One of the things about the fluid, eclectic genre identity of The Filthy Spectacula is we can literally find ourselves playing a steampunk convention (lots of tea, dressing up and sitting down) one gig and an ‘alternative music festival’ the next (basically a solid day of metal, goth and punk: lots of black, piercings, leather, black, exorbitant facial and head hair on both sexes, black, silver and did I mention black?).
While I’m never going to feel quite on home turf at other (or arguably anywhere else – but this is a topic for my next psychiatrist (the last one gave up in despair)), the latter does feel particularly unsafe; when so much of the lyrical, musical, visual and cultural style is highly aggressive and ‘dark’, I can’t help wondering subconsciously whether it will spill over into interpersonal style and reaction to unintended faux pas. And I’m certainly going to stick out in cohesively subcultural contexts, as indeed are the band as a whole.
Actually, they were lovely. Occasionally in unwanted ways (it’s 2pm, I’ll pass on neat cheap Scotch straight out of the bottle thanks!), but both friendly and welcoming when not too busy being a subculture community, and genuinely and warmly appreciative of our set, both as an audience (they danced more than the steampunks, despite our lack of power chord riffs and metal gallop beats) and in person afterwards before I darted off to play a charity concert of orchestral Mozart (which is another story).
They even had a good collective performers’ / crew rider – beer, crisps, doughnuts in generous quantities as well as the whisky and some vodka. Though they might not have had any actual cookies come to think of it.