We’re gonna have to have some housekeeping right at the outset, set some ground rules. How goth are we talking here? Simple answer, as goth as me. You get the experience the joys of Brussels through the gleeful gothic eye of m’self. Which I would brand as the Johnny Depp brand of goth: clearly enjoying goth culture without being necessarily… y’know…
With that in mind, where would a hip and cool young goth spend their weekend in Brussels? Well before heading out you should probably check out the adorably antiquated website of the club Kagan and decide upon
One of the lovely features of the Kagan website, is that it takes into consideration how close Brussels is to other European cities. This event, for example is in Bruges, which is only an hour from Brussels central. In an old church no less. Dark and full of artistic souls, this looks like the perfect fit for our globetrotting goth. It features storytelling from the group Morgane le Fay (named after medieval witchy character of particular fondness for goths), an open exhibition in the church, performance poetry, a burlesque show, and an absinthe bar. Also a whopper after party. And believe me, these Belgians know how to throw an after party.
If, instead of a night of gothic mysticism and art, you just feel like being surrounded by a fuckton of skeletons and coffins and candles and hardcore stuff like that, then perhaps you’d be more interested in checking out Le Cercueil (which inexplicably has a google plus page instead of a website, as if google plus isn’t the lamest thing in the known universe).
It’s apparently where all the young and hip goths hang out. Very much along the lines of like, a spooky haunted house sorta vibe (when I walked by that’s what I thought it was), where you’ll find giggling goths drinking in dark corners, using coffins as tables (le cercueil means the coffin). It fills me with morbid merriment, but I can also see how it might not be your gothic bag. Also if you’re of the modern “nu-goth” end of the demonic spectrum, watch out for the candles.
Other bars/venues worth checking out for your dark needs include DNA, an old punk club from the 80s, and Ancienne Belgique which used to be way more hardcore but is still a lovely venue for when darker acts do come to town. Unfortunately this weekend they’re celebrating hiphop so eh… maybe not our scene, eh?
I hear your yelling: “Goth isn’t about tacky glittery skulls and zany skeletons up to no good, it’s about the MUSIC man.” I hear you, I hear you. And Brussels has a whole lot to offer for the real to the core goths among us. Mob Records deals exclusively in second hand lo-fi, industrial and goth vinyls. Due to it’s somewhat …niche market, it moves around a bit. Last I checked, Mob Records is located at Boulevard Anspach laan – 1000 Brussels. For a store specialising in Goth electro, there is the perplexingly name “Disco Mania” located at Boulevard Maurice Lemonnier 3 1000 Bruxelles. Juke Box (terribly website obv) is by no means a goth store, but is big enough to supply to some of your goth music needs, at 165 Boulevard Anspach.
The radio station to be listening to is GothVille (who’s website is unfortunately down but the link remains in the hopes it comes back soon)
All quality darkness from below, all the time.
The true meaning of being a travelling goth
These events, these sights, these things to do; they’re all just smoke and mirrors to the real goth manifesto: Be yourself. Goths aren’t really about listening to really unpleasant sounding music wearing shoes that are dangerous to walk in over cobblestones (NOTE FROM ONE GOTH TO ANOTHER: CENTRAL BRUSSELS HAS A LOT OF COBBLESTONES. YOU WILL STUMBLE.)
Being a goth is about a stubbornly fostered sense of non-conformity, a dedication to the weird, and a commitment to frankly impractical fashion decisions. It’s a statement to the world that “I look like this because it appeals to me, and despite the clear difficulties with everyday activities, I will persevere, because those inconveniences are less bothersome to me than the idea of dressing like a dweeb.”
Or at least that’s what I’m mentally shouting to the world in triumph every time I fall off the side of my platform walking on the cobblestones in Trinity. As I shake the puddle water from the ends of my cape, I think not of how embarrassing that was or how many people saw me, I think instead of the vague dark thoughts that find their home in the mind of a goth. Skulls and daggers and ravens and stuff.
Hunt and Gother