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Inside the Batcave: A 1983 news report on the legendary London goth club
10:11 am

Liori Patterson at the Batcave, photo by Pierre Terrasson (via Pinterest)

In 1983, the London Weekend Television series Reporting London paid a visit to the Batcave, the discotheque where Bauhaus, Virgin Prunes, Southern Death Cult, and Alien Sex Fiend performed and Siouxsie Sioux, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, David Tibet, and Youth enjoyed themselves. Everyone says it was goth ground zero.

If you use this for makeup tips, bear in mind that it took more than style alone to create a fabulosity so fabulous. David J remembers that people who frequented the Batcave didn’t take themselves too seriously and liked to laugh, and speaking to LWT 34 years ago, Olli Wisdom, who ran the club and sang in the band Specimen, agreed:

It’s the people that make the atmosphere. It’s not “Suck your cheeks in and pose in the corner.” It’s very friendly. Basically, it’s about fun. It’s about having your tongue firmly in your cheek and being able to laugh at the realities of the day-to-day existence.


Batcave membership card (via Archive of Ephemera)

The music in the clip may not strike you as especially goth—lots of Bowie, a little Stray Cats and Gary Glitter, even a bit of “Radar Love”—nor the Batcave’s clientele, for that matter: one of the dancers is Morten Harket, the singer of a-ha. No, the evil goth darkness is provided by a Welsh miner named Glyn Jones, who appears on camera drinking a pint with his son, a Batcave habitué:

The first time he comes home, I don’t recognize him. I was repulsed by it. He’d been up in London about a fortnight, and he came home one day with his hair blond, and makeup all over his face, and he took one step in front of the door. I caught him by the throat, and I said, “If you ever come home to Ynysybwl, leave your makeup in London where you can wear it, but down here you just don’t do that sort of thing.” The youngsters up there, you know, you live in a different type of world than we do, simple as that.

Watch after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall
10:11 am