There’s nothing quite as kitsch as the sight of youth tribes of yesteryear taking themselves terribly seriously. It seems we can’t have a documentary about metal, for instance, without the BBC dredging up the embarrassing footage of a circle jerk of headbangers, some buffoon dancing around the circle air guitaring, in Nottingham’s Rock City. Goths have been even less respected than metal fans by the mainstream media, and are routinely ignored when it comes to documentaries about youth tribes, so thank God someone had the foresight to record a night at the Xclusiv Nightclub in Batley, Yorkshire (once home to the legendary Batley Variety Club) back in 1984.
According to those in the know, the film was originally commissioned by club owners Pete and Annie Swallow, and sold for the pricey sum of £2 on a VHS tape to regulars. Around fifty copies were produced, and presumably most were quickly wiped or lost by punters once they moved on from such youthful pursuits. But one survived, and made its way online, where it has been marvelled at by astonished viewers ever since.
The full story of this miraculous revival can be found here: https://ilegality.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/the-height-of-goth/
And here is the whole thing – all two hours plus of it, complete with awkward opening interviews with the club owners, DJ Paul, and assorted punters – plus a truly bizarre guest appearance from old school comedian Charlie Williams – as the kids get down to the likes of The Cramps, Siouxsie and the Banshees and, er, Glen Miller. It’s extraordinary stuff, and a wonderful historical document that will hopefully survive any petty copyright claims made against the soundtrack.