"haha... I will try to repress telling the world "I told you so".
Steampunk is just waiting for a band to swarm around and create a viable movement. Abney Park have been playing the steampunk tag for quite some time so it's not a real wonder that they're getting the exposure with people and the press desperately looking at how to announce the steampunk subculture as the new and viable youth movement it's been so-long dying to become.
Actually I think I might make this into a LJ post :p
Yes, gentle readers. Steampunk has been boiling under the radar for YEARS and it's been an amazing experience watching the subculture grow at an ever increasing velocity over the last 4-5 years (along with the new burlesque and gothic bellydancing movements - although the latter has gathered pace more in the last couple fo years) and vying to becom the NEXT BIG THING(tm).
I've mentioned numerous times that all it needs is for a 'steampunk' band to get some attention and break out. To give people a musical style to start clinging to, to emulate and to evole around. It doesn't have to be a single style of course. Look at the Goth movement back in the 80's - you had everything from pop to punk, from psychedelia to thrash to folk represented under the 'goth' tag. It was about the style, the following and a vaguely defined ethos.
I personally think that Steampunk will be the NEXT BIG THING (that's not to say that it'll be the only NBT - but it will be one of them). I've seen Steampunk gaining in popularity so much and at GenCon Indy this year you saw a lot of the tradition 'goth' kids replace their eyeliner for googles, cogs and gentlemans jackets - the amount of neo-victoriana and steampunk costumes in attendence was startling obvious - their was even a Steampunk Ball held at one of the official GenCon after parties! The scene is waiting to break out so much it hurts.
That's not to say that the people in the scene necessairly WANT it to become the NBT. But then many people in many scenes like thinking they're cuttign edge, cool and unique... and just because it becomes the NBT doesn't demean this or them. But Steampunk is reaching a critical mass as a subculture below the radar and is slowly bursting through. This is a trend I think will carry on happening until one day we'll wake up and it's... everywhere. People will wonder where it came from (like we did with EMO or Grunge) but it will be with us.
I'm going to be watching it carry on evolving with immense interest (and not only because we publish the Victoriana RPG and have several oteher steampunk-esque things in development) because, having been into Steampunk and Victoriana since the late 1980's, it's been a fascinating opportunity to watch a truly underground scene pick up steam (excuse the pun) and evolve over the last two decades (and let's face it - stemapunk has been around longer than that) to a point where it's within touching distance from being a truly impressive scene. From art, to theatre, from customes to music and beyond. It's been great to study the evolution and the rise and rise of the Steampunk Subculture...
Tonight I'm Gonna Party Like It's 1899 (The Guardian; Friday 17th October 2008)