1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Perfect Souls – The Gathering

In From The Cold - Various Artists

In From The Cold – Various Artists

Sometime in the mid 80’s something weird started happening on Radio 5. There was this dude called Barney Simon who was a sound engineer, but who began to muscle into the Saturday afternoon show and eventually took over the slot entirely. He played strange music, stuff that was not dipped in honey, or dripped with disco floor sweat. Bands like Joy Division, The Mission and Fields of The Nephilim began to fill Saturday afternoons with black thundershowers.

This also gave an outlet for the few South African bands who embraced the alternative with No Friends of Harry being one of those leading the way. In 1988, there were 2 brilliant compilation albums released which tapped into the local alternative scene. One was ‘The Flying Circus’ which featured acts such as Dog Detachment and Penguins In Bondage. The other was ‘In from The Cold’ and the opening track on this album was The Gathering’s ‘Perfect Souls’.

There is not much information available about this band which was packed with potential. ‘Perfect Souls’ has all the blackness of a perfect goth track. It is a brooding affair and the lead vocals are fraught and goth-deep. The beat is also such that those dressing up in black and heading off to the alternative nightclubs (after listening to Barney’s show of course), could dance to.

The Gathering saw 1 other song on that album (‘Wooden Walls’) and I have found 3 other tracks on Youtube (including the wonderful ‘Lambstricken’), but that seems about it for a band that coulda and shoulda done much much more. They were forerunners in the South African goth race of the late 80’s. But they were beaten into polo position by No Friends Of Harry and a little later The Awakening took over the baton. The Gathering should not be forgotten and ‘Perfect Souls’ is a bit of a lost classic from those days.

Where to find it:
Vinyl: In From The Cold – Various (1988), Principal Records, PRINCE013

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