Nice piece on ageing goths:
If it occasionally sounds faintly tragic – it's a hard heart that doesn't break a little at Hodkinson's stories of goths adapting their appearances to symptoms of ageing such as balding or becoming larger – it is more often a heartwarming tale of strong bonds and lasting companionship. "People have long-term friendships as part of the subculture and their patterns of behaviour were dominated by the subculture," says Hodkinson. "Some people would say to me, you're asking why I stay involved, but really it would be odd not to be involved. If you're so attached to the music and style and it's something that has got you a good sense of belonging and community and practical friendships, why would you break off with that?"
Maybe there's a bit less to this than meets the eye: ageing hippies have been around for long enough for me to notice that they were getting old, which is a long time. Still, gothiness has a dress code which in turn means that you have to make some positive adaptations as time takes its toll. Amateur researches in Whitby, for instance, reveal that there' is a certain age when men throw away the crimpers and go with the full Richard O'Brien effect; and that exo-corsets can impart a nice dignified-but-sexy look to the stouter lady. Anyway, the whole ethos is crepusculartastic doom and decay, so ageing fits right in. I look forward to proper hags.
I do disagree with the idea that Goths are essentially middle class. I always figured the ur-goth as working in a garage in Leeds, though maybe he or she now owns it. As I recall, there was a Polish goth band called Garage in Leeds back in the eighties, or maybe that's just a succubus inserted into my mind by the ghost of John Peel.