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Stephanie - part of the alternative scene in Brum
Stephanie: on the alt scene in Brum

What maketh a goth?

by Christine Mathers
What makes a goth? What happened to the massive goth scene in Birmingham of the 1990s? Meet some of Birmingham's alternative scene...


What is it like being a goth? Is it all reading Edgar Allan Poe and hanging around in cemetaries?

Hardly.

Lisa, owner of Psiclone
Lisa, owner of Psiclone

Birmingham used to be one of the best places to be if you were into the alternative scene - goths, rockers and punks dancing the 80s and 90s away in Edwards No. 8 and Zombified. So what happened?

Lisa owns Psiclone - a predominantly gothic clothes shop in the centre of Birmingham. She's been a goth since she was 15 in 1997 and has been in Birmingham since she was 18.

"I know quite a few of the original Birmingham punks who now work for circuses. They are very much still into it. It's a way of life for them."
Lisa, goth and owner of a gothic clothes shop

"I remember Birmingham was brilliant if you were into the alternative scene - bands like Duran Duran, Boy George and Gary Numan were coming here and there were loads of clubs opening up. It was absolutely massive.

"I came here to study fashion at uni and set up a club night with my mate Kevin Stewart. We set up Death Culture at the Hummingbird and later on Contamination at Edwards No. 8. These night were getting 3/400 people every week or fortnight.

"I don't know why but since about 1999 the scene has really declined in Birmingham, even though in other places like Leeds, Sheffield and even Coventry, it's doing really well. Maybe it has something to do with the closure of the main club the Barrel Organ. That was the biggest place to be if you were alternative.

Bright goth clothing
Bright goth clothing

"Every ten years or so things evolve and new people come into the scene and others leave it. Most of the people who were a goth at the same time I was have mortgages now and are really boring! At the same time we've got loads of teenagers coming in with their own twist on things, with a new look and everything.

"I'd say from the 80s to the 90s the goth look was quite traditional - fishnets, PVC, drainpipes and backcombed hair. Then the 90s brought UV and the dancey goths. These were the ones wearing cyber-style clothes with bright plastic hair. There was quite a big crossover with the mainstream dance audience then.

"Since about 2002 I'd say we're going back to the trad look but blending it with a 1950s Betty Page look for the girls - and with the rock/indie look for boys. I see loads of people with stripey tops, drainpipe jeans, Converse trainers and a black mullet haircut. That's a popular look for both sexes which is quite androgynous.

Pinstripe jacket with lace
Pinstripe jacket with lace

"I notice a lot of parallels between high street fashion and what people on the alternative scene wear - it's almost like we have a 'dark' version! Things like pinstripe suits with lace edging, army jackets with skulls on them. Designers like Vivienne Westwood have definitely made goth more accessible.

"Not all goths wear black though. Some will wear all pink, or quite bright colours, it's about doing your own thing within the style.

"I think of goth as being the moodier side to punk. I still know quite a few of the original Birmingham punks who now work for circuses and things like that. They are very much still into it. It's not about being fashionable for them, it's a way of life."

Were you there during the trad or dance days of goth? Email your pictures to: Birmingham@bbc.co.uk

last updated: 15/12/05
Have Your Say
Is the alternatice scene in Birmingham as strong as ever?
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The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Stephen M
I live in Birmingham and am what is probably labelled as a goth.I like metal music, but also classical and jazz and a few other genres. I wear what I feel like and not what I'm told to wear and don't listen to what I'm told to listen to.Goths are people who are what they are, not sheep that listen to pop music, but individuals.Unfortunately in Birmingham, people feel that they must all be the same and listen to pop and get drunk all the time.As for eddies going, there are eddies nights around birmingham, the newt for example have eddies nights on a saturday. there is also malediction for those who don't listen to metal, but are part of the goth crowd.Thanks

GOTH KING OF BIRMINGHAM
1984 WAS MY YEAR IN b.HAM I WS KNOWN AS THE GOTH kING AS DID SO FOR HTE NEXT 6 YRS . tHE MUSIC , THE SHOPS , THE PEOPLE - i DID IT ALL AND NOW bIRMINGHAM HANGS ON - ALONG WIH THE SAD HANGER ONS WHO NEVER WANT TO EVOLVE OR CHANGE OR GROW - THROW AWAY YOUR TAT AND LIVE FOR THE NOW - GOTH HAD DIED AND LET THE TINY EYELINED BOYS HAVE THIER DAY

louise chandler
i call myself a punk i go out to gigs and have a great time but im not in my 14 hole red docs every day.i spent 3 years hanging arround up town. in forum and gardens hehe i had a great time. drinking and escaping from everything but every one has to grow up! all the oldies moved on bout 2 years ago and i stopped going just after that. these days all the kids up there are really imature and i found myself trying to stop them chucking plants off a bridge at cars. the oldies would never have aloud all these kids making it hell for people to even walk near us. we may have looked abit strange but we were nice.now its all changed the kids have big atitudes to fit their look.id like 2 say hello to the oldies mosher tank john ian and people i havent named love ya forever. best band ever!!! nofx in nov fantastic cant wait xxx

beth
i am an goth but i agree the scene of goths,rockers and emos is a lot more hidden because we feel we have 2 because of all these so called chavs i think they dont agree with us because they dont under stand are way of life i dont c how they can bully us because of the way we dress and the music we listen 2 i mean we are all the same im a goth and my boyfreind is an emo but we are so alike i think the best place 4 us is teen culture rock on be who u wana be u only got 1 life live it the way u wana label or no label

Alyss
I don't think the alternative scene is leaving Birmingham with a shop as big as The Oasis Sore.The alternative scene has dimminished genrally but it's picking up again as people like the Suicide Girls and more bands are becoming known.

Louise
I live in birmingham and am a local in oasis market, hardley goth i have too admitt!

katlyn
im not so much emo as i am punk but i like wearing black and im not going to stop cuz that is me and i like it!!!

commander S
I can only see one phase which is sweeping through the country like a bad disease and sorry to say that is chav’s (OW THANK YOU America for that one….. Can we nuke em for that!!!?)Back the Goth thing good luck with the chavs lol There may be some errors in this document as windows Vista is not that good with voice recognition Microsoft are working on it

Jo
Where the hell have all the goth kids gone? im 15 now in year 10 and i remember being in year 7 and there being loads of really cool angry looking goth girls in my school wwho would give me and my mates dirty looks when we first started trying to copy their ways.....but now ive matured quite alot and looking back i would have given me a dirty look too...i looked like an idiot.... anyway...now looking below me at the year 9s, they are all stupid little emos n scene!they are all over the shopping centres and worst of all camden...

Demi :)
i have a brother leigh ,and he is a full on goth and i love him to pieces and i love his friends to, people i hate is ,the ones who gudge them and are liek ewww a goth shut up you **** i am personally not a goth but i listen to heavy metal and that because i wana and i think they have guts and i ow them that . and they most likely help you out if you need it , i was in pidgen and i nerly got robbed and a load of them came over and beat the living day lights out of the people , so i honestly love them :) and i think enybody who gudges them need a smack in the face . i have a lot of tatoo's so i get called a goth and that and i have a stretcher and im just like you don't even know the meaning so be quiet :) but i love all my tatoo's ive got two sleeves my back my legs and my boobs :) and it was my brother who inspired me . so don't think bad of them i dont.!

babe
yes..and i luv it

Selene
Goth is a xubculture of art, creativity & intellectuality, not just about the music & wear. They all strive to creat. Punk is a subculture that's anti prediges & rebels against the monarchy(so I've eard, though I could be wrong on that part). They're 2 diffrent subcultures, so no Goth isn't a moodier side to punk! & you're right, Goth isn't all about wearing white!

mesha
wicked rock i love it keep it up

scarlett
deffinately!! the oasis market is as full as ever and all you have to do is look around and theres plenty of strangley dressed people thats the best thing about brum!!!!!!!!!!

Jeremy Ferris
Emos are doing my head in, they rip us Goths off, and call it an extra scene? pfft, we have been doing everything and mixing everything properly alternative with any scene for decades, bring back true goths, one for instance the Bartons Arms, 144 high street Aston, Birmingham B6 4UP hold gothic ball nights that rock the socks off all this rubbish being played out nowadays, And Psiclone rocks :P

Louise
I have lived in Liverpool for many years and grand central is emo central - there is only one goth shop - plus the rock scene is slipping away as now the Krazy House opts to play things like Gwen and anyother type - when I remember the first floor used to packed with goths and now they have more or less disappeared from Liverpool with only a few of us left

avril knox 666
i love the cyber goth scene. im really into that with the colourful dreadlocks. yes the goth scene in Birmingham is as strong as ever.

Emma
my friends are all grungers then there is one goth and a few emos but im more a skater then anything i think that people should dress how they feel like not like how everyone else is we are all different. thanks for reading . emma

TWIGG
id proberbly say yeah. most people just copy each other. its pathetic, you shud just follow your own self of mind to see which "scene" suits you the best.

linda fennell
i was a punk/goth through the early eighties my daughters are now "goths "but i belive that everyone has a right to express themselves in a way that suits them and yes we may grow old and boring but it is aways there in your heart.........it will live on everything has its bad days....

Steph.S
Their are too many chavs in Birmingham, it is the home of chavs! WHAT HAPPENED TO SKATERS & GOTHS??

JaDeY
The Alternive scene in birmingham is still very strong, pigoen park is always full of Altertive people and the gardens by symphony hall

joel
anyone know if oasis is open on sundays lookin for new jeans and other stuff? thanks =D

Not important
You Live once. Then you die. You get burned, burried, and slowly your body disintergrates. Be yourself, do what you want to do to be happy. Because at the end of the day, and the end of your life, all you have left are your memories of the years you have left behind. Do not live to other peoples expectations. Your life is your own. Be happy.

Trisha Clinton
I don't know about the Birmingham scene but you should check out the Liverpool scene.From being a hotspot of chavs now every saturday mosher, goths, emos, indie's and metalhedas have been metting up in Liverpool.I'm a teenage goth and i've been going to Liverpool all my life.It wasn't always like this.Check out the scene and look out for hangouts like 'courts' and 'peir' plus the huge mosher shopping centre 'grand central'.It's amazing.

SaRaH
you goooo ashley.. love you goths and emo & rockers. xx

SaRaH
I'm an emo but it dont really matta if goths, rockers or punks are the the same and everybody is different. I'm proud of being an emo so.. Life life to the max.. because it rocks!

dragqueenPEGGie/paul.
I was very upset when my friend called to tell me edmwards no.8 had burnt down.it was my fasvorite night spot.I made a lot of fabulous friends there,people i wuold have never have met otherwise!it was somewhere i could go to in my 1940¬s outfits and very tall heels and not get stoned(i mean clubbed to a bloody death stoned!).but of course i allways attracted nutters.but even they were nice.The broken mirror in the upstairs gents toilet made me look like a film star.i would really love to know where to meet the arty wunderfull people who used to go to edwards.my address is p_a_ull@yahoo.co.uk. i was the bonkers looking tranny on the sofa in either an R.A.F.UNIform or a jackie kennedy sixties outfit.with lots of blak lipstick.i usually fell over at about halfpast twelve after six gins.i wish i had had enough courage to talk to more of the colorful people there .thank you everybody at edwards for not beating me to death for being a bit different.love paulxxxxxxxx

Uzi
thank god goth culture is leaving birmingham, good riddens

Raech
Bham Rules for shoping :P...Goths, townies, Chav w/e...... hey! a community of different species. Its grand.... It all depends on their mentallity. No ones a wanna b, they just are who they are

ashley
im a rocker and i think goths are really cool. woohoo go u guys

jess
What is it with the labels??? Emo... Scene... Goth... what are all you on about...people are who they want to be not what you label them as... Steve if you think you know it was come on then What are emos?? emo dosent mean anything its juist another stupid label that someone has made up.. Yeh i understand there are darker peoplethan others...is there any need for lables... labels go on soup NOT PEOPLE...KKTHANKS...BYE

richie sonic
the gothic scene started to loose ground in birmingham around 1986,with even the kings of alt THE CULT turning to a U.S.A STYLE ROCK..THE SISTERS,PLAY DEAD,SEX GANG ,BAUHAUS were all fighting internal battles and not touring,live gigs kept the goth scene in birmingham together .Electro goth followed and the truth is that this has a watered down inpact live when the numbers dropped of so did the pubs with sat at the mercat and weekends at the toreador only and a room in now the huge rock clubs.when they redeveloped the bull ring the last city centre pub was lost just like ,steptoes, the tin can,the barrel organ,zig zag,the powerhouse and alike, the goth scene in birmingham is not dead,far from it, but underground

steve
What the hell has happened to brum and alt scene?? where it was once really good ie mercat,toreador,pen & wig and costers.Now its just full of marilyn manson wannbe's and stupid emo's. And where have all the goths out of eddies gone over the past 5 - 10 yrs its a real shame!!

Jay
In my eyes the goth scene died out many years ago in birmingham. Goth in my eyes are people who listen to the classic bands like sisters of mercy and bauhaus, the cure, gary numan, sousixie and the banshees etc. nowadays goth takes on a different image a few years ago people who walked around listening to marilyn manson with inverted crosses got labelled with goth personally i labelled them 'idiots' todays modern goth as you might say to me take on a more modern approach of yes wearing black and some make up but generally listens to alot of electronic and dark wave music including industrial and ebm the term goth has also taken a new leap into the cyber goth category and wear alot of bright colours with additions to their hair etc the modern goth culture is hard to categorise because like all cultures so many sub genres have been formed i just say let people like what they like wear what they like and stop labelling people its labels like that ruin equality in this world. That is my personal opinion.

Dammed Dave from Redditch
ts all good stuff, we grow old and we die we always know that! Except some who wanted to be dead by 30, Now we are in a late 30's and look back on the darker days with a smile on our faces at the things we did and the people we did it too. In my time we all wanted dark sleaze, I remember dancing to Martin & Heat by soft cell at the Cage at Edwards No8, we all wanted more! we were divided, judging each other who was the most Goth!.. (How said was that!) If I know then, what I now; I would kiss and hug my darkest foe….and sing, laugh and dance! Back and forth of course! We all had the broken rejected heart of Goth and wanted the powers of the vampire for revenge. We wanted to be something more, perhaps if we all look back now and wonder if we were immortal; surly we would want to change? Would we want more…? Some colour surely … but now our hair gets shorter, we wear the suit to work, and smile at the teenies in their PVC and wish we could get our evil little hands on them. I can’t help but think, I was there and I want to tell them! But I stand back and watch them go. Because like we did we would just sit and judge. LOL – it never goes… long lives the Goth inside, the wolf in sheep’s clothing. xxx

Clara 13
STOP USING THE WORD LABEL. THERE IS NO LABEL 2 LIFE OR UR LIFE STYLE! GOTH OR PREP DON'T USE THEM AS LABELS THEY ARE A WAY OF LIFE! But preps do annoy me.

Euryleia (ex-Birmingham resident)
Just to add in one of few comments that don't sound as though it's been written by a six-year-old... The goth scene in Birmingham is a joke now. I lived there for a few years and since I've moved almost all the nights have declined if not stopped altogether (RIP Mercat, Foundry, Toreador). Despite goths not causing anywhere near as much of a hassle compared to chavs, we still find it incredibly hard to find venues that are willing to accept us for long periods of time, not to mention those people who can be bothered to get off their backsides and go to something that isn't Edwards No.8, which near enough has the monopoly on the goth scene here. Lisa, the Birmingham Uni Goth Society (which I was actively involved in) and the Brain Dead Collective have done well for themselves in trying to keep other nights going but a lot of it comes down to the stagnation of the few goths who come out, and their laziness in keeping something new going, which then leads them to complain about having nothing new to do. Aside from that, "goth" now seems to be considered as teenagers in black eyeliner and Slipknot hoodies, crying over Kurt Cobain or someone else who died before they were born and barely have any clue of who Robert Smith or Siouxsie are.

sami
i am an ex goth an all ma m8s r goths hu rele cares wot ur lable is im undiffined an dont care

its not wrong 2 catie aka dark goth
lovey i think u got the wrong end of the coffin the 1 b4 yours i not on about old goths, she honna abt old and middle aged people giving u grief, and that chavs always get the blame when in this person's view i think she means that middle aged and old people r enemies in diguise and that people shouldn't igore that they give more grief than chavs

catie aka Dark Goth
hey man! gothic will never grow old. it proves who we are!!!!!! for get all you people who are genst it!!! i will always stand proud about me and my gothic antics!!!!!!!! just remeber who you are and what we do! gothic just proves one thing!!!!! we are dif' and you ohter goths and old goths should be proud of who you were!!!!!!!! and that last comment to this b4 mine.......like i said GOTH WILL NEVER GROW OLD! good bye

respect u're younsters
u know its not just chavs + townies that give us grief in birm or outside, at least they say to u're face we get grief from really 2 faced people, but no 1 hates them i'm talking here middle aged, old people,+ even people from ethnic groups they say behind u're back the point is every 1 is narrow minded they go on about racism being wrong then hate people who are skaters well u're racist for stereotyping a deviant subcultural group, they have culture and beliefs just like coloured peope do the point is chavs are straight forward middle aged + old people give us grief thats what they wantto c chavs+ goths hating each other its pathtic don't respect u're elders, they're conservative fools that don't want no social chnage, if we resepect them, racism will still be going + there will be no punks, goths, skaters, altrernatives, townies, chavs, its good we have diff groups u can pick + choose its not obvious racism but think abt it, there no colour issue , but u're steretyping peoplem bec the way they dress + they listen to , its as good as racism, no need for an obvious colour, to call it racsim yeah i hate middle aged + old people can u blame me though they're so evil whats worse is chavs + goths get grief when u know who really deserves the grief plz put this up, if racisom from ethinc groups is overcome then 1 day in birm + elsewhere racism towards these heavy rock groups, can't be asked to list them out nad chavs should end i ain't no chav, but i'm fed up off with young people arguing y not argue with middle aged + old people they're the enemy in diguise, really 2 faced, evry 1 2 faced or else u can't survive but they're more 2 faced

TJ
I'm a girl who is going to change my style. I like goths style and some goth and lolita things. I feel like it's so chaming. But here in my city I couldn't find the place to but some goths clothes and stuffs. YES,it's big but no place for Goths clothes that I love here in my city. I wants someone who is interrested in and understand us sell some clothes on. Thank you.

its not wrong
thanks $emo-viki-$

$emo-viki-$
i'm a not labeled but ppl call me a emo, nufink wrong wiv dem, there wikid, they may b the stressed, depressin sort but der kool, goths wear black n listen to death metal n do black magic moshers are lyk sk8ers simple

its not wrong
ARE GRUNGERS MOSHERS AND GOTHS THE SAME OR DO GRUNGERS LISTEN TO NIRVANA AND WEIRD ROCK AND ARE MOSHERS DIFF FROM GOTHS AND GRUNGERS DIFF FROM GOTHS AND MOSHERS

DEVIL IS NOT EVIL, CONFORMISTS + CONTROLLERS ARE
WORLD IS A BIG JOKE, MARILYN MANSON IS RIGHT TO SAY THAT DEVIL=REBELLION skaters,goths,emos, punks alternatives + grungers exp racism from mainstream of all races, bec of the way they dress, music they listen to, their norms + values. racism towards other races is wrong but so is racism towards these heavy rock groups, used to be the norm to be racist towards other races, now its not mainstream still racist stereotyping skaters, emos, alternatives,goths, punks + grungers.

loadfire
do u ever think that diff groups ever date each other or be frinds, in birm or outside birm, e.g. punk dating alternative/skater/emo/goth/grunger or be friends with these, instead of punk dating punk always, i don't see whats wrong with it, + stops those from diff groups diss each other, i.e. punks hating emos, emos hating goths, goths hating everyone else, end this, be friends + date,

weirdo dredo
chavs don't care about u mind u're own firm chavs diss anything diff + threat+ a mainstream won't accept diff buts is not jsut chavs like this anyone mainstream is, just like we hate mainstream, see u threat we differ, don' t follow the 'norm', i not chav, altrenative but can work out mainstrema chavs + people been with for along time, love slang cut off many words, no freshie

destroyer
soz, goths are not the moddy version of punks, goths + not from the usa, punks originally started out, they're from scandivan countries, Norway + Sweeden + have,have no link with punks, sox don't ask usa + classic electronic rock lovers i.e. iron maiden, don't know what goths are, marilyn manson + wedneday 13th, proves how over dramaticed usa are, goths are human, not vampires, draculas, + witches are not goths or gothic

weirdo dredo
are emo and punks originally start from the USA or the UK

weirdo dredo
1. are emos, punks and skaters USA or the UK, 2. are UK and American skaters the same? ( i mean in terms of music and apperance and the girlfirends they choose is she townie blonde or a skater girl) anyone know please answer my ques?i'm an alternative i'm just curious

loadfire
the goth scence is not better to be individual, the alternative scence is better to be an individual, goths, skaters punks and emos should be what they are, okay u don't have to dress like these groups all the time, but at least sometimes and don't put down those who do dress like goths, skaters, emos and punks, that up to them and no its not boring, its better, usher is boring with his annoying face and ugly eyes and fashion taste seriously emmi, there is nothing wrong with skull clothes and wearing black, its such a gorgeous colour that unforunately its becoming mainstream fashion, individual does not exist this is made up all styles will be copied by some minority groups. usher , top shop people is not alternative to the scence of goths, skaters, punks and emos, it may be that u're just more comfortable with dressing like usher, snoop dog, but the issue here is not individual or alternative as the style exists already,goths rule, i'm an emo guy, but out of all the groups skater and goths males are the fitty ones, i'm not gay but i can see why females find them attractive unlike mainstream guys like usher. i know this girls's sister who's into r and b hip hop reggae and garage and she adores goths, shows that they are great looking, dudes don't be ashamend, my girlfriend sammy keeps going on about how much she loves goths and skaters guys i terms of apperenace, fahsion and music and she's an emo, INDIVIDUAL DOES NOT EXIST NOR DOES ALTERNATIVE, USHER IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE, NO ONE IS FACE FACTS STOP DREAMING PEOPLE

socks
coming from a technology point of veiw, the only way for the alt. culture to go is cyborg. soon people will combine technology with fashion, in a way never before seen. in the next few years we can expect to see the rise of sites such as my space, which has already proved itself by taking up 14% of the internet traffic GLOBALLY. Piercings will give way to RFID implants which will identify you, without the need for cards or fingerprints. everyone in retail can benefit from this as they can now open the till by swiping their hand instead of a little key. much more secure. much more cool. contact lenses with terminator style software to help you identify friends you met while drunk, which way to walk to work, and even live action video games while you walk down the street. you can even buy cars with ipod inputs. where will it end? we are the ones who will decide, the youth of the technology age. oh and goth is all about doing it your way, see southpark for more details.

Kimba
I used to be heavily into RnB because my whole family is into it apart from my other sister (she's into both) anyway now I'm into Indie stuff. It's weird because my mom actually wants me to be a full out goth, (she encouraged me to buy newrocks!), but it doesn't make a difference to me. I try to dress Indie but It's all about the music to me. I think the Indie look is cool etc but I can't afford it! I think that the alternative scene in Brum is always getting bigger, if you see the que outside of Teen Culture you'll get what I mean. About 80% of the kids in my new class are all into Indie music just all different types. I don't know what Birmingham was like in the 80's but I reckon the scene is always changing and it's really hard to keep track of all the people in the alternative scene. Call me biased etc. but everybody in the scene seems really young to me, I have no idea what happens when they get older maybe it's just a lot more subtle!

Raziel
i luv the pinstripe jacket thingy. it isooooooooooo cute! i luv any goth clothing that reveals some skin. i'm a corset person and love those sweet fluffy mini skirts. i wear em all the time. my mum's cool with it though!

its not wrong
i love 'me's comment about no one on this site being a goth i agree, but i am in terms of music, clothing wise i dress like a skater, baggy jeans and dark long baggy tops, i can't be sasked with fish nets and skirtts i love the hardcore baggy image for females that don't reveal flesh, i evn hate long skirts the point is goths rule and diss chavs and townies like hell, they diss us so we're equal in terms of dissing so what, why should we suck up to mainstream, they're rude to us, when to shop in Woolworth people even the staff gave me the evil, if it was my way i'l mhave go at them how dare they judge us, diss diss i hate mainstream people, chavs and townies

megan
i am a goth but i do not thinkl it is fair that the way chavs bully goths just the way the dress and i think that is wrong and i think goths ROCK!

Lauryn
make way for emo's. we gona rule! anything alternataive- rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but u show 1 streak of individuality nad what happens........... CHAVS HATE YOU AND HARRASS YOU, why/ can anybody tell me why? we mind our own business and get all this hassle for no reason. woah *rant over* (for now)

me
no the alternative scene in birmingham sucks! no one on this site is a goth!

wolves rule
alter scence is great if u alternative, but not ace for groups u can not assoiate with,i'm a punk, and i love to be friends with punks and death metal lovers because they have more music taste in common with me than alternatives, it is best to have a bit of both, both alternative and selective groups i.e. emos, punks to suit everyone rather than 1 or the other

i'm not a feminist
well having a different personality doesn't necessairly make it alternative, i agree with what u've said about different clothing and music alone, but the inner self alone is not alternative u could get a townie who's into mainstream music and clothing but a different innerself doesn't make them an alternative, to be honest, clothing, music and the innerside that are cruical, however i do agree with u that jst because u dress different doesn't make u special, or an alternative, looking deeper by discoveribg the person, makes it more alternative, but even with being somebody surely there is a limit to how many different personalities that it will become common i.e an ugly person with a great personality, but is so common given their physical apperance, if u ask me alternative does not exist its just so complex that eventaully music, clothes and personality will be copied by a minority of groups which doesn,t necessairly make it alternative, but how u dress and what u listen too is very vital its say something about u,most people into punk music tend to be aginst wars for instance

Alternating
The true 'alternative lifestyle' will not be found in wearing different clothes and liking different music. It is in being somebody.

its not wrong message for emmi
there is nothing wrong with wearing skull and being a goth, if u're ashamed to be a goth then year dress like usehr suits u very well, but being goths, skaters , provides a sense of identity, like race, religion, cultural beliefs, and usher is not a great alaternative he is very common, and embarassing to choose if u're into the goth music, u're better off being an emo, don't put goth downs, they're more attractive than chimpy usher, this message may be offenisve emmi, but u're an embarassment to our groups, IGNORE TOWNIE COMMENT, the goth scence is not individual that is a matter of people choosing to

BEN
I'd say the scene in the midlands has died down a bit recently, thankfully people seen to have grown up, and stopped saying "i'm goth, i'm punk, i'm cyber" i'm from Leicester and dj at an alternative club 'Autonomy' occasionally, and used to care so much about how people on scene would percieve me, and so would make the biggest effort to be the one who 'stood out' the most. But have now realised that thats not what its about. A 'scene' rotates around music, for example the music on the 'cyber scene' is rather different to that on the 'punk scene', and unfortunately people seem to believe that if they listen to a certain style of music they have to dress in a certain way. This is not true at all! people..... dress how you want, look how you want,,, 'the freak' do you not think that you sound like one of those 'chavs' yourself when you single someone out for there musical and fashion style.... everyone is as bad as each other.

ThE.FrEaK
MESSAGE FOR: burnzey yeah yeah, i know your message says **do not read if easily offended** but i dont give one so i read it anywayz. being a goth aint about cutting and i dont know a single goth lesbian so shut up! i think u need to research some more before you go on at people about how goth kids ruin the worlds image, and stop offending other people's taste in music. *case closed* your probably just one of those lame chavs anywayz! being gothic rules, i should know that coz i am one.

KaT
i am a goth - people think its all about being depressed and hanging round graveyards .. no it isnt ! we can have fun if we want to ! its not just for punks and moshers .. i live in oxford and theres loads of alternative people here ! for god sake i have 2 goths + 2 hippys for friends ! birmingham is very aternative and i want it to stay that way . KaT dArKo .

burnzey
**DO NOT READ IF EASILY OFFENDED** I don’t live in Birmingham, but I’m sure its no different/similar to Manchester, little kids running round in slipknot hoodies cutting (lightly marking top of the skin) themselves with compass' and then putting pictures up on myspazz (myspace) or talking about how they kissed (two girls) and are now lesbian and will never have a "b/f" again, kind of makes you want to move far away, and the whole new 'emo' scene makes me sick bad hair, awful music, s*itty musicians, but as most things its jus a phase impressionable kids go through, it was metal awhile ago ‘ooo lets go listen to mudvayne and slipknot’ what will it be next?....I don’t dare to think. I really hope Birmingham isn’t like Manchester and this phase isn’t sweeping through the country like a bad disease. I hope I’m not alone on this and others actually feel this way! If you are emo here are a few bands to check out: arch enemy, skindred, god forbid, children of bodom, lamb of god….led zeppelin, the beatles, pink floyd, the who…..naughty by nature, public enemy, NWA…….pendulum, infected mushroom, hallucinogen. And to those who conform to one type of music I pity you. If you read all this I hope you took something from it, if you read the 1st few lines and then decided it was too long I’m glad you didn’t read it I hope you go through life deciding things are to hard and lets see where it gets you =). Thanks for reading my ramble. **DO NOT READ IF EASILY OFFENDED**

ryan harrison
i was wondering whether there are any goth christmas events over the coming weeks, particularly in birmingham? how does the christmas spirit fit in to the goth way of thinking? are peoples' preconceptions that goths don't celebrate xmas because it's too jolly and merry? what do they think of santa clause? and would he look better in different colour clothes, maybe black or pink? who is it best to contact with regards to any goth information in birmingham?

shaun
there still is a goth scene in birmingham eddies is still popular but emo does tend to be what people tend to favour at the moment and it sucks hehe i like allsorts of music im not a goth tho id say im an individual

Emmi
The goth scence is better to be 'individual'. Who wants skull and crossbones tattoes when you look like usher! I'm not a full goth in terms but it's mine and my friends style. It's what we think is comfortable and fun. Who wants to be boring? Not goths! You may think black, black and more black is 'boring', but you see more goths, skaters and emos taking art for GCSE and A-level. We have more creative ideas. But we need more places to express our feelings in the West Midlands and not just in Birmingham.

emo_fantsy
skater-out but the goth and emo scene is in and emo goes well back 2 the 60s and emo isnt all about being depressed like me im POST EMO thats emo but with out all the suicidel crap but apart from that this is a very good look at the scene of birmingham

Rose
I think that the goth/rocker scene in Birmingham is good, but i think the abuse recieved from chavs sucks. Teenage rockers seem to stay around the areas of Oasis, Pigeon park, The Forum and New street.The Emo scene has defo taken over, but if u look in the right places there are still alot of goths around. Besides goths, emos, punks, skaters all seem to get along when it matters. And rockers don't particuarly mind chavs eitha.... chavs mind us !!

hannah
i think that the Emo-Screamo scene is take over.. Teehee. I dont like it when something becomes to mainstream, so, i dont mind things being ''forgotten''

Bergeroo
But the question is - does G(g)oth have a capital letter or not? People just can't seem to decide... Perhaps that's what is dividing the G(g)oth community!

Ryan Carter
The Goth Scene,The Rocker Scene and the Skaters have all deteriorated.Mainly due to the lack of Areas to "hang out",the publics view on the alternative lifestyle and the predjudice of people.I am and always will be an alternaive lifestylist,and i will miss the day that the scene dries out in Brum.

Tree
The goth scene in Brum has suffered since the closure of the Toreador and the Mercat pubs. The main problem at the moment is that everytime we get a venue off the ground and it gets busy the venue holders get greedy and price the event out of the market for the organisers. There are an awful lot of goths in Birmingham of all ages, what we're missing is a pub we can drink in safely. The zombified nights and B3 have been the best nights in the last 12 months, but aren't on very often.

Pez
Birmingham is ace for alternate people. Oasis Market, Cult and Editions are the best places to go and there is loads of stuff for alternate people to do at the Carling Academey for us. I agree that the goth rate is declining but so many people are doing their own thing and its ace!

Sara Westwood
I listen to the alternative genre of music and I'm from Birmingham! I agree that the scene in Birmingham is shrinking. There arn't as many places to go and the club night that are avalible dont last along time (eg, deranged @ 9bar, cult club etc) If they dont end completely, they are moved from venue to venue but not advertised so people just dont know! Birmingham is a growing city and as it grows it becomes more and more commercial, this isnt necessarily a bad thing as many people in the alternative genre seem to think. Everyone is very quick to jump on the 'I hate chav bandwagon' however they have the wrong opinion of what a chav, townie, kev etc is! Look at London, there are limited amount of alternative venue's there aswell which means that a growing city loses some of its variation during its change from small to large. You cant expect everyone to like the same thing and people who claim to be different or alternative expect other alternative people to act the same as them, this just isnt the case. We all like different things and the place which appeal to this variation will last the test of time! Club nights thrive on commericalism, they play what is wanted and therefore what is commercial. Yes the scene is shrinking but is it not just the change it what people want rather than the people changing althogether! I love my city, for me there is nowhere better, I wouldnt want london, manchester etc and I'm happy with the fact that the scene is shrink because it brings everyone closer who enjoys a certain type of music, we are a community within a community and we should be happy about that rather than complain about it!

Diane
I was a goth in my teens and early twenties but it gets quite difficult to get a job with black nails and eyeliner (i was a nursery nurse at the time)

Katie Finch
It's great to see a feature about the goth scene in brum! I agree that there are less goth nights in Birmingham now but I don't think that the demand is any less. I think that a lot of people felt they didn't have anywhere to go out when The Mercat in Digbeth closed down which was a great loss. But on the other hand ex-birmingham university students The Brain Dead Collective have done some great nights where they have had live bands on, and there was Lisa's night at B3 as well. I think the problem is getting enough people to know about the newer nights perhaps, and so they tend to fold. I think that the goth scene is as strong in Birmingham as anywhere but there is a problem with getting people to actually dress up and get out there rather than staying at home. Come on guys!

Hel
I was a goth back in the day! grew out of it though, its old now

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