Gig Review by Ryan Beardsley with Photography by Michael Sibbons

I’ve always had an admiration for Goth culture, being unapproachable, black leather, The Cure, what’s not to like?

But until tonight I’ve never been to a true Goth gig, and what better way to start than with The Sisters of Mercy. The Leeds band may not have been the creators of the culture, or even necessarily pioneers, but for so many people they defined the scene.

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The stage is consumed by dry ice as the band make their way on stage and the familiar tones of More get things kicked off as Andrew Eldrich begins preaching to the converted, his voice as hypnotic and powerful as ever.

For a band that have not released a record in 25 years, the 4,000 capacity Camden Roundhouse is quite a statement, but it’s a testament to the loyalty of their fans and the staying power of their music that it’s pretty much a full house tonight.

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Just because there have been no new records doesn’t mean there isn’t new music and the band treat the audience to a number of new tracks which must be popular on the live circuit judging by the unanimous lip syncing around me.

The crowd comes alive again for Alice, one of their best known and most loved tracks and its closely followed by Dominion/Mother Russia which has the leather clad masses trading their collective dance routine of a gentle sway for a full on mosh pit which must have resulted in many a sore hip the next morning.

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Eldrich, enigma, front man and only surviving member of the original line up is sporting his trademark mirror shades and peering through the smoke like a spirit hovering over the Roundhouse but the crowd follows him wherever he goes, united in devotion. The rest of the band are pretty tight and play their part but the crowd are really only here for one man.

As you would expect they’ve saved the best for last with an extended encore, Lucretia My Reflection infiltrates the Roundhouse with its thumping bassline but its Temple of Love that get’s the biggest reaction of the night. The fans who are mostly in their 40’s and 50’s are suddenly 18 again, pogo sticking, and singing their hearts out with their outrageous hair and carefully applied eyeliner hiding a few crows feet and receding hairlines…

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And with that, the band exit stage right to a rapturous ovation and the crowd eager for more even after all these years. So what next, surely it’s worth a new record? SOM could/should be introduced to a whole new generation of perspective Goths just waiting to indulge and revel in the current misery and apathy affecting Great Britain, the timing couldn’t be better.

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