I purchased the new Faith and the Muse album, Ankoku Butoh. I was totally blown away by the video for the song, Battle Hymn, which is the best song I have heard in ages:
The album has an interesting Japanese theme (you can squeeze a connection anywhere!).
Faith and the Muse are very much part of the underground Gothic scene. It is a while since I last bought a real Gothic rock album.
While I have been described as a 'Goth' before, I don't think I am in any sense a true Goth. While I love some Gothic bands like the Cocteau Twins and I have some gothic tastes, I don't wear much black and I am pretty sure flip flops would not be seen on any serious Goth.
Can having a shoes-off policy be a thing to do in Gothic subculture? I think it can.
Firstly, being a Goth is to a large extent about being an individual departing from the mainstream, so adopting a non-traditional custom (for a British or American) can be very Goth thing to do.
Secondly, I think Goth subculture is to a large extent about style and presentation. Thus, etiquette is a hugely significant area in which Goths can re-imagine and re-present different cultural practices.
Thirdly, it is a mistake to think Goth culture is all about Neo-Victorianism. The Goth subculture has always been fascinated by non-European cultures, as with Faith and the Muse and their Japanese influenced album. The Goth movement delights in the exotic and while removing shoes may find its place in the suburban family home, it still has a flavour of the exotic east.