it's a very jolly record.
D-More on Vision Thing. Right here the first video. This is More from the Sisters of Mercy.

plays More

D-More from the Sisters of Mercy. Andrew, who are the women appearing in that video?
A-(smiles) If they'd taken their masks off at any stage I'd be able to tell you. (pause) They're people from Los Angeles... that's like a life form which is kinda like New York people, but substantially different.
D-Now also making an appearance in that video is the Sisters of Mercy's newest member, Tony James of Sigue Sigue Sputnik. I wanna ask you just why you hooked up with him in the second 60 of 120 minutes.
A-(Smiles at Dave's segue) 120 theme music plays

D-Dave Kendall with you for the second 60 of 120 Minutes. Andrew Eldritch of the Sisters of Mercy is here, I'll be talking with him in just a few minutes... more words, plays 2 vids then....

bit of Lucretia My Reflection

D-Welcome back to 120 Minutes. Andrew Eldritch of the Sisters of Mercy is here. The band's new line-up includes Tony James of Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
A-Generation X. I tend not to think of him as a person in Sigue Sigue Sputnik. (smiles)
D-Do you admire him more for his work in Gen X then...
A-As a bass player undoubtedly because uh, Sputnik weren't really a phenomenon. I respect Tony as a person more for what he did with Sputnik , but I wouldn't dream of enjoying them through their records. Which really were peripheral.
D-Now also in the new line-up is Andreas Bruhne
A-Very good(finger punctuation gesture)
D-Thanks(somewhat bemused) Where is he from?
A-He's from Hamburg. He lives right around the corner from me in Hamburg. We started working together about 18 months ago when I knew I wanted someone else to work with. Someone who could play the guitar, someone who played rock guitar. Real heavy. Real tight. When I wasn't sure that we wanted a band. So really it's me and him that put the album together. And the band took shape while we were making the record.
D-Now the last album, Floodland, had Patricia Morrison playing bass on it. Why didn't she work out....?
A-Uh, that's an assumption which a lot of people make.
D-She didn't actually play bass? She was...
A-Well I'm, I'm not...
D- liberty to say?
A-I'm not at liberty to say. But obviously I question the assumption. (sort of half smiles amusedly)
D-What about some of the darker elements of your music. Do you personally not that very seriously? As you sometimes imply in your interviews?
A-T think our music just reflects the world as it is. I do take that very seriously. We make hard records for a hard world. We make records for a hard world you can get by in and that you can have fun in and get off on. And really that what the records are about. one) it's a damn hard world, secondly) you can get by in it, t ain't so bad.
D-the one-two punch on the Sisters of Mercy's new album Vision Thing. Any tour plans?
A- We've just come off the road in Europe. And we're about to go on the road, (very pregnant pause) in Europe.(BASTARD!)
D- How about the states?
A- We're looking at the states. The problem with America is our audience here is not very big, it's loyal but it's not very big. And we are not a club band.(does an odd eyebrow roll kinda thing that I find impossible to describe adequately)It's a long time since we played in front of less than 5,000 people and we don't intend to start now,(Its been a long time since you played period!) That's the problem. We'll see, if the record goes great, we'll be here. If it doesn't, um, we'll fly over America on the way to somewhere else.(laughs and smiles) It's sad, but that the way it is. I've got three trucks. I've got three buses. I've got thirty-nine people in my crew. I've got to pay'em. I can't come over here and lose money I don't have.(notice how it's become me instead of we now that money is involved in the conversation?)
D-Well it's the carrot and the stick approach. Buy Vision Thing and may be you'll get to see the Sisters of Mercy live. Thanks very much for coming by.
A-You're very welcome.
A-Good luck. Right here's a video off the Sisters of Mercy's last album, Floodland. This Corrosion.

plays TC



by Larry Thiessen taken from Discorder magazine Sept 1986
"Where do dreams go when they die, mummy?
They go to dreams of menstrual winters yet to come, beloved
And do dead gods smell?
Of dust and must and reaping time"
The first time I heard Current '93 was a bit like having every nightmare I'd ever had made manifest. Here at last was music which made no attempt to entertain or distract from all that which is horrible in our lives. Using tape loops,strident voices that shriek from every dark corner of the human psyche, repetition that becomes a giant wheel that slowly turns and turns and turns-each time a little more off balance, a little more febrile-the music is a relentless statement of power and hopelessness.

The idea of predicting the end of the world through music is not a new one. Recently there have been a number of bands who tell of the imminent collapse through their album liner notes and their lyrics and their dance hits-they don't convince. By comparison they are revealed for what they ae not: prophets of doom? Never

I had to know more so I wrote to David Tibet 93, enclosing a blank cassette to record his reply. The return letter began most inauspiciously:

"Dear Brethren: We very much dislike doing interviews; for what reason, to what end? To relieve ignorance? To provide fun? To be approachable? To have our ideas stolen?"
I held little hope for the cassette, but happily [sic] all my posed questions were answered. The following are extracts from the tape and the letter.

DISCORDER : The Current's music seems to involve different people from project to project. Do you have a core of artists to which you add or subtract? How does it all work?
DAVID TIBET 93 : What happens is that the Current partakes of a specific nucleus, which is myself and Steven Stapleton. There have always been other people that I have used as much as possible, but it depends on their projects because they are all in groups as well-so really Current 93 is made up of myself, Steve Stapleton from Nurse With Wound,John Balance from Coil, Rose McDowall from Strawberry Switchblade, Dru McDowall, Hilar orn Hilmarsson, formerly of Psychic TV... so what I'm able to do depends largely on their availability to partake in a particular recording session. That having been said, Steve Stapleton has been involved in everything, and I hope will continue to be, because I would find it impossible to do any of it without Steve. There is a lot of collaboration between the people I use because we all tend to be friends and see each other socially as well as having similar ideas or similar interests-which doesn't necessarily mean that the music is similar.
D: What kinds of instruments and equipment do you use? Heavy electronic effects-we don't use emulators, we don't use synthesizers, we do use guitar quite a lot, bass, drums, fairly conventional setup in a sense; but we do use a lot of electronic vocal effects and devices: harmonizers, special reverb units, special sorts of echo. current 93's music has always been based on the pre-eminence of a vocal quality. My music can be easy or not; but the music has always come to me easily. I never found it a long process-a frustrating process, perhaps, but not painful, because it's always a result of pain that's gone before-so it's a way of exorcizing the pain. The Current has always been my means of hearing externally those things that I don't like to keep inside of me. if you keep to much inside, you go fucking crazy-so better out than in, don't you think?
D: Who do you listen to?
T: I'll give you an idea, but obviously the music I listen to will depend on what mood I'm in: Gregorian Chants-especially Armenian, Tibetan Ritual Music, piano music by Erik Satie,Billie Holiday, myself, Crass, 13th Floor Elevators. Seeds, Death in June, some classical music-the Faure Requiem which I used a loop of on 'the Mystical Body of Christ in Choraziam', early Alice Cooper, Carl Orff-but not Carmina Burana-dear God-not Carmina Burana, Black Sabbath when Ozzy Osbourne was with them,Prince, Metallica, Love, Wagner, Nick Drake, Boyd Rice (aka NON).
D: There seems to be a dramatic change from the early single 'Lashtal' to Nature Unveiled, was there an event or change in your approach which might account for that?
T: The first thing that's probably worth mentioning is that a very close friend mine and I were both about to have children about three years ago. Both children died before they were born One of them was aborted because of the involvement of Paul's wife in a motorcycle accident-the other one was aborted because the person involved obviously didn't like me very much and didn't like the idea of carrying on the carrion of this earth. Both Paul and I had planned separately to cal them Maldoror. neither, needless to say, eventually got the name because both were flushed down various toilets in various parts of the world. This is when the song 'Maldoror is Dead' came about. Nature Unveiled was the first project after I left Psychic Tv and parted ways with 23 Skidoo. I was now following my own direction without having to agree or change even slightly according to other people's views. It was a project based on things that came to obsess me more and more: the imminence of the apocalypse, the imminence of the final conflict, the imminence of the fucking end...and that's something i still feel now-that we are coming to the end...whether you look at it in religious terms. political terms or in nuclear terms, it doesn't matter a fuck. I think people have got to prepare themselves for this conflict, for this finality. If they don't, they're dead. They're probably dead already, and maybe they don't care. maybe they'd rather not live in the word that's to come. But whatever the truth is, they should start thinking about it now..that's immediately-because there isn't much time left and there's no hiding from the black bird.
D: What about Dog's Blood Rising? There seems to be a variety of styles here.
T: Dog's Blood Rising was different because there were various periods coming together in that. 'Christus Christus' and 'Jesus wept' were both carryovers from the Nature Unveiled feeling. "Falling Back in the Fields of Rape' was were my interests and mood were starting to change slightly- wasn't that I was leaving the old mood behind ; but I was getting more involved with the ideas of the modern apocalypse, so that track was heavily based on the German attack on Russia and the general idea of violence committed toward women in a magical sense. There was also a heavy influence of the ideals of the threshing floors, harvesting, reaping, the corn being taken in, connecting again with fertility rites, the earth, the earth goddess, the horned god. The last piece, Simon & Garfunkle's 'the Sounds of Silence,' was a song I always wanted to do because it always depressed me a lot and those are my favorite sorts of songs.
D: Current 93 had nor released a picture disc entitled On Menstrual Night. what's it like?
T: On Menstrual Night is base on nightmares, on little girl's voices, on acid, on wondering where dreams go when they die. it should be listened to at 2:00 in the morning for optimum effect. It's the work that I'm most happy with so far.
D: I read a piece of literature from L.A.Y.L.A.H, which said, among other things that Nurse with Wound were a Christian group who meet once a week. Critics seem to have thrown you in the same bag, as it were. Other seem to be skeptical.
T: The Nurse with Wound piece about Christians was based on a press release which I sent out which was a total mistake. Steve Stapleton told me to withdraw, which I did. Steve doesn't have any interest whatsoever in religion or magick, so he was a bit pissed off. Other reviewers may well lump us into the same bag; but they are obviously wrong-because Nurse With Wound aren't Christians, nor am I. Christian apocalypse has always obsessed me, but so do other things.
D: I read an interview with Steve Stapleton in Unsounds in which he totally condemned the idea of playing in public. How do you feel about live gigs?
T: Steve Stapleton has always hated live performances-always will. I think it's highly unlikely that he will ever play in any sort of live scenario again, unless he's mixing a Current 93 show. I quite like the idea of live performances under very special, very definite circumstances; but it's difficult to get people who are ready to put out the time and money to ensure that these circumstances are as correct as possible. Add to that, that fact is the average Current 93 set is about 13 minutes long, which puts promoter off even more, and the fact that we will all never play in London again-apart perhaps from a farewell concert at Bar Maldoror. why exactly are you going to do a live concert? Is it because you want to impress people with apiece of power or emotionally, or is it because you want to get up on stage for reasons of vanity? If it's the latter, it's a way of getting lost. There are more important things to do with your time.
D: Where is Current 93 going? What plans do you have taking shape in the way of future releases, etc?
T: The single which was going to be On Menstrual Night will now probably be called "Happy Birthday Pigface Christus' (so it won't be confused with the picture disc..and we won't lose sales...ahahahahahahaha) It's the Current 93 pop single. every group must do a pop single=this one's ours. I'm in Brussels at the moment working on an LP for L.A.Y.L.A.H. which we're cutting next month along with the 'Happy Birthday Pigface Christus.' We're not to sure of the title of the LP; but it will not be by Current 93. We're thinking of calling ourselves Aryan Aquayans. should be good for the hippies and the surf-nazies.

We think that in view of the impending
End there is very little hope for any of you.
It is suggested that in view of this approaching
situation, that all of you start considering the
methods of survival and victory over those who
threaten you. If you love, love selectively or
not at all. Are those recipients of your affection
worthy of it? Are they using you? Are they your
crutch? That which is falling should also be pushed.
That which is crawling should also be crushed.
There is no hiding from the blackbird...which side
are you on? It doesn't matter if they're big or small.
There is only one answer-kill them all.
Lots of love 93 Current 93


Doctor Avalanche was the original drummer for the Sisters of Mercy. He got the boot when he became obsolete. Is he bitter? No, because Doctor Avalanche II took his place and Doctor Avalanche the III is carrying on the family tradition. Doctor Avalanche is the ultimate Goth. He's thin, he only wears black, and he's never caught without his shades. Since he's been in on it from the beginning, we at Ego Project II have asked him to write an advice column for all the younger Goth's out there who might still have a few questions about how to be a proper Goth. So address your questions to Ask Doctor Avalanche:

c/o Ego Project II
1717 Monroe #B
Bellingham, WA 98225

Dear Doctor Avalanche,

How do I decide which shade of black to wear with which kind's of days? Deep black for rainy days? Shiny black for sunny days when I can't avoid them? Should I mix shades? help.

Afraid of a a Goth fashion faux paus

Dear Afraid,

This is a question indeed worthy of merit. There are two distinct ways of solving this problem. 1) Allow chaos to dip her lovely hand into your life by dressing in the dark. If your wardrobe contains the proper elements (i.e. no item of clothing which reflects any wavelength of the visible spectrum) this should result in a delightfully stylish yet utterly uncalculated personal fashion. 2) Alternately, never go out before sunset. (My solution.)

Dear Doctor Avalanche,

As we all know smoking in coffee houses and posing properly is an essential part of Gothness. I've recently started smoking cloves and I'd like to know you opinion on filtered vs. unfiltered. And are there any additional health risks associated with cloves?

A well-caffinated but curious goth

Dear Well,

The essential gothness of smoking, cloves or straight cigarettes, is the slow suicide they provide. As such, unfiltered cloves are the true ticket with their harshness and brillo pad effects on the lungs and throat. The advantage of filtered cloves, however, is not burning your fingers.

Dear Doctor Avalanche,

My parent's have become concerned with the contents of my all black wardrobe and my predilection for wandering through the graveyard at night. What should I tell them to get them to understand me?

Feeling misunderstood

Dear Misunderstood,

Ah, parents. Something about the process of molding and shaping the young psyche makes it almost impossible for them to disentangle their fingers at the proper time. You could tell them you are practicing for your future Mcjob as a night-shift security guard, you could tell them that you are in mourning for the decline and fall of western civilization, but odds are you're just going to have to ignore them until they go away.


Alien Sex Fiend DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA 09.06.92 commentary by a cobalt hedgehog, seething with delight [ed. note. lack of caps and punctuation is cobalt's style and far be it from me to infringe upon on his idiom. deal with it. :-)]

well. i taped a copy of "young limbs, numb hymns", the batcave compilation, off a friend of mine sometime in late 1983, and besides specimen, which i had already heard, there was a cut by a band called "the alien sex fiend" which caught my ear, and wouldn't let go. so, since then, i've grabbed everything fiendish i can afford, and dreamed of one day getting to see the fiend live.

they came through in december 1990, but i was still 6 months underage, and heard about it the morning after, so i was shit out of luck that tour. (for the album "curse") but they liked dna, and decided to include it as a stop on this tour. (for "open head surgery", their most recent album) and heaven knows i wasn't going to miss it.

dna only holds about 500 people, and with kmfdm playing down the street at slims, and curve playing on the haight at the i-beam the same night, dna was pretty much core fiend fans, and nothing else. the fiend had a fairly minimal stage set, from reports of other shows friends had seen, but there was plenty of nice neon mannequins and skulls, along with the ever-present "feed the fiend" ashcan, nik's mike stand center front, mrs fiends veritable fortress of bippity-bop devices off to his right, doc milton's keyboard rack and guitar to the left, and rat finks drum kit tucked away in the back.

about 930ish nik, the mrs, doc milton, and rat fink jr. appeared from top left, and filtered their way down to the stage, taking places and looking jovial. and then launched into chaos with "wild women", starting off a near 2 1/2 hour set that included a good mix of stuff from here there and everywhere, ranging from longtime standards like "e.s.t.", "i walk the line", and "hurricane fighter plane", to more recent cuts like the current single, "magic", "now i'm feeling zombified", and "sample my sausage", all full of the typical improvisation and silliness. balloons, plastic skulls and leg bones, bubble machines, smoke machines, strobes and black light galore. *and* the big banana, which got devoured by the crowd around me. only disappointment was that they didn't play "attack!!!", but that was more than forgivable in light of the fact that i was so glad to finally be seeing fiend.

major highlight of everything? seeing nik ask for a cigarette, and have the crowd toss fags galore onto the stage, enough to make a good pile on the ashcan, and keep him scurrying around the stage collecting them, looking like a child at christmas. that even beat having the fiends shake my hand and say "thanks" on their way off the stage. but most of all, i have *never* seen a band so happy to be doing what they're doing, performing live for their fans. i think thats one of the things thats always made fiend so appealing to me. they do what they do because they *love* it. and what better reason to do what you do?

put simply, if you get a chance to see them, dont miss out. theres nothing else that could possibly take precedence.


commentary by bat

Berlin is a long way to go for a gig - it may not look much on the map when planning it, but when you are actually out there on the M1 sliproad in Leeds it suddenly dawns on you that 1000 miles and 5 different countries are not to be sniffed at. We had marked a sign out with "Berlin please" on it as a joke - we only needed to get to London to get a coach out. It was quite a surprise that after about half an hour of getting funny looks from drivers that a lorry pulled over next to us : "Get in" said the driver "I go to Berlin twice a week !".

Sigh... why do I only get lucky when I don't need it ?

After a remarkably uncomfortable 25 hour coach trip across northern europe we arrived in Berlin - 7.30 in the evening on the day of the gig. By this time we had acquired another traveling companion, a woman called Jackie who was somewhere around 35 and followed the Sisters everywhere, sometimes accompanied by her 17 year old daughter. Sisters followers come in all shapes, sizes and ages it seems. None of us spoke any German and after about 45 minutes worth of utter confusion with the Berlin underground/overground rail system we finally arrived at Wulheide - the venue for the gig.

Wulheide stadium is quite an amazing thing in itself. It is in the middle of a small forest (well, everything in Berlin is in the middle of some sort of forest.. the city has trees everywhere!) and has a sort of dirt track leading up through the trees. At the top of a small hill the trees open out into a clearing and you find yourself on the top rim of a large concrete amphi-theatre sunk into the ground. It is extremely unexpected - there are no buildings around, just this huge concrete terrace sunk into the ground amongst the trees. Ranged around the top of this were tables and stalls selling beer, merchandise, sausages, jewelry and all the usual bit and pieces that go with festivals, and down into the amphitheatre milling around on the terraces were thousands of people. At the back a large covered stage had been erected and here the familiar faces of the Sisters road crew could be seen scurrying around preparing for them to come on.

We had turned up just in time - I would have expected the concert to be timed to end at midnight, but when we arrived at just after 8.30 the Sisters were due as the next band on. They actually came on at about 9.20ish - it was just starting to get sufficiently dark for the lighting to become effective, any earlier and they would have been left playing in daylight. Not a good idea for the Sisters (remember York festival!). The most immediately noticeable thing about this lineup of the Sisters was the personnel changes - I was expecting to see some session musician or other filling in on bass, I certainly didn't expect there to be no bass player at all! The bass lines were being played by a synthesizer of some kind. My best guess is that it was Doktor Avalanche playing them through a MIDI expander, but Eldritch has also acquired an extra keyboard player as well who could possibly be playing them live. She is tall with black hair and stands on the right side of the stage. Suzanne has also dyed her hair black and from a few feet back the two women look almost identical both wearing black and standing behind keyboards symmetrically placed on risers behind the band. It actually looked quite effective... this did cover up the fact that the actual band were lacking a member when otherwise the stage would have looked a bit empty.

Tim and Andreas still look just like Tim and Andreas - maybe Andreas has grown his hair a bit, maybe not. Nothing really different about them from a year ago really. The biggest difference is in Eldritch. The hair is short, very short. Possibly even shorter than in the publicity shots that came out at around the same time as "Temple 92". This is a bit of a shock at first, but you get used to it surprisingly quickly. Im not sure if I would say that it actually suits him, but it wasn't as much of a shock as I expected it to be. The rest of him is still most definitely 100% Eldritch, it could be nobody else.

The gig starts and we get "More". Wow, they hadn't done that live before (well not anywhere in the UK anyway). Maybe the addition of a second keyboard player makes it possible when it wasn't before. Maybe Andy is just lazy and hadn't got around to patching it into the drum machine until now. Who knows, but anyway they played it. At this point we discovered something else about the new keyboard player - she can sing. Unfortunately she doesn't seem able to sing in the correct style appropriate for the songs. This ends up giving the impression that she can't sing which is a bit unfortunate. Her vocals tend to be fairly operatic which works for some songs, but in most cases not. Oh well. The electronic bass suffers from much the same problem : it works well on some of the material, but on the older songs like "Alice" and most of the "Floodland" material where the bassline is very prominent it does sound very mechanical.

These are, however, minor complaints. They got off to a bit of a slow start I felt ("More" is not the best opener in the world) but after a bit (and as it got darker) the played an absolute stormer of a gig. I can't remember the actual set list, but it was fairly different from the last tour. We got "Body Electric" but didn't get "Temple Of Love", "Marian" or "First And Last And Always". Eldritch did, however, leave the largest surprises for the encores. He came out on his own on the stage with just a single light on him and sand and unaccompanied version of "Stop dragging my heart around". Brilliant. I never thought I'd get to hear him sing that. Second surprise is when the band came back on and launched into a cover of "Comfortably Numb" from The Wall! This song actually does suit Eldritch very well, but there was and even greater surprise to come. At the end the song went into that long instrumental bit (like it does) and I thought that they would fade it out, but after a few bars Eldritch went over to the right of the stage, slumped against a lighting bar and started to sing again very quietly, gradually getting louder. It took me several lines before I recognized the song. It was "Some Kind Of Stranger", seamlessly grafted onto the end of "Comfortably Numb" as if they had been written like that. I have only seen one bootleg with "Some Kind Of Stranger" on it, as far as I know they only played it once or twice the first time round. Eldritch really put everything into it as well... definitely the highlight of the entire set. That on its own made the entire trip worthwhile for me - to be standing in a darkened concrete arena in a forest in Berlin watching The Sisters perform "Some Kind Of Stranger" is an experience I will never forget.

Possibly the strangest thing about the gig was the audience - there were many German goths there, but the major part of the audience was ordinary kids who react to gigs in a rather different way from UK audiences. Their usual reaction to a song seems to be to bounce up and down in unison. If the song isn't fast enough for that then they clapped their hands in time over their heads... for the entire song! When "Some Kind Of Stranger" came on one of the guys next to me got out a lighter and started waving it in the air, I thought he was taking the piss, but looking around me I could see literally thousands of other people doing the same. Not just in the standing area, but all the way up round the walls of the arena. Some people had even brought sparklers with them specially to wave in the air during slow songs. Curioser and curioser. At one point I saw some people form a pyramid - "Aha" I thought "at last a normal reaction to a goth gig". Then I realised that I actually knew the guy on top of the pyramid ! It turned out to be five quarriers who had driven over. The best thing about the crowd, however, was their enthusiasm - there was no heckling that I heard and everyone was obviously having a good time - none of the sort of hard-to-please cynical gits that seem to populate gigs over here.


We were originally going to hitch-hike from Berlin to Bremen starting at a truck-stop which is where the old border crossing used to be. We did, however, discover on the way that it is illegal to drive a lorry on a Sunday in Germany (its even illegal to wash it or change a tyre!). My second idea was to get a lift with the Marionnettes, but their van was full so they couldn't fit us in (a god thing as it turned out since their van exploded on the way and they didn't actually make it in time!). At this point I have to admit that I bottled out and decided to get the train. The train left at 5.45am from Zoo station and our original idea was to sleep on the station to get the train. Luckily at this point we had met up with a German guy called Frank who told us that this would be a very bad idea if we did not want to end up mugged, drugged or murdered. He then went on to show us around the city, make sure we got the correct train and generally acted in a very useful manner - something which takes a lot of patience when confronted with confused English goths very early in the morning !

So the three of us finally arrived in Bremen at around midday on the Sunday (trains in the old east germany are s..l..o..w). It was easy to find the venue this time - you just followed everyone else. The Bremen public transport system was completely overwhelmed and they gave up trying to charge anyone so we got a free lift by tram/bus all the way to festival. The journey was livened up by large quantities of drunk German girls all aged somewhere round about 14-17 (legal drinking age in germany is 16) all of whom were very curious about trying out their English on the "englishe gruftis" which I assume is German for "English goths". Sigh... it is, however, quite amusing to see somebody trying to be drunk in a foreign language (to them).

The venue itself wasn't nearly as impressive as the one in Berlin. It was on the car-park of a large steel works on an industrial estate near the docks. The sun was very hot, there was little or no shade and all the drinks were ludicrously overpriced. We all got very sunburnt and dehydrated. This time we were able to see the whole festival from the beginning. The Marionettes completely failed to turn up in time for their set. This was unfortunate for us as we were going to leave our kit-bags/rucksacks with them and instead had to stay at the back by the mixing desk watching rather than getting down the front and getting involved. The other bands on the bill were very varied. Jingo de Lunch and Fury In The Slaughterhouse were not particularly good, but were listenable. Bad Religion and Pearl Jam were pure unadulterated shite. This was a pity, I had expected Pearl Jam to be quite good, maybe they are better in a smaller venue. Concrete Blonde, however, were absolutely excellent and I am definitely going to have to follow them when they come to the UK. Brilliant band. The Marionettes turned up at around 4.30 and were allowed to play a short 20 minute, 5 song set. This was also excellent, though the band do seem to the be the unluckiest people I have ever met : as well as the van exploding Sean was loosing his voice (unfortunate on the 3rd date of a 22 date tour) and had badly damaged himself falling off a motorbike. Its rock'n'roll I suppose :-)

Finally the Sisters came on. They were on even earlier than previously and with the venue being out on flat ground in the open rather than sunk into an arena in the trees this meant that it was still light when they finished playing - the entire set was done in daylight. The Sisters do not go down as well in daylight. I didn't enjoy this gig nearly as much - partly due to having to stand by the mixer and watch I suppose, but also they just didn't give as good a performance. The set was shorter and Eldritch didn't seem to be as into it as he had been before. He still turned in a good version of "Stop Dragging My heart Around" and "Some Kind Of Stranger", but it wasn't the same. We found out that there had been some agro backstage which might explain why Eldritch want in a particularly good mood, more of that later though. Large quantities of the audience seemed to have come just for Bad Religion as well and weren't particularly into the Sisters either. All round a bit of a nondescript gig, never mind.

After the gig we all met up at the Marionettes van, together with another Sisters follower called Simo who had also come from the UK for the gigs. All together there were about 15 people who had come over - I met a few who were following Pearl Jam (why...?????) but most were for the Sisters. Andy Heartland was around somewhere, but we didn't see him. The four of us headed back into Bremen in order to spend the night on the Railway station. Once again the Bremen public transport was completely overwhelmed by the number of people trying to use it and they ended up diverting every tram and bus available to the festival and from there to the town centre. It was complete chaos. Sleeping on Bremen station was rather unpleasant - the four of us found a quiet corner, but were rather plagued by hordes of flies that tried to settle on us whenever we went to sleep. This was possibly because after four days on the road we did rather smell a bit, but you have to put up with these things when touring. At around 5am a rather rancid looking mouse decided to take an interest in us to (it was very thin and loosing most of its fur in clumps - yuk), at this point we decided to give up on the sleeping and ended up huddled on a bench outside the station finding out who we knew in common and swapping bits of gossip. We were all splitting up at this time as well - Simo and Jackie back to england and me and Debra off round germany : we had originally intended to do Loreley as well, but couldn't make it in the end.


That's about all there is to say about the German trip. We spent another week hitching round Germany, failed to make Loreley and finally rolled back into Leeds about 4 days ago in the back of a small mini-van : a bit different from the 22 wheeled arctic which had taken us out eleven days earlier, but who's complaining ? a lift is a lift. A thousand miles is an extremely long way to go for a gig - but I can definitely recommend doing it. Lying on the station amongst the dirt and flies in Bremen, watching the mouse I was thinking "Pete, you are cold uncomfortable and a hell of a long way from home. Why do you do it?". There is only one answer : "Because it's The Sisters !". For me, for Jackie, for Simo, for the Quarriers in the car and for everyone else who traveled and followed that is the only reason necessary.

See you in Belgium


I shall be reviewing anything Goth related I can get my hands on. For a while this means I'll probably review things in my collection since very few new Goth records come out these days, though this is improving with the emergence of the next generation of Goths. Tapes/singles/whatevers by unsigned/indie bands will be given priority over major label releases, so get me your whatever and I guarantee it will get reviewed here as soon as possible.

Rating guide:

***** absolute classic, essential listening
**** extremely good, buy at the first opportunity
*** a good, but not great record, buy if you have the xtra cash
** not actually bad, but give it a listen first
* if you really want it, tape it from some one silly enough to buy it
- don't even bother

the Sisters of Mercy

Temple of Love 1992 CD Single

Merciful Release/WEA MR53CD
Rating: ****

I had a few reservations when I found out Andrew was going to re-record Temple of Love. After all, why tamper with a classic? Then I thought of the wonders it had done for Body Electric and decided to wait and see. I've had it for a while now and I feel my opinions have solidified so here goes. Question #1: Is it as good as the original? Yes. If you take it as it as the Sisters covering themselves. My definition of a successful cover is one that takes the spirit of the original, does something new and that the band puts it's own personal stamp on. An excellent example is the Sisters cover of Gimme Shelter, true to the Stones version, yet is given the Sisters treatment. So essentially the point I'm trying to make here is that this is the Sisters of Mercy 1992 covering the Sisters of 83 and succeeding in every respect. The tempo has been slowed down slightly to make it easier to dance to and Tim Bricheno's distinctive guitar work is all over the place. I always picture Tim with the big ol' little boy grin on his face when he plays those little heavy metal 'waah' noises before the chorus, but i suspect that's just me. :-).

The most significant change over the original is the addition of backing vocals by Ofra Haza. She is apparently the female currently at the top of Andrew's 'enamored of' list. :-) Her vocals give the song a slight Arabic touch and make it a slightly poppier song that should make it a hit with the teeny-bopper Goth-set(which seems to be the case, it went to #3 on the chart and got them another TotP appearance)

The rest of the songs are 1) I Was Wrong(American Fade), 2) Vision Thing(Canadian Club Mix) and 3) When You Don't See Me(German Release). I Was Wrong is exactly what it says it is, a short version of the lp track for an American promo CD. Vision Thing is an extended version not overly different from the lp version with a backwards bit in the middle section. When You Don't See Me is from the German only 12". Thus If you're an obsessive fan like me, the single only offers one new song. For those non-obsessives and those is Sisters deficient areas, their addition was a nice touch.

the Wake

Harlot b/w Suicide 7"

Blaylox Records BLAY 069 red vinyl
Rating: ****

This is the record that has renewed my hope that there will one day be an American Goth band every bit the equal of the Sisters. From the moment I saw it i just knew I had to buy it. The sleeve is b&w with a great picture of a graveyard with a ghost and it was on red vinyl, how could a Goth vinyl junkie like me pass it up? :-) So i get it home and put on the old faithful turn table and wait. With that cover it's either going to be total shite or a masterpiece. Fortunately, from the first screaming note of Harlot I knew it would be the latter. It's got one of those great, simple bass lines favored by the Sisters and the guitar work is also fairly simple and elegant. The singer reminds me somewhat of Carl McCoy of the Nephilim but it's not a case of imitation in my opinion, just another great voice in the same range. Whoever writes the lyrics has the same keen sense of humor that I admire in Andrew.

Suicide is a slower song with a bass line borrowed from Iron Maiden's Wrathchild, but if you're gonna borrow from metal bands, it might as well be Iron Maiden. That's were the similarity ends though. The Wake certainly aren't a metal band and i rather wonder how they go down live in their home town, since Columbus isn't exactly known as a haven of Gothdom :-) This single misses five *'s by just a hair. The band has a ways to go before they become one of the truly great US Goth bands, but with this as a start I have no doubts they'll get there eventually with a little exposure. As long as they keep putting out records as good as this. They also have a tape and video out that i haven't been able to find yet.


the Wake c/o
Blaylox Records
P.O. Box 10503
Columbus, Ohio 43201

the Sisters of Mercy

Live at the Melway boot CD

Flashback Worldproductions
Rating: ***
Total running Time: 58:50
Track list: Burn/Heartland/Body and Soul/Anaconda/Walk Away/Emma/Floorshow Adrenochrome/Alice/Body Electric/Gimme Shelter/Ghostrider Sister Ray

This is the latest Sisters bootleg I've purchased. It's recorded in Amsterdam, June 2nd, 1984. I'll start with the packaging. It's got a nice photo of Andrew against a red background on the cover and the inner sleeve. Fortunately it not the same one overused by bootleggers everywhere from the postcard. A Few typos, but otherwise well put together.

Onto the sound quality. It's a soundboard recording so the audience noise is minimal. There are a few problems here and there but otherwise I'd say it's quite good for a soundboard. After all, it was mixed to listened to really loud in a specific room.

The performance isn't one of their best, but Andrew's voice is in fine form and there are no technical problems. It's a basic pre-Black October Tour Sisters show. If you're like me ya just gotta have it on general principles. :-) Nothing stands out to my mind as being a particularly great version of any one song. No surprises and no rarely performed songs. If you don't have any Sisters shows from 84, it's a good disc to get.


the Sisters of Mercy

Gimme Shelter boot CD

Great Dane Records GDR 9134 Italy
Rating *****
Total Running Time: 74:19
Track List: First and Last and Always/Body and Soul/Train/Marian/No Time to Cry/Possession/Walk Away/Burn/Emma/Amphetamine Logic/a Rock and a Hard Place/Floorshow/Alice/Body Electric/Gimme Shelter/Nine While Nine Ghostrider

This one is from Newcastle 3/13/85. The packaging is quite nice, with lots of full colour photos lifted from issue four of Heartland. Only two obvious typos. Doctor Avalanche is minus his 'h' and all the songs are credited to Eldritch/Marx/Hussey except Gimme Shelter.

This one is also a soundboard recording. However, in this case they ran it through a mixer and then to the recorder. Therefore, it sounds far better than any other bootleg I have ever heard. If Andrew were to release a live lp it should sound this good. It also lends credence to my pet theory that Andrew has his finger is the Sisters bootleg market. :-)

The show itself is uniformly excellent, with superior versions of First and Last and Always and Possession. The real gem here though is one of the rare live versions of Nine While Nine. It was dropped very early in the tour because Andrew found it too personal and difficult to perform. On this basis alone I would declare this bootleg indispensable to any Sisters fan. The live version is simply excellent. Combined with it's rarity you simply must have a copy of this show.

If only all bootlegs were as good as this.



Psalm 69 CD

Sire/Warner 2 26727-2
Rating: ***

Ministry have verged as far away from their roots and any Goth leanings they may have once had into something that almost resembles a heavy metal band. Doesn't bother me a whole lot, cus it's good metal and that's all that really matters to me.

So let's get into it, on a song by song basis. N.W.O. stands for, unsurprisingly, New World Order and uses liberal George Bush quotes. Not a great song and I'd say somewhat uninspired considering how much press that speech got and it's just too easy a swipe. It's a good song, lets' just say that I seriously doubt a whole lot of thought went into coming up with it.

Just One Fix uses the same two riff theme that made Burning Inside off of the Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste such a great song. The problem with most metal these days in, my incredibly less than humble opinion, is that they've forgotten Rule 1; keep it simple. The title refers to Uncle Al's legendary drug habit and his recent return to the land of non- chemically induced thought processes, as if you couldn't guess that.

TV II is another version of TV Song from the Jesus Built My Hotrod single. A much better version; less silliness and shouting and more tune. It leads into the by now ubiquitous Jesus Built My Hotrod. I heard lots of shouts of "Ministry's gone speed metal dude!" when the single came out. To which I also thought, "gone speed metal?" There were several songs on TMIATTTT that were quite speed metal ala Ministry. Besides which, it's a speed rockabilly song anyway.

Scarecrow is the traditional 8+ minute song and actually one of my favorite tracks. Ministry's long songs have always tended to bore me around 6 minutes but Scarecrow doesn't seem to go on forever, so they seem to have finally got the form down.

Psalm 69 is quite the bit of silliness. "Congregation. Please be seated and open your prayer guides to the Book of Revelations, Psalm 69." As most of you should well know, the Book of Revelations doesn't have any Psalms. Lyrically it's a fairly standard Uncle Al attack on religion. Not a weak song, but like N.W.O., uninspired.

The album closes in the usual Ministry fashion with two pretty lame songs, Corrosion and Grace.

So all in all, I rather like the album. It's just average Ministry though and unless they get back whatever they seem to have lost in creative spark, they're in real danger of becoming a sad case of a once great band playing Stigmata to ever shrinking crowds on an Industrial nostalgia tour. Ministry is not dead, but the body is lying rather still. Somebody give it a swift kick in the ass and get it moving forward again...


Generation X Tales for an Accelerated Culture

by Douglas Coupland
St. Martin's Press

Ok, it's not a particularly Goth book. Read the editor's intro if ya wanna complain. :-) If you're at all like me, everybody you know is represented in here somewhere. The book follows the lives of Andy, Claire and Dag, twenty-somethings that have quit "pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause" in their respective hometowns and cut themselves adrift on the California desert.

They are all products of their culture. The influence of television runs rampant through their conversations. Pop culture is ingrained in everything they do and say. Just like you and me. The point here being that no matter who you and what you are, some part of this book is going to strike you as hitting just a little to close to home.

Strewn throughout the sidebars of the book are highly amusing and insightful terminology definitions. I'll hit a few of my favorites.

A low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one.

Emotional Ketchup Burst:
The bottling up of opinions and emotions inside oneself so that they explosively burst forth all at once, shocking and confusing employers and friends-most of whom thought things were fine.

Overcompensating for fears about the future by plunging headlong into a job or lifestyle seemingly unrelated to one's previous life; i.e., Amway sales, aerobics, the Republican Party, a career in law, cults, McJobs...

and two highly appropriate ones

Black Holes:
A X generation subgroup best known for their possession of almost entirely black wardrobes.

Black Dens:
Where Black Holes live; often unheated warehouse with day-Glo spray painting, mutilated mannequins, Elvis references, dozens of overflowing ashtrays, broken mirror sculptures and Velvet Underground music playing in the background.

An insightful book. Highly amusing and a book I consider essential reading for anyone in their twenties.


Gothic Rock

by Mick Mercer
Pegasus Publishing ISBN 1 873892 01 2

Mick Mercer attempts to make amends for his earlier 'Gothic Rock Black Book'. A visually wonderful and amusing book totally devoid of any actual information. This one is subtitled "All you ever wanted to know...but were to gormless to ask". And it is. This one is pretty much an A-Z guide of Gothdom and it's influences. The big names, Sisters, Bauhaus, the Nephilim and Sex gang are of course present. As well as a host of lesser known bands.

If they were remotely goth or influential, it's a pretty sure bet they're represented here some where. Mick's personal bias' are of course still evident. The large section devoted to Johnny Slut of Specimen being a good example. But the man is a UK music 'journalist', a tiger can't change his stripes and all that sort of stuff.

A somewhat interesting feature is short little interviews with Goths from around the UK giving their opinions on the state of Goth, Gothdom in general and what it means to be a Goth in the 90s. I personally find most of them silly and pretentious. But that is a good part of 'Gothness' isn't it? Being pretentious, but knowing you're being pretentious. Self- awareness is everything.

There are also features on some of the various Goth-oriented 'zines from Goth's hey day and the few that are still going. There are also bits on Goth 'personalities', such as Storm Constantine. She's the author of the Wreathu series. Modern successor to the Gothic Novel. She seems genuinely one of "us", that happens to writer fantasy novels and incorporate the whole 'Goth esthetic' into her work.

I seem to be using this word a lot in this issue, but I'd really call this book indispensable if you want to know anything about Goth's roots and were things seem to be going.

I'd also like to take a second to recommend the other book. Don't buy it seeking information, 'cus you're not going to find any. It is however highly amusing and full of some nice pictures.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(like, I am so *sure*)
starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, and Rutger Hauer
20th Century Fox
Review by Anastasia

If you are the sort of afficianado of Goth who takes yourself overly seriously, this movie is not for you. No cobweb encrusted mansions here; no black lace, no moss, and the candle-light is always backed by ever-so-unsubtle track lighting. Rutger Hauer as Lothos, the head vampire, imparts more lounge lizard than languid enchanter to his velvet-gloved role, prompting me to wonder if Anne Rice should reconsider her vision of Hauer as Lestat. If, however, a tongue-in-cheek treatment of the ages-old mythic battle between the undead and the Beautiful People appeals to your sense of the ludicrous, then the admission price is reasonably well spent. Paul Reubens (looking, thankfully, nothing like Pee-wee Herman) turns in a remarkable performance as Ayral, the vampiric legion's second-in-command, including a death-scene which is not to be missed. Kristy Swanson plays a marvelously vacuous Buffy, who via the miracle of character development is actually somewhat likable by the end of the movie. Luke Perry crosses to the wrong side of the tracks with the character of Pike, proving there is more to his acting ability than testosterone and sideburns. Donald Sutherland gives a good performance in the part of Merrick, Buffy's mentor as she develops the skills of a Slayer. He is also the source of a few more dangling plot threads than can be forgiven, even for a campy semi-parody of traditional vampire flicks. Not for nothing did the Camarilla protest this film.

The story is reasonably predictable: Ayral is preparing the way for the return of his master by creating a cadre of vampires. The pool of raw talent he has chosen for his prey happens to be a high school in one of the moneyed sections of Southern California during the lite ages. Buffy, through no fault of her own, is the current Chosen One, and as such, she is approached by Merrick, who informs her of her role and offers to prepare her for the inevitable confrontation with Lothos. Pike, one of her first rescues, becomes her sidekick and together they defeat Lothos at the Senior Dance (of course) and ride off together on the back of his motorcycle (of course). The amusing bits are the interstices - the reasonably deft caricature of Buffy's parents and mallrat friends, Reuben's show-stealing posturing as the aide-de-camp. If you can stand to drag your black-clad selves out into the sun for the matinee, it's worth the price - elsewise rent it after dark.