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In search of Goth

Jackie Aquilina

Jackie Aquilina

Ever since it first surfaced as an off-shoot of the post-punk genre that emerged in the late 1970s, the Goth subculture is probably the one that has lasted the longest.

Its musical imprint continues to evolve, spawning new sub-genres as a result of experimentation inspired by the original Gothic rock sound. Malta too has had a constant, albeit small Goth presence that first appeared in the mid-1980s in the form of a close-knit group of like-minded souls.

The Goth subculture, recognisable for its sinister imagery, obscure fashion and music inspired by dark elements, remains a minority in Malta, although its presence has grown thanks to a number of regular events.

One of the more prominent faces on the local Goth scene is Jackie Aquilina, whose first encounter with the genre dates back to the 1980s.

“As a teenager, I was always inclined towards the alternative side of the music scene. Bands like Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, The Cure, Joy Division and Siouxsie and The Banshees eventually led me to Sisters of Mercy and the Goth subculture, which I immediately embraced as much for the music as for its fashion, design and general artistic flair.”

At that time, there were few Goth events and certainly no dedicated clubs in Malta, which meant one had to go abroad to attend a real Gothic party.

Taking her cue from some early attempts by other like-minded Goths, Aquilina sets up NuwaveMalta, a self-styled movement with the sole aim of creating awareness of the Gothic/New Wave subculture in Malta.

“It started off as a website listing information and pictures related to the various related genres... Gothic, Industrial, EBM, Dark Wave, Cyber Goth and many others.

She even put links to media players to make it easier for people to get an idea of what it sounded like.

“I’m looking forward to my next concert,” she says, talking passionately about The Mission’s upcoming Brixton date in October.

The concert will be part of the band’s 25th anniversary tour, also the anniversary of their milestone debut album, God’s Own Medicine.

“The support band is Fields of the Nephilim, another huge Goth act, so it’s definitely going to be a night to remember.”

Aquilina’s efforts may not have reached a widespread audience, but they have succeeded in strengthening the local Goth scene.

“The scene has always been there, but it was fragmented. Through Nuwavemalta and the help of several friends, I feel we’ve managed to resurrect the scene by bringing together many who also felt there were no events dedicated to the music they love.

“We’ve been organising several events now, and the attendances are encouraging, both in number and the fact that there are people from various other genres – from rock to metal to punk – getting together. At least it proves there is a gothic scene in Malta.”

Nuwavemalta, along with Biostream and Hades Events, will be organising Generation Goth on at V-Gen in Paceville on September 7 (eve of a public holiday).

The event is being billed as the biggest Gothic party ever to be held in Malta – a night that will bring together all Goth subgenres – from Gothic Rock and Metal to Post-Punk, Industrial, EBM and more – under one roof. DJs Mozzer, NME and Hades will be spinning the tunes. Doors open at 9.30 p.m.

Tickets cost €5 (online) and €6 at the door. For more information, visit www.nuwavemalta.com.

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