By Jordan Mooney (Alias Lord Froggy of Twixington.)
Now we’ve covered the main events, it’s time for us to tackle our favourite of the Fringe, the Whitby Goth Weekend Welcome at Abbey Wharf, on the 3rd of November 2016.
Abbey Wharf has always struck me as a very odd venue, and in many ways it really is a rather unsuitable little place on paper – but the atmosphere it succeeds in piping up and the warm, pleasant interior make for a unique location – even if we still think beer’s a little too pricey.
Whitby Goth’s Wharf event is often a fabulous stomping ground for fresh entertainment before it steps onto the Spa Pavilion stage, and tonight provided a very varied set up that all too naturally demands a few words – all in the name of Whitby’s local, sea-faring heroes at the RNLI.
Before we really set involved, of course, it must be kept in mind – this is a charity night. No matter of what’s on stage, it’s for a good cause. And at free entry, I don’t think it’s appropriate for anybody to complain or criticise.
However, we’re invited to effectively do exactly that. So, without further ado…
Transcended are a local group, so they didn’t exactly have far to travel. This makes it slightly puzzling when they lose their usual vocalist, have a backing vocalist sing and then get a spare female vocalist into the line up. Playing a bizarre set list comprising, seemingly as a majority, of Metallica covers – that I had a lot of trouble recognising – and later providing a less than pleasant attitude (rather vocally complaining about people standing at a live music event, for one) made for a poor start to the evening, and I’m sorry to say I’ve little positive to provide about them. I don’t want to delve on this one; it’d feel rather cruel to do so.
Thankfully, Eloise Kerry is up next, and I continue to believe she provides some of the finest new vocal talent in the United Kingdom today. Armed, this time, with a complete band, and with a new vigour and confidence for her second turn at Goth Weekend, the result was incredible. I solemnly believe it’s time for Eloise to step up onto the Spa Pavilion stage in the very near future. She is an incredible frontlady and for sheer personality is almost unmatched; she’s instantly magnetic, instantly likeable – with a very real, sincere passion for what she does and the people she plays for. Her vocal range is fantastic, and she has the true potential for a purely unique success story. She feels important to watch. Like a very real and very quickly progressing success story is laid out ahead.
My only criticism is that the band did not feel like a ‘fit’ for me with her vocals. In many ways, in fact, it conjured up a bit too much of a Bad Pollyanna feel for me to be completely enthused, and even removed a touch of the originality in how Eloise herself performs, which is well beyond any form of imitation. This band is a completely new set up and I don’t for a moment think this is how it’s likely to ‘stick’ forever, but for now it doesn’t feel quite like a perfect mix has been achieved. Perhaps a touch more opportunity for experimentation would be a positive asset?
Regardless of my own concerns, Eloise is capable of toppling them without a moment’s hesitation. Even with this in mind, I found it another enormously enjoyable and hopelessly magnetic set that I don’t think can be easily replicated. She carves out a flowing, dramatic landscape with her vocals and her warmth only lays the foundations of a particularly stunning world beyond.
Lesbian Bed Death
Next up is Lesbian Bed Death, back again in Whitby and building themselves back up after a hiatus with new vocalist, Sienna Venom. The group have always been hugely impressive, and now resembles a very different beast. While the rather stunning vocal class of Kitty still leaves a small gap in the group’s repertoire, I feel there’s now a far more fitting seductress in charge of it all – and, besides, one that very clearly lives for a live performance. Sienna is an incredible frontlady, providing, matching and emphasising all of the sheer charisma and domination that their music really provides. If LBD are the darker, more seductive sides of life, Sienna is the ruby red lips that draw you in to the vampire’s bite.
Lesbian Bed Death’s sex appeal and dark woven tales have been upped in the ante by a renewed passion and lifeblood deep within the tapestry’s fabric, and the result, while not quite as musically astounding, is far more thematically consistent and charismatic.
This is my first experience of this new chapter in LBD’s lifespan, and I think that, for the future, it’s an incredibly strong one. I feel confident this won’t be the last time we’ll see them and I’d rather like to see what it all holds.
I can only imagine that many bands would feel short changed to play a fringe event after taking to the Pavilion stage in the past; so it was nice to see so much passion and energy still emanating from the members to have both experiences. I didn’t feel like they held back in any department; it was as good – if not better – than the day they played for Goth Weekend itself. Superb stuff, and very difficult to fault.
Abbey Wharf’s fringe event continues to be a shining star in the crown of Goth Weekend, and with people like LBD and Eloise holding the flag, I think there’s a huge amount of potential cooped up in the waterside restaurant. The amount of talent that has passed through the four walls in a relatively short period of time continues to thrill, amaze and impress.
It’s a night with a real buzz; a sort of community gathering – and with the amount of passion behind it as there is, the atmosphere becomes infectious.
Great stuff, and we can’t wait for next year!