VARIOUS ARTISTS – ” Young Limbs Rise Again: The Story of the Batcave Nightclub 1982-1985 “

Posted: November 16, 2022 in MUSIC

Features tracks from The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, The Birthday Party, Joy Division, Soft Cell, Specimen, Sweet, T-Rex, Roxy Music, New York Dolls, Sparks, The Velvet Underground and more…London 1982. As the new romantic youthquake of 1981/1982 faded, and after what felt like a lifetime since punk’s last gasp, a tiny nightclub opened its doors in London’s Soho. Drawing to it a new generation of misfits and miscreants with a penchant for polysexual hedonism, for dressing up and showing out, The Batcave became the dark heart of alternative club culture, 

“Young Limbs Rise Again” is a forthcoming compilation album that celebrates the subculture of Goth via the music that was played, and the bands that performed at the legendary Batcave, a weekly club night hosted in London’s Dean Street (and later in Leicester Square) in the early 1980s.

Art school students, ex-punks and psychobillys, boys and girls, gays, straights, don’t-knows and don’t-cares, Camden and Kensington Market stallholders, professional squatters, kids on the dole, kids in bands, nocturnal music journalists, edgy fashionistas, androgynous randoms and even a smattering of bona fide popstars.  All were welcome to pile in, gawp at the hair, ripped, torn, bleached and rubberised fashions, and death-mask make-up and take in the dancefloor’s heady musical mix of beats-heavy post-punk pioneers, outsider icons like Wayne County and The Cramps, and a teetering pile of lusty glam rock singles from the likes of T. Rex and The Sweet.  

By the summer of ’82, The Batcave became a focus for alternative club culture, just like The Roxy and The Blitz before it and it’s “No Funk, No Disco” rule set it apart from other club nights at that time. Famous regulars included musicians and singers such as Nick Cave, Robert Smith of the Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, members of Bauhaus, Marc Almond and many others. Acts would play live (the club even had its own house band, Specimen) and visitors could enjoy four-hour DJ sets.

The “Young Limbs Rise Again” collection attempts to capture both the fun and freedom of The Batcave while also looking back to reflect the musical influences on the scene and examining how that scene pointed forwards. There’s plenty of space in which to do that, since it’s offered as a 5CD or 6LP vinyl set. Both come with an 80-page hardcover book with an introduction from Kris Needs, packed with flyers, record sleeves, over 100 photographs, many previously unseen, and the whole story of the club as told by the people who were there.

It was a light bulb for all the people like me who were from the sticks and wanted a bit more from life. Freaks, weirdos, sexual deviants, there’s people around who’ll always be attracted by something shiny, glittering, exciting Jonny Slut, SPECIMEN

Both big sets are broken down into themed albums and the 6LP vinyl offers 63 songs while the more generoous (and cheaper) 5CD large format box delivers 89 tracks. There’s a 2LP vinyl edition for a more concise overview.

Specimen’s Jon Klein and Jonny Slut, along with Sophie Chery (from another stalwart Batcave band, Sexbeat), have worked with the record company to help putting together this musical and visual accompaniment to this very specific moment in time.

“Young Limbs Rise Again: The Story of the Batcave Nightclub 1982-1985” will be released on 24th February 2023, via Demon Music.

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