Back in 2010 I reviewed the (then) new compilation album ‘Hope’, put together to raise funds for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I recently interviewed the founder, Sylvia Lancaster, for a forthcoming ten year anniversary feature for Gothic Beauty and then Facebook, in it’s infinite wisdom, showed me this review from years ago. So, in lieu of more recent writings to share, here’s something I wrote a few years ago for Dominion Magazine, and again, despite what the byline says, I did write this –
“Three years ago this August a couple were attacked by a group of chavs for being Goths. Both were hospitalised, one later died from her injuries. Her name is now synonymous with the fight, and right, to be yourself and be weird, wherever and whoever you are.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, started by Sophie’s mother, aims to improve the understanding and tolerance of different subcultures and to raise money for workshops and programmes to aid these improvements. It is also campaigning for changes in the UK hate crime laws and the compilation album ‘Hope’ is one of the ways they are hoping to gain funds.
Veteran DJ and promoter Martin Oldgoth began to put the CD together in 2009 after a conversation with Andi Sex Gang provided the inspiration. A year later 15 bands from across the spectrum of dark and alternative music donated songs to create ‘Hope’ with all the proceeds going directly to the chairty.
Featuring songs by renowned bands such as New Model Army and Alien Sex Fiend the CD boasts some big names, some of which gave previously unreleased material to the cause. The Mission’s track ‘She’s Gone Away’ is one, an almost waltz-like ballad in true Mission style, and long standing post-punk band UK Decay contributed an unreleased version of ‘Battle of the Elements’. ‘Euphoria’ by U.S. duo Collide represents the industrial darkwave side of Goth while The Eden House’s ‘All My Love’ is classic female-fronted Goth, a beautiful and hopeful song. The Last Dance, Marc Almond, Faith and The Muse and Gene Loves Jezebel are also included and Joolz (New Model Army) opens the CD with a chilling spoken-word poem.
Two songs in particular stand out though, for the passion and depth of feeling encompassed by them, perhaps because of all the songs these two were written specifically about what happened to Sophie. California based band Autumn Cannibals ‘Monument to Shame’ is epic and heartfelt with lyrics like ‘One less colour in the sky, one more name to be remembered’ bringing goosebumps to the skin. It is an almost vengeful track with a latent power behind it’s sad sentiment. The penultimate song is by UK band Uninvited Guest, again inspired directly by the tragedy, it tells Sophie’s tale in poetic detail. With just strings, piano and vocals ‘Death of an Angel’ is haunting, a prodigious contribution that manages to encompass both the volume of sadness surrounding what happened and the belief that something good will come of it, of Hope.
The album will be available to download from the 22nd May to coincide with World Goth Day, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. More details can be found at Martin Oldgoth’s website – www.martinoldgoth.co.uk/hope.htm “