“Well, what do you say
D’you have a word for Giving Away?
Got a song for me?”
Aaah … the Great Goth War of 1987. Yes, I remember it well. The battlefield? The Sixth Form Common Room. The prize? Control of the beat-up hi-fi. The battlelines were quickly drawn. In the back-combed, winkle-picking Gothic corner, my good self and my friend Chris (not the Mary Chain Christopher from earlier – he was too busy funking out in the music room). And all around us were our arch enemies: the casual lads of the Upper Sixth who all looked like they’d been dressed from a Littlewoods catalogue by their mums. It was clear from the very first break-time that our arrival was far from welcome in their sanctuary of tan chinos and fluorescent cardigans.
‘This Corrosion’ came out in September of 1987, at the start of the new term. As a result, it was the first casualty of the Battle of the Bosch (I can’t recall if it actually was a Bosch hi-fi – I just liked the alliteration). The Sisters were cruelly cut down in their 11-minute, bombastic, choir-laden prime by the bass-slapping, insipid bleatings of Level 42.
Chris and I lost a lot of good tapes that year, as they were yanked from the stereo and flung back at our heads. Skeletal Family. Ghost Dance. Rose of Avalanche. We salute you.
Just over a year later, it was always amusing to see these casual clowns back from their first weeks at University and claiming to have always liked The Smiths and Echo & the Bunnymen. May we never meet again.
Sisters Of Mercy – This Corrosion
P.S. Remind me to write about the Gothic thrills of Kensington Market some time.