Subculture

The goth movement may be viewed as an interplay between the music, the fashion and the people who formed the subculture. The question is, where did the people who joined/formed the emergent subculture come from?

Or, to quote Mick Mercer:

"It stands to reason there is a logical gap between Punk and Goth. It isn't like a whole new audience just appeared from nowhere, which begs the question, who made up that initial crowd?"

There seem to have been three main strands of people who formed the goth gig and club-going crowd.

First, there were the disaffected punks. As stated on the punk page, by the early 80s punk had lost its early inventiveness and become increasingly harsh and stale, offering little of any interest musically.

To quote Mick Mercer again:

"We were all punks who didn't like the more basic form, and in particular it was the Gloria Mundi, Ants, Ultravox crowd who would be seen cropping up at the earlier gigs. You'd think Ultravox might be the sort of band who'd attract the pseudo--trendies, but most of the people at the gigs were total headcases. Ditto The Pack/Theatre Of Hate, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, Sex Gang thing. Every time you'd go to those gigs you'd see the Ants/GM U-vox people."

(Note: Mick Mercer is talking about the John Foxx-era Ultravox, and about the pre-pop era Ants)

Second, and probably later, there were disaffected New Romantics.

The original New Romantics had been a "dressy" reaction against the increasingly harsh and masculine direction of the punk scene, but New Romantic had quickly entered the mainstream, becoming a commercial "pop" scene.

To quote Merlina, talking about the early days of the Batcave:

"For the crowd I was with it was a reaction against New Romantic which had gone distinctly fluffy - Di was wearing frills & every schoolkid had knickerbockers - and NR music, while always more 'poppy/bouncy' had turned plain cheesy (and it takes at least a decade of nostalgia injections to appreciate that kinda cheese!)."

Finally (and this is where I come in), there were the "post-punk teenagers". Too young for punk, and unimpressed by its remnants, we listened avidly to the likes of Joy Division, Bauhaus and Killing Joke on John Peel's radio show, and scoured the music press for similar bands. Going to gigs and clubs, we fell in with like-minded people, and found ourselves part of this thing later called "goth".