Tchat sex goth
The walls were covered with torn bin liners stapled into place and cheesy black spiderwebs dangled from the ceiling.
Then there was the clientele: free, jovial, experimenting regulars who had not a sniff of elitism about them. At the bar Nik Fiend of Alien Sex Fiend could be seen chatting with Nick Cave while Marc Almond milled about the dance floor, watching Specimen play live. How did it bring together those great minds, thinking just enough alike to spark an entire culture that would cross the globe and spawn a million versions of itself?
Whatever it was, it has earned the venue a place in pop culture history as the Goth Garden Of Eden.
Soho’s Batcave club was opened in July 1982 by Olli Wisdom and members of his band Specimen.
It welcomed everything that emerged out of the dark, decadent, oozing by-product bubbling forth from the saccharine rise of the New Romantics.
Imagining the collaborations and mere conversations that may have taken place there are enough to tickle the salivary glands of any goth aficionado. “It was there one night that Lydia Lunch proposed an idea to myself, Marc Almond and Nick Cave that turned into The Immaculate Consumptive, which was a project the four of us did at Danceteria in NYC in 1983.” But in reality the influence of the Batcave was not so direct as to affect the musicians and icons themselves.[Laughs] But that summer we were busy with the beginnings of Alien Sex Fiend - we were recording demos, doing artwork, and all that.From those demos I made a cassette tape that got a review in Melody Maker, describing us as ‘The ugliest thing in the name of music...’ amongst other things!Fiend, “was when they put on a Sex Pistols track...” Nik: “The dancefloor cleared! We took it as a sign that people there had started moving on from punk and were looking for something different, something new.” “It goes against the grain of popular perception, but I remember it being humourous, there was a lot of laughter there. ” remembers David J of Bauhaus, who played gigs in the club. Those gigs were pretty explosive, I remember once Peter (Murphy, Bauhaus singer) smashing all the mirrors on the walls – we were quite wild and abandoned in those days.“I mean superficially and décor-wise it was dark and gloomy for sure, but going against that, the atmosphere that was generated by the clientele was somewhat jocular.” Bauhaus have perhaps the largest part to play in the venue’s crowd. And that was actually the same night that Ian Curtis came down to see us and he met us after.
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I first heard of the Batcave because there was a compilation of Batcave bands called Young Limbs & Numb Hymns. What’s funny is that it was a used record from a record store, but inside the vinyl gatefold, someone had put a newspaper clipping that was all about the club with a picture of Specimen’s Jonny Slut with his deathawk and his fishnet shirt. And, in the same way that CBGBs is, it’s a name that people know, even if they never went to it.” The original Batcave was a midweek night at Dean Street’s Gargoyle club – it would later move to larger venue The Subway in Leicester Square.