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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Club reporter: Noir Nouveau

So, for the first time since she's arrived in Montreal, I have taken my girlfriend out to the club. Now she was well warned as to what to expect in terms of music (don't get your hopes up) and so psychologically armed we made ready. The mental prep was necessary, both to quell her nervousness (pretty much her first goth night) and to downgrade her expectations on the quality of the music, due to my elitist brainwashing.

No matter what other plans may have been made, we ended up leaving late, or as its called, fashionably late. True Goths after all don't arrive till midnight. First casualty of the night: my makeup. Its been a while since I last put on my liner, and I had to toss it. The nail polish fared about equally well, and the lipstick was so thick it felt like I was using crayons. Its all in the trash now. Even after putting it all on, its dawned on me that makeup doesn't look as good on me as it did, oh, five years ago. I just knew that there was a reason I stopped.

Its was a snowstorm night (yay) and the wind was rather bitter. We must be getting used to the warming temperatures. Either that or we've had enough of winter. Anyhow, we get there at about 12h30, so we're still okay.

I must say that I was surprised. The club was pretty well full, but not exactly bumper-to-bumper. They have changed the configuration once again, and it pretty much works. While there still is a stage (as its also a venue for the darker set) its lower and more intimate. I was also surprised by the amount of people dancing. Usually, a third of the crowd will dance, while the rest chat, drink and/or gawk. the gawkers were a minority (I was one, though I'd rather say I was observing) and more than half were dancers, with a full half of the floorspace taken up by the wigglers.

The other thing that surprised me (pleasantly) was that the whole vinyl/PVC look is pretty much out. No more off-side glare as a spotlight hits those shiny shiny garnments. The late punk and metal scene has had a modicum of good influence, as real fabrics, in soothing mat black are back in. I also noticed a lengthening of the hemline, and the virtual disappearance of those godawful rave pants. The techno-rave influence is quite dead, thankfully. As I expected, I knew very few people, besides the core Darkwave Nights crew, only a few die hard figures of Montreal's Gothic club scene.

The music... ah, well, there was a pleasant surprise too. It didn't completely suck. While still far from the mixed heydays of 80's, Gothic, Industrial and Alternatives, its less of the last few year's takeover by EBM and Synthpop. While there's still some of that, the 80's Protogoth (Joy Division, Virgin Prunes) wave was back, and it didn't clear the floor like it did a year ago.

I cant say that there was much Industrial or Goth, but then again, we weren't crowded with VNV Nation clones either. With any hope, this wasn't a freak occurrence and will be a repeat performance. Also, there was less clear-cut separation of "sets" of different styles (the 80's set, the Industrial set) but a more organic blend of music. While M. Black was the DJ at our arrival, a new one took over and was the most varied player that night. Not too bad. While I wish there was a bit more variety ( a few more random 80's, old school Industrial, Goth and Punk) we're still light years away from last few years wall-to-wall keyboard-drum machine-computer way of making danceable music. And apparently, were moving away from that.

All in all, even tho we left early (2h00 am) we didn't regret out night out. I'll get my girl's impressions of the night when she gets back from work, and we'll see how things go!

It didn't suck.

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