When the saint of Shadow appears on the heath, this is the outfit she wears.
The Witch of Cheyne Heath
The song Johnny dances to in the Shadowlands.
In Paint it Black, Gosha goes up to the heath at midnight to perform a summoning to the gothic tones of Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus.
Here’s the opening of the movie The Hunger, where Bauhaus perform the song before an audience containing a pair of vampires played by David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve preparing to feast on Ann Magnuson and John Stephen Hill.
I’ve always had a soft spot for droney avant-garde music, and I went through a very big Goth phase when I was a teenager and into my early twenties, and these two came together in my love for this one album by the band Cindytalk. The lead singer, Cindy Sharp, sang on one of my favorite records ever, “It’ll End In Tears” by This Mortal Coil, which must be the reason why I bought this album when I cam across it at the Rough Trade Store just off the Portobello Road.
Listening to Camouflage was an intense and harrowing experience, which turned out to be a perfect background mood for the writing of Paint it Black. I had this album, and especially the song “Disintegrate…” on repeat in my headphones while I was working.
Here’s a playlist featuring the entire album:
And here’s “Disintegrate…”, which is a bit more melodic than the other tracks:
If all of this is too much for you (and I don’t blame you if it is), here’s Cindy Sharp on “Kangaroo,” a lovely track from This Mortal Coil, and singing background vocals on the Cocteau Twins song, “Dear Heart.
In the 1980s, when Spellshock and The Witch of Cheyne Heath series is set, homosexuality had technically been decriminalized, but the country was still oppressive toward members of the LGBT community.
Here’s a great article from the Guardian written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of 1967s Sexual Offences Act.
And here is an overview of British attitudes toward homosexuality, and a look at the 80s in particular.
A terrifying place where dream, prophecy, and the subconscious intermingle.