Live Reviews
Whitby Goth Weekend – Abbey Wharf, 20th April 2017

Photographs by Zhaos Photography.
The Cat on the Wall crew™ is: Jordan Mooney, Matthew Sambrook, Kane Foster, Eddie Eales and Ross Eales.
With thanks to all of the local businesses and visitors who donated to the RNLI – who of course deserve our thanks for providing Whitby’s 5th Emergency Service.


Before the grand party of Whitby Goth Weekend begins at the Spa Pavilion, it has become a particularly palatable tradition to kick off the party with a charity benefit at Abbey Wharf, across the swing bridge and on top of the market, deep in Whitby’s middle.

Held in favour of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, it’s effectively nothing more than a group of Goths having fun with a sincere aim in mind. The result is always marvellous – general goodwill flows as readily as ale and spirits. Although Abbey Wharf’s drink prices remain a thorn in our side (we have to make that remark, sorry!), the consensus is that the night has become an incredibly important asset to the WGW arsenal – and an important contribution to the town’s 5th Emergency Service.

There we stood, the tiny stage at Abbey Wharf prepped and ready, and, within only a short while, our bands took to the stage…


Black Volition

This webzine’s reaction to Black Volition has always been relatively dim (thanks to their tactics of self promotion, we have come face to face more than once) – and this is particularly true to the first and last time we reviewed them, with their performance at Whitby Goth Weekend’s live stage.

At a smaller venue like this one, the group seems far more in their own; low risk, low stress and low riding. The band feels far more personable and reachable – and as a result, so does the music. I still cannot say the perfect formula is in place for me; their sound is just that tiny bit too cluttered to my ears; a bit discombobulated and ‘lost’ compared to the far tighter and more regulated Lauren Tate. I find, however, that seeing an artist at a ground level makes them far easier to understand, approach and listen to – and with it, so are Black Volition’s aims.

I maintain that the group is not for me. But their jazzier, spaghetti western material feels far more palatable in an environment that caters to it. The removal of poetry reading and tension building moments (with limited payoff) that made them so difficult at their Goth Weekend slot helps streamline the group into a more tailored experience; although not quite enough in my eyes.

BV aren’t built for big, high up stages. They also aren’t built for me – but they are easier to understand when at ground level. If only just. There’s no doubt that they’re talented musicians; it’s the execution I find so awkward. I feel extremely happy to have seen them in a more homely environment. What I find disappointing is not being able to rave about their talents because of how they’re being applied.

Black Volition are superb artists. But here, I find the individual components are still greater than the sum of their parts.



Lauren Tate and Sam Hobbins – Hands Off Gretel Acoustic

Lauren Tate is an ambassadorial turn for how music should be done. She’s driven herself to success from her vocal talent and extremely shrewd business sense. She’s wise beyond every day she’s spent at work, and while I find acoustic sets difficult to judge, her sheer range, audience engagement and personality bleed from every pore.

She’s matchlessly awe-inspiring, engaging – possibly one of the brightest rising stars of the alternative movement. She commands respect, demands your attention. She’s incredible, her music is incredible – and her choice of tracks, spontaneity and fine taste make her a perfect acoustic act as equally as a riot GRRRL.

This pair is simply bloody wonderful to see so intimately and so obviously enthusiastic. Although her scolding of the audience for talking is a bit – perhaps – misjudged. Is that a problem with the environment? Possibly. But less of that please; though I get the frustration. Really, I do! I just feel that’s more likely to make an audience resent you than listen.

Regardless, Lauren and Sam were the highlight of the evening. Superb. Anybody who performs a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hit is bound to pleasure me, no matter who they are.



As DJs Gadge Harvey and Silhouette from the distant land of Nottingham take to the DJ sets, the Lifeboat raffle is drawn and old friends come together for a good chinwag, it becomes clear that Goth Weekend truly has rolled in, and it’s time for Whitby to batten down its hatches.

In the end, thanks to the enormous engagement  – not just from Whitby Goth Weekend attendees, but from local residents, businesses and our musicians – Abbey Wharf managed to raise an incredible £420 for Whitby’s Lifeboat station. We think that’s absolutely incredible!

To say that Abbey Wharf leaves us excited and anticipating would be an understatement. A flawless way to kick it all off in preparation for the big event…

join us as our Whitby Goth Weekend finally takes to the Wall – soon!
WGW Events @ Abbey Wharf – Official Facebook Group



About the author

Compulsive hat wearer, eccentric, fan of all things audio-visual, part time Goth, historian, and railway enthusiast, Jordan is the closest you can get to everybody's weird uncle. Except he's less than 60 years old.

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