My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Alternative X - Or "HouseCat Goes Clubbing"

I rarely go clubbing. I went out for drinks a couple of weeks back for somebody's leaving 'do', but that was not 'clubbing'! The last time I went clubbing properly was on Halloween night 2011, where incidentally I went to another Alternative X night in Inverness. Back in 2011 Alternative X was held at a club called 'Cake' but when Cake closed, Alternative X was made venue-less. I think Halloween 2011 was their last night for quite a while. 

Anyway, Alternative X is now hosted by Karma Lounge, on Young Street in Inverness. Karma Lounge has hosted other nights that I've really wanted to go to (including UV nights! I love glowing!) but have always been so far unable to go to. Partly it is because I live outside of the town, and don't like travelling around the city as an alternative female on my own. I get a lot less bother when I'm out with Raven. Anyway, I heard some of my friends were going, so arranged to meet up with them and go out.

I hadn't been inside the Karma Lounge before, and it seems like quite a nice place. The main floor is divided into four areas - an entrance area with steps and a ramp, a standing area (part of which was the dance-floor), some seating and tables, and at the back were what looks like cushions and sofas - presumably what gives the place the 'Lounge' aspect of its name! They appeared closed off for the club night, though. Toilets were upstairs and a bit odd to navigate to - I thought I'd accidentally wandered into staff areas to begin with. They have a quote from  Paul's letters to the Galatians about reaping and sowing painted on a cross-beam. There's a building not far away with Bible quotes on the outside wall, telling people not get drunk engraved into the walls, so it's interesting to see the Bible quoted in such different context in the same city (from different centuries).

I was the first person of our little group to arrive, and ended up sitting alone. Two guys sat down next to me, this was fine, they were polite, asked first, etc, didn't bother me. I heard them speaking in Polish, and I recognised the voice... Started a conversation with them, later found out, after talking Roller Derby, that the chap I was talking to was a friend of a friend and that we'd met before at that leaving do I'd mentioned earlier, but in this different context, neither of us had initially recognised the other! Proof that it is a small world (especially in the alternative scene) indeed.

I caught up with my friends, ended up only buying a couple of drinks in the whole night (for others) and people were constantly buying me drinks (apparently I dance well or something... I think I dance badly and people are getting me more drinks to lower my inhibitions and therefore have me dance more (and in a less co-ordinated manner) in order to giggle at this... Perhaps I am paranoid). Drinks were reasonably priced, the Amaretto was tasty (downing shots of it, though, is never a good idea for me!). It was a free entry night, and usually when clubs run free entry nights, the price of the drinks are inflated, but it didn't seem the case with Alternative X and Karma Lounge. 

The music erred more towards rock and Metal than Goth, with a dash of Punk (I was screaming along to the Sex Pistols at one point) but that seemed fair given that the majority of the clientele were Metal-Heads rather than Goths. They did play 'Lucretia, My Reflection' by Sisters of Mercy and 'Spellbound' by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and a couple of other tracks that catered towards the more traditional Goth scene, but I didn't hear EBM or similar, though (although I guess that for those that don't like 'Cyber-Goth' that will be a good thing. 

I met the host, Brian, who is a very friendly person, who went around, looking to see that all the patrons were enjoying themselves. He also introduced me to his wife (whom I first noted for wearing a gorgeous fitted long leather coat, frilly shirt, cincher and New Rocks. Romantic Goth done excellently!) and his wife and I seem to get on really well - we were  chatting away for ages! It's nice to see a Goth night run by someone who seems really passionate and involved with the local scene. 

I had a lot of fun dancing (which is my primary motivation for clubbing) and hanging around with my friends (something that can be done without clubbing, so doesn't count as a motive for going clubbing specifically.) The only bad bit was me accidentally knocking someone's drink out of their hands while dancing. I'm definitely planning on going to Alternative X again. I really wish Raven had been able to go out with me that night, but he was working in the morning; hopefully he'll be able to go to the next one. 


  1. Glad you had fun, you are definitely a better dancer than you give yourself credit for. Also nice to know that a town that is run by the free church can show it's alternative side.

    1. I'm a terrible dancer. I KNOW I am terrible dancer, I've watched myself dance in the mirror. I'm awful! Useless! Two left feet!

  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :) I tried to slip in a few goth classics early on. Then again, I always do. :) Let me know what EBM you're after, and if we do another one, can play it. :)

    1. It was lots of fun! I'm looking forwards to the next night :)

      I'm not the biggest EBM, Industrial and Aggrotech fan - that's more my other half's preferences, I was just noting it because I know a lot of my readers do like that sort of thing. (And my other half gets over-excited with glow-sticks, but at least he can dance with them rather well.)

  3. Clubbing can be a lot of fun and I'm glad that you got out to do a little.

    As in your case, there are no longer any Goth clubs or venues that offer Goth nights in my area at all. We have "Metal Monday" a couple of times per month but that's about it for dark alternative culture around here. Don't get me wrong, I love metal, but I'd still like the ability to go and hear Siouxsie, The Sisters, etc.

    Just checking my Facebook page I saw that there is an up coming Goth concert set to be held out your way. I don't know whether you like them or not, but Fields of the Nephilim will be performing in Glasgow on January 14. I don't know how much of a distance that is for you, but I do know that if I were in Scotland, I'd try to see them. They don't do concerts all that often.

    1. Glasgow is actually hundreds of miles away from me! I'm up in the Highlands, and I can't afford to travel as far south as Glasgow. I'm also not the hugest Fields of the Nephilim fan - they're a good band, don't get me wrong, but not enough of a draw for me.

  4. Hey I love your review of my bar :-) Hopefully the toilet's were a little easier to navigate this time

    Where's the place with the bible quote?

    I put the Christian view's on Karma on the entrance, and the Wiccan View on the exit :-)

    Wanted to put an islamic one, but have yet to find a quote....

    1. I think the Christian view is the quote from the Bible - not sure though, as it is many years since I was a Christian.


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