Thursday, 8 August 2013

Embracing our inner Goth

Be warned this is a long post, but a good one. Read some, have a break and go and read the rest. You have been warned.

We love live music. FACT. We love 80’s synth pop. FACT. Violins are a surprisingly good addition to electronic dance music. FACT. We love introspective lyrics and literary references. FACT. So, ergo, we adore The Crüxshadows.

Image result for cruxshadows

We have been fans of this band since hearing their album Wishfire back in the late 1990s. They are part of the Gothic Darkwave movement (characterised by deep often sorrowful lyrics and lots of sound effects like echo and delay and layers of sound--think The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil).  Their lyrics often tell stories based on Greek or Egyptian mythology. Their songs have a real spiritual/religious flavour and they always thank God in their liner notes.

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You would think by how scary they look they would be all Satanist --we’ve certainly known people who only liked them because they thought they had “come over to the dark side” but they only believed in what they saw-- if you dig deeper this band is much on the side of “the Force.”

In an interview from,  Rogue the lead singer and writer and inspiration behind The Crüxshadows  says :
wouldn't this make a great tattoo?

(The) definition of is the Latin word for "cross." Our English usage of the word being derived from the idea of the crossing point...anyway, cross plus shadow equals "shadow of the cross." That is its literal are familiar with the band's logo? Well, the symbol for our band is a cross (a tribal eastern orthodox cross to be precise) with a field of light on one side and a field of dark on the other.

What is important here is the idea of exclusion...or outsiders...because when all is flooded with light the cross will still render a shadow; a place the light can't reach. Unfortunately it is mankind's tendency towards intolerance to eliminate or dismiss all who are different, or "unworthy."

During the crucifixion of Christ, the people who stood in the shadow of the cross were effectively the most loyal and, in a sense, special of his followers. This is despite the fact that they were outcast from society...they were women, prostitutes, tax collectors, and beggars; quite literally the underclass in Jewish and Roman culture. Yet they were able to succeed in something that the "stronger" more accepted classes failed in. So what does this have to do with us...? Well cruxshadow being a word of my own design, I attached to it the meaning of those "who are made outsiders by society, but who through their actions or ideas, become true insiders." Or more succinctly stated: the subset of the outsider. In mathematical terms a subset is one that is contained within, yet does not contain the larger set as a whole. If you again look at the CXS symbol, you will see two concentric circles which references this idea...that the outsiders are in essence, closer to the center.

Their lyrics are positive and upbeat and give empowerment to the underdog--that sense of find the good in yourself and make the world better and don’t worry if you are different from the rest. No matter how you dark you look, there is light inside you. They are like the Christian band that isn’t labeled as such. The liner notes to their newest CD As The Dark Against My Halo say:

 The soul is a fragment of God, an electron to the atom of deity. God is within us as we are within God….our struggle is a fraction of the higher conflict of Good and Evil, Love and Hate, Order and Entropy. We determine the path and location of the particles within our sphere.

 In their CD Dreamcypher they have the epic journey of the hero through ancient Greek mythology. The hero gets advice from Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom in the song Sophia which says:

Look to find a soul filled with compassion
Look to see a living source of light

Do not injustice to another
Defend the weak and innocent
Let truth and honor always guide you
Let courage find the light within

Stand up when no one else is willing
Act not in hatred or in spite
Be to this world as a perfect knight
Even if it means your life

How Quaker is that? I love all the references to Light. There is also a song called Ariadne which seeks to employ Ariadne to find forgiveness in her heart after Theseus abandoned her after she helped him kill the minotaur and escape the labyrinth. In the original Greek story, she is so overcome with grief she curses him and  the punishment of the Gods is that he forgets to change the sails on the ship from black to white leading his father to believe that he had died (the black sails would mean he had not survived the ordeal with the minotaur) and his father King Aegeus threw himself into the sea and drowned. The Aegean sea is named in his memory.


We interrupt this blogpost to say :
This is the point where you might want to have a potty break or grab a cup of tea and a biscuit.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogpost. 

Why am I telling you all this? Because we saw them live last night in a club called the Purple Turtle in Camden town!!!

We went early so we could have a bite to eat at Leon—this healthy fast food place. We had a lovely curry with sweet potato and cauliflower and coconut milk over brown rice with a refreshing fruit drink (I had lemon, lime and ginger with a mint leaf and Spiderman had white tea with peach) all for about £13. Then we slowly strolled to Camden Town and played spot the Goth (who did we think was going to the concert). When we arrived at the club it was clear we weren’t the normal clientele. I think we were the only people there not dressed in all black with skulls all over our clothes and kicker boots or hair the colour of a slush puppy. But it didn’t matter. We got a booth at the back with some of the older rockers and sat through two opening bands who were a bit loud. But then about 9:30 The Crüxshadows came out and Spiderman stayed back in the booth to tap his foot vigorously and I rushed up to the dance floor so I could see better and so I could dance. I nabbed a great spot at the back right behind the exit door because no one could stand in front of me because they would block the door.

It started with the band on stage and Rogue wandered in from the back through the crowd—right next to me!!!! Then they sang the most amazing songs from their new CD As The Dark Against My Halo (there is even a song on their new CD about Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Match Girl!!! How cool is that???)and Rogue moved around quite a bit—he had to pass by me several times. At one point he walked by me, went up the stairs and climbed over the railing and sang, then he climbed onto of the woodwork over the exit door and sang some more before he jumped down and walked through the crowd back to the stage. Then later after singing on the stage for a bit he came back to where I was and got a stool and carried it carefully into the crowd and stood on it and sang. At one point he was up front standing on the giant speaker singing. In a small club it gave lots of people a good chance to see him better, particularly if you were short. When he was singing on the speaker the song was Indivisible which quoted from the 23rd Psalm! Seriously!  

At the point when Rogue had come to get the stool, I moved to get out of the way, after he passed I swooned a bit and an older Goth who looked just like Vivian Westwood said to me, “I know just what you mean, darling.”

 They also sang a few favourites from Dreamcypher –the songs Sophia (see above) and Birthday (see below)

Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life, what do you want to do?
Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life, you haven't got forever
And tell me what really matters
Is it the money and the fame?
Or how many people might eventually know your name?
But maybe you touch one life
And the world becomes a better place to be
Maybe you give their dreams another day
Another chance to be free

 It ended with a rousing sing-a-long version of Marilyn, My Bitterness from Telemetry of a Fallen Angel. But the best bit for me was where I was standing I could see the feet of his little girl on the stairs to the left of the stage. They had on pink sparkly shoes with light up bit as the heels (just like daddy’s costume) and her little feet were just tapping away to the music. When they came offstage I saw a pair of tiny arms shoot up in the “pick me up!” pose and I saw him bend down and scoop her up. I only hope she was wearing those protective earphones as it was really loud. The picture below is so sweet I couldn't resist putting it in.
Image result for cruxshadows rogue and anmi

At the end of the show Rogue came into the crowd to meet fans. Spiderman just said something like “Great show, we really enjoyed it!” and Rogue hugged him!!!!! So I said, “Thank you so much—awesome show!” and he hugged me too!!!! We were hugged by (sweaty) Rogue!!!! Spiderman would like it noted that being hugged by a rogue is very different from being hugged by Rogue. But that’s the beauty of small club venues. I think our tickets were £14 each.

All in all it was a fantastic evening—we ended up buying several CDs that we didn’t have. The money went straight to the band and not a morally bankrupt company who doesn’t pay their taxes like Amazon.

It was an excellent evening and I can’t stop dancing and Spiderman can’t stop tapping his foot. So that must mean we’re still embracing our inner Goths.

I will leave you with the motto of The Crüxshadows:






1 comment:

  1. I am so happy you had such a fabulous time! I will check them out for sure!