Release date: 11/05/2023
Signed postcard by the author Cathi Unsworth
Months of industrial action throughout the winter have left the dead unburied and mountains of rubbish piling up in the streets. After ten brutal homicides and the biggest police hunt in history, the Yorkshire Ripper is still at large and preparing to strike again. Punk has reached its bleak climax with the fatal heroin overdose of Sid Vicious while awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend. Unlikely alliances of outsiders prepare to seize power, set the political agenda and write the soundtrack for the years to come. Their figureheads are two very different kinds of dominatrices...
As Margaret Thatcher enters 10 Downing Street, four bands born of punk - Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, the Cure, and Magazine - find a way to distil the dissonance and darkness of the shifting decade into a new form of music. Pushing at the taboos the Sex Pistols had unlocked and dancing with the fetishistic, all will become global stars of goth. By the time Thatcher is cast out of office in 1990, the arrival of goth will have imprinted on the cultural landscape as much as the Iron Lady herself.
Now, forty years since its inception, author Cathi Unsworth provides the first comprehensive overview of the music, context and lasting legacy of goth. This is the story of how goth was shaped by the politics of the era - from the miners' strikes and privatisation to the Troubles and AIDS - as well as how its rock 'n' roll outlaw imagery and innovative, atmospheric music cross-pollinated throughout Britain and internationally, speaking to a generation of alienated youths.A fascinating social history, Season of the Witch tells the tale of an enduring counter-culture, one that steadfastly refuses to give up the ghost.