This is war! For years goth was an underground scene born from the ashes of punk as part of the whole ‘post punk’ era. The scenes’ greatest provocateur responsible for goth’s glory is Daniel Ash. His current project, Poptone includes former Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/ Love and Rockets drummer, Kevin Haskins and Ms. Diva Dompe ( Haskin’s daughter) on bass.. It seemed that the trio had real “simpatico” and according to Ash the chemistry was magical.  The original game plan was to do a few gigs on the West Coast… and perform renditions of songs by Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love & Rockets.. Ash wanted something small, something intimate and avoid “grand fathering” the worst years of goth; when it went mainstream with band like The Cure, Depeche Mode, My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson getting heavily airplay on commercial radio…

DANIEL ASH AND POPTONE

Sadly, the idea of Goth seemed AWOL after the dissolution of Love And Rockets. As much as it was, “So Alive” went Top 3 on the Billboard’s Top 100 chart.. while in the U.K it peaked at an anemic #79! Daniel Ash when I interviewed him a few years past claimed the song was written in just one night.

Then the music in the nineties became largely dire, possibly due to the scenes popularity at the end of the eighties by bringing in a lot of “Boujee” people without the punk rock roots. Poptone brings with them their own set of austere histories.  Unfortunately, that rebellious streak is not so evident in rock music; today’s generation have all but forgotten what Goth was once like that when what you wear is almost more important that what you think.

POPTONE SETLIST

The L.A. gig was held at the magnificent sound stage. The Swing  House which is hidden within the bowels of the quiet suburb of Atwater (Atwater is just east of Dodger Stadium). During the two-hour performance, Ash smiled but eschewed any verbal connection with the audience…IT NEVER GETS NOTICED BY THE PRESS BUT ASH IS A FUCKIN’ AMAZING GUITARIST!

Poptone’s music did enough… As everyone in the crowd I didn’t know what songs would be performed… Die-hard fans were predicting what was going to be performed as if they were awaiting for what Santa Claus brought them on Christmas day. But as expected they were all mistaken… but not sadly..  Oddities like Bauhaus’, “Slice of Life” and Tones on Tail’s, “OK This Is The Pop”s… The evening was made when Poptone reached into the Love and Rockets dossier .. “Mirror People”, “No Big Deal”.. slayed…

But the song that really reached out was, “An American Dream”.. a song about social dystopia and America’s lugubrious politics…the seminal track that can easily capture the hearts and minds of the free world.. Perhaps its divine intervention that came to fruition decades later but is not too late.  Much of goth music is challenging: to the ear, to one’s sense of identity, to one’s faith, to one’s sense of what music is. Goth is a lot of things, but like the truth it isn’t always pleasant. Go see Poptone and you will have fulfilled your life’s purpose of bringing back the glory of Goth..


A special thanks to Christopher The Minister

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