Category: Saturday

Then Comes Silence

Have you ever wondered what triumph over adversity sounds like? The answer lies in ‘Trickery’, the seventh album from gothic post-punk legends Then Comes Silence.

It’s 2022, and on the eve of their first-ever US tour and eager to promote their stellar albums ‘Machine’ (2020) and ‘Hunger’ (2022) for the first time, Then Comes Silence are suddenly and unexpectedly reduced to a three-piece. Would their famed darkwave wall-of-sound still work with just the three bandmembers? The answer was resoundingly positive, so much so that the band resolved to continue with the slimmed-down line-up on a permanent basis on further US (supporting Vision Video and The Bellwether Syndicate) and European tours, and now on their return to the studio. This inadvertent metamorphosis of the band has led to a different way of creating music and performing live.

To capture the heart and essence of the trio’s live prowess, ‘Trickery’ was recorded in just three days in Kapsylen Studio in Stockholm. With Jonas Fransson (in the band since 2015) laying down an energetic punk backbeat and sleaze punk fan Hugo Zombie (a 2018 recruit) providing inventive and rhythmic guitar lines, the main focus remains on singer and bassist Alex Svenson, sole surviving member from the band’s 2012 debut album, whose velvety croon and solid bass lines are enhanced on ‘Trickery’ by retro synth sounds reminiscent of his recent solo futurist wave project Neonpocalypse. “The electronic elements are essential to ‘Trickery’,” Alex says, “but are also a salute to punk music, the cradle of Then Comes Silence and the cradle of post-punk”.

The band’s existential crisis also resulted in a re-assessment of their very raison d’être, and this is reflected lyrically on the new album. Then Comes Silence explain that ‘Trickery’ celebrates friendship, unity and the feeling of belonging to a group, a tribe. “Being a part of what many people call ‘the goth and post-punk community’ is a great privilege. After being on the road meeting people from the music scene for so many years, we have experienced a caring and welcoming community. Both old and young, some with a similar background and some just for the love of the music and the culture that comes with the lifestyle. No-one is free from apprehension and fear. Everyone feels some kind of alienation to a certain extent. You might often think you need to camouflage yourself to feel part of a scene, to make a change to fit into the group. The need for friendship is strong, so you adapt. Maybe not always the way you hoped, but then… there are moments when we unite and harmonize with other people and feel an incredible community together. That feeling is priceless and a blessing. Friendship is love. It is important and worth fighting for.”

Black Doldrums

Kevin Gibbard and Sophie Landers produce a contemporary form of gothic post-punk, with songs that contain hook and lead tribal drums and euphoric guitar textures that frame introspective lyrics. They are known for their intense live performances, creating their own style of gothic post-punk driven by vicious drums, distinctive atmospheric guitar and melodic bass. In 2020, Black Doldrums collaborated with Suicide producer, Jared Artaud who produced their debut album Dead Awake. Their debut album gained critical acclaim across mainstream media outlets, such as Uncut, Rolling Stone and Sonic Seducer. In September 2023, Black Doldrums collaborated with THE KVB who remixed ‘Dreamcatcher’ the third single from Dead Awake. Black Doldrums are currently recording their second album.

Very Special Guests:

Do not go gentle into that good night…

We are all, as Oscar Wilde once so famously remarked, in the gutter. However, some of us are looking at the stars. On their latest journey Sky Void of Stars, Swedish grand seigneurs of gloom Katatonia solemnly set the stage for a nocturne both crushing and exhilarating; for it is only in the absence of stars that we can truly shine.

Carving their way from their nineties gothic-tinged doom metal to the ethereal post-metal entity they are today, the band led by founding members Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström have always been and will forevermore be one thing—a vessel of deep emotion; shrouded in Scandinavian despair and a universal longing for salvation.

Over the course of an unbelievable thirty years and eleven studio albums, Katatonia have never shied away from evolution. They have embraced the concept of growing through rejuvenation to soothe their blackened hearts and scarred souls—coming back stronger and more unified than ever after their hiatus with City Burials in April 2020. Yet at the very core of this entity, there still lingers the essence of their remarkable passage through time and space. Their music is pure and heartfelt from the northern wilderness; cast in mournful dirges for a world that needs renaissance.

Their long way out of the darkness and into our hearts has taken up many shapes ever since their first two genre-bending milestones: Dance of December Souls (1993) and the unforgettable, the immortal, the rightfully revered and oft-copied classic Brave Murder Day (1996). Whatever you might call their artful and soul-searching tunes ever since these records, they have always remained true to the very principles on which this band was based in the dawn of the nineties. Musicality over scene, progression over deadlock, collective over ego—Katatonia is their whole lives and will always be.

What’s more, their ever-expanding fanbase has evolved with them. While the nineties would never have allowed such a high level of tolerance nor forgiveness towards erstwhile death/doom trailblazers, today each new Katatonia offering is greeted with veneration and gratitude. Here are musicians who truly speak from the soul to the soul—a dialogue seldom as intense, as emotionally challenging and as visceral as the gloomy and irresistible preciousness that is Sky Void of Stars. Jonas Renkse (vocals), Anders Nyström (guitar), Roger Öjersson (guitar), Niklas Sandin (bass) and Daniel Moilanen (drums) have outdone themselves yet again, which is no easy feat with a vita like theirs.

The Stockholm-based architects of existential dread have long since ceased to represent a band that merely makes music and have instead cultivated a living, breathing pilgrimage that mirrors humanity’s longings and shortcomings; its dreams and horrors. Clad in their dynamic trademark range of darkest metal, soaring post-rock and elaborate prog wanderlust, Katatonia wear midnight on Sky Void of Stars, delivering their very own raven-black gospel of urban dystopia, elemental longing and the universal wish for catharsis.

With a sonic range broader than ever, the Swedes manage to wed their gloom and doom roots on ‘Impermanence’ with the stormcloud that is ‘Austerity’ which is their most urgent material yet, and also the surprisingly crushing ‘Birds’ with the artfully moody ‘Drab Moon’. Bathing in an atmosphere that is exclusively their own and graced by a sublime yet ethereally forlorn production, Katatonia transcend boundaries in the blink of an eye. They deliver a vivid, energetic and, in the best sense of the word, touching piece of musical narrative, pregnant with some of the most noble poetry these Swedish masters have ever delivered. Written and composed by vocalist Jonas Renske, Sky Void of Stars is a stirring ode to the ones who are lost and astray; shipwrecked in the ocean, navigating the rough seas of life without a compass.

As autumnal in their melodies as ever with radiant vocal lines, woeful hooks and a broader-than-ever approach to their musical palette, Katatonia sink their talons deeper than ever into our hearts, forcing us to feel what we prefer to push into the very last corner of ourselves. Only through confronting the deepest demons that we hold prisoner within the fabric of our souls can we rightfully deliver ourselves from them. The power of music in its truest, rawest and most carnal force will forever be this: a means to a new beginning and a dim light at the end of a long, long tunnel; its own dark materials shapeshifting, awe-inspiring, guiding.

Produced, mixed and mastered by Danish icon Jacob Hansen, Sky Void of Stars is music for the fools who still dream in the dead of night; a manifesto for the hopelessly-hoping amongst us. Here’s to the hearts that ache, here’s to the mess we make.

Peter Hook & The Light
Joy Division: a celebration performing Unknown Pleasures & Closer

In the autumn of 2024 Peter Hook & The Light will be on the tail end of a world tour where they have been playing and celebrating Substance the classic compilations that Joy Division and New Order released over 35 years ago. As a wonderful exclusive Tomorrow’s Ghosts exclusive for 2024 they come to Whitby to reprise their 2020 tour with a “Joy Division : A Celebration” concert of which no other event will have this year.

The concert will see the band play “Unknown Pleasures” and “Closer” and other material commemorating over four decades of Joy Division and Ian Curtis’ continuing influence.

The influence of Joy Division and their music remains strong in popular culture, holding a sincere reverence. The albums are played sequentially in track order, respecting the inspiration and impact of the stunning debut album “Unknown Pleasures” and the immaculately produced second “Closer”.

“Unknown Pleasures” features “Disorder”, “Insight”, “New Dawn Fades”, and “She’s Lost Control” while “Closer”, considered “a start to finish masterpiece” by Pitchfork Media counts “Atrocity Exhibition”, “Heart And Soul” and “Twenty Four Hours” amongst its many highlights.

In addition to the albums, the concert span the entirety of Joy Division’s rich but short career.

On “Unknown Pleasures” – The Album (NME)

“The band’s debut ‘Unknown Pleasures’ is simply one of the best records ever made and is still powerful enough to floor you 30 years on. With an almost dub-like, spacey atmosphere sculpted by studio genius Martin Hannett, the band’s sound was almost the polar opposite of the punk music which had brought them together after a Sex Pistols show in 1976.” 10/10

On “Closer” – The Album (Pitchfork Media)

“Closer is even more austere, more claustrophobic, more inventive, more beautiful, and more haunting than its predecessor. It’s also Joy Division’s start-to-finish masterpiece, a flawless encapsulation of everything the group sought to achieve” 10/10