The promo photo for the new band Poptone playing the familiar sounds of Bauhaus, Love And Rockets, and mostly Tones On Tail. With Diva Dompe (l), Kevin Haskins (c) and Daniel Ash (r). Photo courtesy of Poptone

Throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s, there was a “Goth” movement in art, fashion, music, etc. I use quotations around Goth as that was the label affixed to the style of music that Bauhaus, Smiths, Cure, et. al. came out with. Loosely associated with pale face paint with black accents, high hair, etc. etc. yawn etc.

Besides, and most importantly, I wouldn’t know Goth if it bit me on the neck.

I have a hypothesis, I’m willing to proffer it here…

Bauhaus, with Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and David J, fit well into the Goth moniker. If there was a chance the band could eschew that label, it was gone for good when they contributed the famed theme for the David Bowie movie The Hunger, that theme being “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (so enduring to this reviewer that not long after it hit U.S. radar due to the movie, I covered the song!).

Once again, the same old story of never being able to (or never wanting to) regurgitate the same formulaic music for the pleasure of the label (first) and the fans (second), they did what EVERY band seems to do. Split up.

Directly after the split, prolific guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist, hair stylist, artist (and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were a Magistrate in his spare time), Daniel Ash took some notions of songs he had for Bauhaus and worked on them with fellow ‘Hauser Haskins and bassist Glenn Campling under the name Tones On Tail. Many feel this band was the best of the three.

The band that came closest to success since “Lugosi” would be Love & Rockets. I know you have heard Love & Rockets. Even radio played “So Alive” and their version of the Temptations’ “Ball Of Confusion” is the best I’ve heard yet.

As of shortly before publication of this blog, the only band of the three not to have any activity in the new millennium? Tones On Tail. And it still isn’t happening. Well, not quite.

Instead, we are in the unique position to be able to see the band as close to possible, Poptone. Poptone is the result of Daniel Ash being lulled to sleep by his computer playlist and being jarred awake by a Motorhead song and having the realization wash over him that, yes, he needs to play live again!

But what would he play? Perhaps it is that most recent activity statistic that prompted his decision, maybe the fact that the band wasn’t together long enough to fulfill its potential. But a full-on Tones On Tail reunion was not to be had. Original bassist Glenn Campling is not in the fold. Prior commitments, retirement, little is known why he is absent. In his absence is Diva Dompe. While those familiar with the three bands, as well as the Bubblemen (a parody band where they came out in bubble costumes) may not be familiar with Ms Dompe, she is close to the camp trust me.

She is Kevin Haskins daughter. If you have to bring in an outsider, why not bring in someone from the inside? Wait, that could be taken wrong, look at Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers or Dave Navarro of Red Hot Chili Peppers (I see a pattern there). In order to see if she could fill for Campling, her audition was the notorious bass line for “GO”, a snappy little Tones On Tail ditty.

Not that Daniel Ash had been doing nothing during the downtime that lead to his epiphany… He scored music for video/movies, released solo music, rejoined Bauhaus on and off, rejoined Love And Rockets on and off. It was Tones On Tail that he thought was going to be the most widely received and got the least amount of attention, globally speaking.

From my personal perspective, I would rate the bands Tones first, then Bauhaus then Love And Rockets. I prefer Ash’s darker moods, his silent strange introspection.

Enjoy more of that dark strangeness:

For those of you not familiar with Tones music, or Bauhaus or Love And Rockets, it’s OK. This is a band that likes to flex its talent AND entertain. If you haven’t heard any of their unique, insane, talent-laden songs, they got you covered…

They have been tearing up the West Coast. Many of the dates have sold out, most likely many more will sell out closer to the dates of the show. Here is an overall tour schedule, check the dates and see where you can catch this most unique, once-in-a-lifetime act.

Past and present tour dates for Poptone, the music of Bauhaus, Love And Rockets, and Tones On Tail. Photo courtesy Poptone.

The more observant may note, that the tour schedule is fragmented. A leg then a break, a leg then a break. This was at the behest of Ash as the constant touring of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets became vampiric to Ash’s creativity and psychology. This way they perform a leg, go home, refresh, then go out again. This is an unorthodox method of touring, but, if it is what Ash and Co. need to do to stay fresh, so be it.

Your best bet is to find a local gig, get your tickets and catch a show. This is one of those bands that I have chosen to include in my “Year Of Impossible Concerts”. I am dedicating to seeing as many rare, off-kilter acts as I can. I have already seen the until recently defunct Miracle Legion, I am going to try my damnedest to bring you a review of at least one of these shows (tickets have yet to be purchased). In case I can’t, maybe you should check it out for yourselves!

You can head over to Ticketmaster to get your tickets:

Also see Daniel’s site for all kinds of cool stuff!

Here are some communities on Facebook you might enjoy…

Hopefully I’ll see you at one of the East Coast shows!

Thanks to Eli Kampero for his liberal permission to use his “GO” and “Christian Says” videos. His Youtube channel has many other severely interesting videos:

Thanks to Michael Davis for the liberal permission to use his “Heartbreak Hotel” video. You may want to check out his Youtube channel:

Now for those of you who know me, know that I won’t be happy unless I end this post on something pithy. So to those who are looking to find a unique, off-the-beaten-path band, you should find a Poptone gig near you and… GO!


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  1. Liane Chan Says:

    Reblogged this on My Other WordPress Blog and commented:
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Tones on Tail music needed to be heard!


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