Back in the 80’s, teenagers I think experimented a lot more with their looks and music a lot more than the youth of today. By the time 1983 came around, Goths were already taking a hold in school.
Over the last two years or so, I had noticed the amount of back combing which had sprung out of nowhere in the girls toilets coupled with a heavy smell of Ellnet hairspray which clung to the walls in the corridors.
My secondary school at the time was a rough pit of thugs and loose girls. Most of us had been on detention at least once that week. Most of us smoked, drank and stayed out late. We ate chips each lunchtime and stood at the bottom of the playground sharing a cigarette between 9 of us. I guess it was about that time when I started to become ‘disillusioned with life’ if there is such a thing when you’re 12.
New Romantics where hitting the music scene but none of that had trickled into school yet. Hard music was for the boys with many of them trying out loafers and drainpipes for the first time a al Madness. Us girls where listening to Madonna’s Like A Virgin and very little else. Music had been in two phases around that time – you either loved the sweetness of Five Star or you were trying to listen to Bad Manners backwards for hidden messages. Guys wearing lip gloss was still for wimps. It hadn’t hit our rough neck school yet.
I think the only outlet there is these days is Cosplay – something me and my son take part in when the big events are on at the NEC or the ExCel. But that isn’t music related. Inn the 80’s, heros were bands, singers and musicians. There were video games but you couldn’t dress like Pac Man. You wanted to look like Robert Smith (with bad make up) or Stevie Nicks (if you moved closer to whimsical rather than Bat Cave girl.) They sang your thoughts, your feelings and were a visual tool in how you wanted to look. Music was everything.
And I’m sorry Sisters of Mercy – as much as you don’t want to be associated with Goth, the last time I saw you in concert was at Bristol 2016. The whole auditorium was a sea of Goths with pale faces. These are your fan base. They buy your records. They have made you rich. Get over it.