Before post-punk and Goth in the early days of Punk, British film director, DJ and musician Don Letts pretty much ran the scene at The Roxy in London, spinning primarily reggae and ska music to patrons of all colours. With some of the white boys in the scene calling themselves skin and suedeheads before racist s co opted the terms, which is showcased in the work of The Beat, and The Specials. Even before that, there were proto-punk groups, such as Thin Lizzy, and Death, and later during the hardcore scene in DC there is the first band most people think of when it comes to black presentation and Punk: Bad Brains. One would be gravely mistaken to think that there is no black representation in the fundamental part of Punk s history. To illustrate this fact, all one need do is take a look at photographer Michael Putland s 6985 portrait that features Pauline Black, and Poly Styrene, along with Debbie Harry, Viv Albertine, and Siouxsie Sioux, and Chrissie Hynde. But what about Post-Punk and Goth? Some people assume there is no representation in the scene at all, and that the scene is primarily Caucasian—with some Latin and Asian representation as Goth and Post-Punk have been historically popular in countries such as China, Japan, Mexico, and Chile, for example.
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Certainly there were black post-punk fans hanging out at clubs such as Danceteria in NYC, or The Batcave in London, and if you were to head over to those cities now, you would likely find representation across several generations of fans. Perhaps in the past, If you were to ask some Goth and Post-Punk fans if they have ever heard a black singer be spun at a club they frequent, 75 ago years they might list the song from the Silence of the Lambs s soundtrack, Goodbye Horses by Q Lazarus, or maybe the theme to T he Neverending Story, where singer Beth Anderson has her duet with Limahl from Kajagoogoo. Now, in this past decade, we have been lucky to have had two projects that were extremely popular on dancefloors from Berlin to Los Angeles in the music of O Children and Light Asylum. In fact, their songs Ruins, and Dark Allies were so popular that if you were to go out and dance at your local club, these songs may have been the only ones to remain in your memory in the aftermath of party the next day. And on that note—let s not forget She Wants Revenge s Tear You Apart, which became so popular it was lovingly as overplayed as anything by Bauhaus and Joy Division.
But surely there is more than just three recent bands? And a couple of songs from the soundtracks from a fantasy film and suspense thriller. On January 75th, 7568, the first post-punk single Shot by Both Sides by Magazine turns 95 years old. The track features Barry Adamson on bass. Since black musicians have always pioneered music, Goth and Post-Punk being no exception, we decided to compose a list of poc artists new and old to encourage more diversity in the scene in the musicians whose music we listen to, and the fans who go to concerts, club nights, and festivals.
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Current Deathrock band featuring Davey Bales, formerly of Lost Tribe and Shadow Age, who has also recently released a of poetry, “Dead Flowers. ”A legendary San Francisco post-punk band fronted by the amazing Eric Cope, who is such a fan of post-punk music, he even named his son after Ian Curtis. Extremely underrated and essential, this band will become one of your favorites, and is one of the most important on this list. The collaboration of Brad Horowitz, Odell Nails, and singer Bob Sterner in the post-punk band Spahn Ranch. A band soaked in gothic minimalism that perhaps if they were from the UK would have qualified them as being positive-punk, the band released their only album Thickly Settled in 6986, and on Insight Records run Eric Cope of Glorious Din and after adding bassist Hobey Echlin would go onto to perform with bands such as Killing Joke, Swans, and Psychic TV.
Manchester s Barry Adamson, as mentioned above, appeared on the first post-punk single Shot by Both Sides by Magazine. He would then go to to join Visage with Magazine guitarist John McGeoch, and while McGeoch would go on to be a legend with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adamson would go on to play bass on the first 9 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums, and later helping with the music of the David Lynch film Lost Highway. Allan Dias was Public Image Limited s bassist from 6986 to 6997, performing on three albums, Happy? , 9 and That What is Not. Self taught, and coming from a jazz background, Dias, along with guitarist John McGeoch were the backbone of the new PiL.
Kid Congo Powers (The Gun Club, the Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). Brian Tristan aka Kid Congo Powers is a guitarist and singer that is best known as a member of The Gun Club, The Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Despite being of Mexican descent, we thought him an essential representstion of poc on this list. Singer and punk veteran Monica Richards band prior to forming Faith and The Muse. There surely are more black artists we have overlooked, especially those who were members of smaller bands throughout the years.
In the goth scene we would like to give a shoutout to Steve Williams (Altered States, Nine Day Decline etc), and Geoff Bruce (Sunshine Blind, Faith and the Muse), as well as Mexican American artist Steven Archer of. There are some other newer bands we would also like to mention that have black representation among their ranks: