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international news _ 18th April, 2006

Goths, Suicidal Tendencies & Superstar DJs

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

An eight year study of the sub-culture lifestyles of over a thousand young Brits published this week, has revealed that 47% of the Goths have attempted suicide and 53% practised self harm, making the youth fashion by far the most self-destructive sub-cultures.

"Although only fairly small numbers of young people identify themselves as belonging to the Goth subculture, rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are very high among this group," said Glasgow University chief researcher Robert Young.

"Young people with a tendency to self-harm are attracted to the Goth subculture," he added (bbc/ British Medical Journal).

The much maligned movement first emerged in the early 80s and appealed to more than a few of dance culture's most interesting characters including Danny Howells, Sven Vath and Dave Clarke, who covered Bauhaus' seminal gothic anthem She's In Parties on his recent artist album Devil's Advocate.

"I loved the way Bauhaus was Gothy-cool, not over Goth," Dave told Skrufff a couple of years ago, "I was very into that," he added.

Ivan Smagghe also confessed to a passing interest in the genre when chatting to Skrufff about his 2004 compilation Death Disco, which prompted now deceased dance magazine Jockey Slut to brand his band Black Strobe 'electrogoths'.

"My partner (Arnaud Robotini) in Black Strobe was a Goth, I was more into New Wave," the French star producer recalled, "Goth was quite funny, a bit silly at times and I reacted to all that by being different."

Just last week Seb Fontaine admitted a sneaking admiration for the scene, telling UK mag One Week To Live 'sometimes when I see Goths hanging round Camden, I've got so much respect for them.'

"And this is something I probably wouldn't have admitted to ten years ago, but just the fact that they are something . . . they are someone, I quite like that," he confessed.

The suicide study also added that punk has a similar link with self-harm, though not as strong as for Goth.