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   Inside Out - North East: Monday 28th October, 2002


Goth with candles
High-profile campaigns have highlighted access issues

Join Inside Out as we take a trip on the darker side of life with Newcastle's Goth subculture.

For many of us a Goth is a strange-looking creature that resembles a cross between a vampire and a zombie.

In reality, Goths are ordinary people who like dressing up and enjoy being part of a lifestyle that is just a little bit unusual.

Many of them have normal jobs just like you and me. We found Goths who were legal secretaries, office workers and shop assistants.

A darker shade of pale

So where did the Goth community start out, and what does its lifestyle involve?

The Goth scene grew out of the post-punk period in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It was partly a rebellious reaction to the colourful disco scene of the Seventies.

Goth jewellery
Punk was the inspiration for the Goth scene

Music was where the Goth scene began with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and Bauhaus fuelling an interest in all things dark, morbid, and angst-ridden.

Today Newcastle's Goth scene is small but vibrant, and boasts booming club nights and gothic gatherings.

Not everybody is a fan, however, and many Goths find themselves taunted, harassed and abused by the Newcastle public.

Gothic horror

So why do Goths elicit such negative reactions from the rest of the public?

Some religious leaders believe that the Goth lifestyle is delivering young people into the hands of satanism, witchcraft and devil worship.

Others just can't understand the Goth lifestyle, and dislike anybody who dares to be different.

Goth with Victorian style dress
Gothic style - ebony is the new black

Newcastle has a reputation for being 'monocultural' with beer and football being the average younster's obsessions.

Anyone who doesn't fit in with the norm is frowned upon and often misunderstood.

Although Goths are generally peace-loving, articulate and non-violent, they're often persecuted and made fun of.

The dark side

Goths are often portrayed as satanists, sado-masochists, depressive, violent and eccentric.

Many stereotypes of Goths exist but practitioners say that these are often misleading.

In reality, there are many types of Goth ranging from the traditional style to the more frivolous 'Glitter-Goth' and the technologically advanced 'Cyber-Goth'.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are Goths with sado-masochistic tendencies, and an interest in the occult.

Cyber Goth
Robotic style. Keen on technology. Indulges in careful use of colour
Glitter Goth
Keen on body sparkle and glitzy make-up. Wears brighter colours
The original .. Think Joy Division, and Siouxsie. Doomy and nihilistic
Perky Goth
Playful Goth. More upbeat and cheeky in style
New Romantic Goth
'New romantic' tendencies. More elaborate in style and dress. White and black abound
Vampy Goth
Think Vampira, bats and black cats. Black lace, white make-up. 19th century gothic horror
Crusty Goth
Hippy tendencies. Matted hair. Tendency to be over 40 years old

Get the Goth look in an hour

The basic Goth wardrobe consists mainly of black but it can include splashes of other colours including white, red, burgundy, purple and cobalt blue.

Here's our guide to creating the Goth look. First of all, you'll need to go on a shopping spree to assemble the following essentials...

  • black jeans, black coat, leather or vinyl jacket or trenchcoat, long black skirt, laced-up trousers, pointy-toed boots with buckles and Doc Martens, black t-shirt, and dark shades

  • long-sleeved white shirt, oversized dress shirt, lace-up shirt or ruffle blouse
Goth girls
Gothic horror show

Pick fabrics like velvet, silk, wool, vinyl, and leather.

Retro and thrift shops are a good starting point.

Think Vampira, Nine Inch Nails and Hammer horror with a touch of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Goths love jewellery with crucifixes, skulls, and bats. Also look out for studded necklaces, anklets and lavish costume jewellery.

Go Goth

Hair dye is a must for the committed Goth. Black and bleached blond dyed hair are most popular but scarlet red, dark burgundy, white and silver are becoming more commonplace.

Make-up is another essential even for boys. Some Goths go for white foundation and powder. Others favour using foundation a shade lighter than their normal skin tone.

As for the rest of the look, go for dramatic black, red and purple eyeliners, charcoal eye powder and smokey dark lipsticks.

Finally, don't forget to use your imagination on your nails and body jewellery.

Pick your style and your look, and you're now ready to join the Goth crowd for a night out on the dark side of the toon.

See also ...

On the rest of the web
Goths in history
Goth net
Academia Gothica
Dark side of the net
Encyclopedia Gothica
Gothic fashion
Corporate Goth

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