Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

anecdote- I’ve discovered Goth Cabaret August 10, 2014

I meet the most interesting people.

After the banquet at When Words Collide Writing Conference in Calgary tonight (I’m there as a presenter) I was sitting cross legged on the floor in my long skirt, when I looked up and spotted two young, tall, handsome red headed men.  (The hair was quite glorious, though not discussed).  We smiled at one another and I asked, “Anyone ever tell you that you two could be brothers?”

They laughed and commented that they got that all the time.  I asked who was older and Nathan pointed at Alex.  “He is, by 8 minutes.”

I asked what school they went to, and learned they’d just graduated, but that next year, one is going to do another year to learn art, music, and sewing.  The other is going to university with the aim to become a neuro-surgeon.

Conversation carried on a bit, and Nathan asked what kind of music I listened to.  I told him I play the harp, and so I like folk and Celtic music.  He told me he really likes Goth Cabaret, but that “you’ve probably never heard of it.”  I was intrigued,because I hadn’t..  He went rifling through his iPad in search of examples.  Finally, he gave up, and said, “I’ll just sing you one.”  He sang a verse of a song and then stopped, because he couldn’t remember the rest.  He had a discussion with his brother, and then the two of them turned to me and launched into a tuneful rendition of “When You’re Evil” by Voltaire.  Alex even dived into a lovely deep bass.  They sang the whole, four minute and something song, with perfect intonations and accents on the funny bits.

I had a personal concert in the corner of a crowded foyer. A hundred people were milling around us.  Everyone else was conversing or checking their phones.  I had a moment of pure delight being entertained by a pair of talented eighteen year olds.

It was the highlight of the day, and perhaps the weekend.

Just to share the fun with you, here’s a Youtube video of the song.  Though not sung by Nathan and Alex, I can assure you, it’s pretty close!  It’s  a little ‘Sweeney Todd’ style mayhem in a jaunty cabaret tune.  Delightfully dark.

You never know what’s going to happen when you talk to young folks.



And here I am with these delightful young men.  Nathan on the left, Alex on the right.




16 Responses to “anecdote- I’ve discovered Goth Cabaret”

  1. rosewiltshire Says:

    Corny but an enjoyable listen. For similar I’d recommend having a listen to Devotchka and also Gogol Bordello. They did a lovely cover of Venus in Furs xx

    • I think it’s hilarious.

      I also love that two 18 year old boys burst into song for ME. I mean, how often does that happen?

      (To be honest, it does seem to happen to me quite often- a few times a year- but I don’t think it’s a normal experience for most people!) 🙂

      Thanks for the recommendations! 🙂

  2. jensenempire2551 Says:

    Now you got have like that? Its not everyday you get something unique and a little out of place…

    • I know, right?

      I have the coolest experiences, all because I talk to teens about the stuff they’re passionate about. So often it’s absolutely fascinating.

      • I love this writing! This is the reason why I love talking to my 14 year old niece. Teens have such a genuine and unfiltered view of life.

      • Yes!

        And (like me, I confess) what they’re enthused about, they are THOROUGHLY enthused about. I just love listening to someone who is passionate about something. Even if I don’t understand it (like Euclid math or physics, for example) it’s still fun.

  3. words4jp Says:

    What a wonderful experience – and I bet these two young men were just as thrilled to have you as a captive audience. 🙂

  4. What an awesome experience that must have been! Heading over to get a copy of this song in MP3. Thanks for introducing me to a new style!

  5. releaf1954 Says:

    I was quite startled to see a blog post from you with a song from one of my daughter’s favorite artists. My daughter is my partner in a tie-dye business and likes to listen to loud music while she’s working, so I know Voltaire well. What a treat it must have been to be serenaded by those handsome young men!

  6. Vee dC Says:

    This kinda reminds me of Squirrel Nut Zippers!

  7. Stevey Solis Says:

    I adore Voltaire. Check out Emily Autumn, leave’s Eyes and Xandria. All kind of different but awesome!!!

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