Category Archives: Technology

➤ Spandau confirms one-off live reunion gig in Texas – for a tiny elite!

Spandau Ballet,1984,pop music,reunion,Blitz Kids, New Romantics,, Parade, album

Parade’s 30th birthday celebration! In 1984 the fourth studio album by Spandau Ballet yielded two UK Top 10 hits, Only When You Leave and I’ll Fly for You. It introduced the imagery of artist David Band which became the band’s leitmotif


Spandau Ballet (Official) – “Awesome Spandau meeting yesterday! 2014 and 2015 are shaping up rather nicely”


Tickets go on sale for Spandau singer Tony Hadley’s 10-stop UK tour in October, once again with a full orchestra, climaxing at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane


Gary Kemp says – “We’re in rehearsals next week!”

❚ SPANDAU BALLET WILL PLAY TOGETHER on March 12 – their first live date in North America since 1985. On the same day that their biopic Soul Boys of the Western World premieres in Austin, Texas, the five Angel Boys will later perform at the Vulcan Gas Company on E 6th Street, a refurbished new entertainment space named after a psychedelic venue from the hippie 60s. It will host 20 gigs during the massive SXSW new-media conference and its music and film festivals.


The new Vulcan in Austin: a steam-punk interior and cutting-edge sounds

What will stymie hordes of Spandau’s hopeful American fans is that a registered Music Badge to attend SXSW costs $750 and, even then, does not guarantee admission to specific events.  Platinum and Gold conference delegates are given priority admission before Music and Film Badge holders. Also, the new Vulcan with “an industrial steam-punk feel” is a modest venue – with a typical capacity of 535 – so spare tickets are likely to be thin on the ground. The Festival operates a Queue Card system with updates online, via Venue Status Boards and @sxsw on Twitter. However, before travelling to Austin, Spandau fans are advised to ensure they have secured a ticket (see the comment from SXSW, below). Hints from the Spandau team suggest there may be more news soon.

Elsewhere on the same evening the UK singer Damon Albarn is performing at one of Austin’s 100 venues that stage live music nightly – the town does claim to be the “Live Music Capital of the World”. For three years from 1967 the Vulcan Gas Company on Congress Avenue became its first successful psychedelic music venue, featuring Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Muddy Waters and other greats, then morphing into the Armadillo World Headquarters with a broader musical bill that embraced Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, blues and jazz.

Jimi Hendrix , Johnny Winter, music, Vulcan Gas Company

The original Vulcan on Congress Avenue with its notorious drainpipe backdrop: Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter playing in 1968

Now in the 30th anniversary year of Spandau Ballet’s fourth album, Parade, one of Britain’s iconic supergroups of the 80s returns to the States.

Tony, Gary, Martin, Steve and John will be flying in to attend the 2pm premiere of their archive-only documentary film, Soul Boys of The Western World. Songwriter Gary Kemp says: “We had the idea because we have a good story and the story has a real arc. It’s about friendship, kids who come from the shadows of the Second World War growing up in the 60s and 70s, a period of great rock music from David Bowie and glam rock. They go through the whole punk experience and then had the experience of the whole New Romantic scene of working-class kids dressing up and doing things that were outrageous against a recession.”


❏ SXSW says: “As far as films go, tickets will be for sale at the door after delegates with badges and wristbands are seated, if there is room. For the music portion of the event, the situation is very similar. There will most likely be tickets for sale at the door but it varies from venue to venue. After badges and wristband holders are admitted, tickets may be sold if capacity allows. Our best advice is to get to the venue early or contact them to see if they will be selling tickets at the door and also see how long the wristband/badge lines are to judge if you could even get in.”

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Video gems unearthed by the Spandau Ballet documentary movie

Spandau Ballet,1984,pop music,reunion,Blitz Kids, New Romantics,, Parade, album

2014… Spandau Ballet’s next parade is about to begin!


Jennifer Schmaltz Robbers Aw, this is so bittersweet! It would be great if you guys could add another show outside of SXSW. It will be hard for a lot of your US fans to swing the SXSW pass.

Ricky Resurreccion $795 for a music badge???? My wife and I huge fans from California and she’d die to see you guys perform. Come on, Gary, help us out here!

Molly Fanton It better be a US tour. Come on guys come to Buffalo, Boston or NYC. I so want to see you guys.

Shell Stringer When are Spandau Ballet going to tour round more local places? Come to The Dome, Doncaster please :-)))

Carlos Hidalgo Regular Sud America

Christine Turner Hopefully another tour Down Under.

Tony Baker Get your sens darn to the Echo @ Liverpool lads

Brigitte Supercan We want you in Italy very soon please

Catriona Stokes Please come to Dublin again, you were fab in 2009 xx

Gregg Daniell Toronto. Canada would live to have you.

Debbie Meyers Praying for anywhere in the USA

Cecy Blue Pax We want a Spandau Ballet concert in South America too

Cristina Martínez Queralt Barcelona waiting for you

Layne Wheeler ok, about that meeting. when are you coming over to the states, anywhere over the atlantic, the wife and I AND our friends will come see you… here is a incentive… I will cook!!


2013 ➤ There goes the great British summer

weather, UK,

Be in no doubt: UK storm warning Oct 25, 2013, on the BBC

➢ Just so they can’t say we weren’t warned this time, the BBC annnounces: Weather system to ‘pack a punch’ on Monday

Heavy rain, flooding, strong winds and falling trees are forecast for Sunday night in parts of England and Wales. An amber alert has been issued by the Met Office, which warns buildings could be damaged as a result. There could also be disruption to Monday morning’s rush hour.

Update Friday 17:15 – as things stand, Sunday night’s storm is set to be the worst across England and Wales since January 2007.


Michael Chapman I blame David Cameron

Joanne Phillips If they didn’t prepare us we’d moan, if they get it right and it does damage we’ll moan, if it comes to nothing we’ll moan they got it wrong.

Martin Adil-Smith … ummm, isn’t this how Dad’s Army began?

Davey Pipe Watch out for that big arrow as well.

Kevin Phillips I wonder if they will get Michael Fish out of retirement to do the weather forecast?

Geoff Rogers You forgot the pestilence and plague of locusts.

Flashback to 1987

Great Storm, 1987,UK, weather, Michael Fish

Oct 15, 1987 “No hurricane coming”: Hours before the Great Storm struck, Michael Fish has egg on his face, despite those extreme depressions glaring from the weather map. (After the event colleague Bill Giles owned up to the gaffe)


➤ Who is the foot-stampiest nation of them all?

➢ BBC News reports: Computer program uses Twitter to ‘map mood of nation’
❏ “BRITISH SCIENTISTS HAVE DEVELOPED a computer program they say can map the mood of the nation using Twitter. Named Emotive, it works by accessing the emotional content of postings on the social networking site. The team, from Loughborough University, say it can scan up to 2,000 tweets a second and rate them for expressions of one of eight human emotions. They claim Emotive could help calm civil unrest and identify early threats to public safety…” / Continued at BBC online


➤ Magic! A million views up for Commander Chris sitting in his tin can singing Bowie

❚ SEE HOW PLANET EARTH IS BLUE! Wow how the stars look very different today, rising in the black void! Thrill to the International Space Station whizzing over clouds in a most spectacular way! Here’s a video made by a station commander, sitting in his tin can singing the defining Bowie hit from 1969, the year man went to the Moon. What a way to inspire new generations of would-be space explorers, sung 230 miles above the earth by one of the latest successors to Major Tom.

Last night, this wondrous HD video cover version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity was posted on YouTube by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the space station, which is the largest artificial body in orbit. Viewed at full-screen, its pin-sharp photography combines poetry and awe and speed and perspective and human scale more honestly than any special-effects movie. Seeing stars rise over a black horizon fixed in their constellations itself fixes the vehicle firmly in the firmament of space, while beneath the Great Big World Keeps On Turning. This alone is a magical moment of unparalleled apprehension.

“With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here is Space Oddity, recorded on Station,” he tweeted. “A last glimpse of the World.” 
Overnight his personal post has clocked a million views, quite apart from scores of other media postings. It was Hadfield’s parting act for the digital media on the eve of his return to Earth today after nearly five months in zero-gravity. And Bowie replied with the tweet “Hallo spaceboy”.

Commander Chris, a former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space. On December 19, he took off for a long-duration stay on board the ISS as part of Expedition 35. He is the first Canadian to command the space station and its six staff. And now, as the song goes, it’s time to leave the capsule …


➢ British astronaut Piers Sellers recalls the unique smell of space

➢ Technology made simple – 18 TED talks from astronauts, including Chris Hadfield


➤ 20 years ago today the free world wide web was born

❚ TO COMMEMORATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY of the web being made available free to all, the international physics laboratory CERN has recreated the world’s first website and posted it today, at its original address and this is it – The home page provided an explanation of what the world wide web was, and how to use a browser and set up a web server.

The British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed an information management system in 1989 and had a working version of the web in Dec 1990. The first website built was at CERN within the borders of France and went online on August 6, 1991, but by 1993 some user groups were positioning themselves to try to monopolise the web as a commercial platform. So on April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the world wide web would be free to anyone, with no fees due.

CERN, firsts, website, worldwideweb,

The web’s first home page: click on the image to visit the site at CERN

➢ The World Wide Web Became Free 20 Years Ago Today – By Mark Fischetti, senior editor at Scientific American:
You and I can access billions of web pages, post blogs, write code for our own killer apps – in short, do anything we want on the web – all free! And we’ve enjoyed free reign because 20 years ago, today, web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and his employer, the CERN physics lab in Geneva, published a statement that made the nascent “world wide web” technology available to every person, company and institution without royalty or restriction …  / Continued online

➢ Long live the web: Tim Berners-Lee wrote a treatise for Scientific American in 2010 explaining why the web must remain for ever free:  “The web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity – and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending.”



Tim Berners-Lee at the Olympics opening ceremony (Photo: Getty)

Tim Berners-Lee at the Olympics opening ceremony (Photo: Getty)

❏ The internet is a global computer system that provides information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardised communication protocols. In contrast, the web is one of the services that runs on the internet. It is a collection of text documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs (addresses), usually accessed through web browsers from web servers. A browser is a so-called “graphical user interface” which simply means an accessible visual entry point into the arcane world of computer coding. Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularising the world wide web and today most popular browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) retain the characteristics of the original Mosaic.

In July 2012 Tim Berners-Lee was honoured as the “Inventor of the world wide web” during the Olympics opening ceremony in London where he appeared in person, working at a NeXT computer, the model on which he worked at CERN in 1989. He tweeted the message: “This is for everyone.”

The mighty tweet: Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world at the Olympics

The mighty tweet: Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world at the Olympics

➢ EFF asks, How safe is your privacy? CISPA passes out of the House without any fixes to core concerns

➢ CERN’s original Public Domain document of April 30, 1993: “CERN’s decision to make the web foundations and protocols available on a royalty free basis, and without additional impediments, was crucial to the web’s existence. Without this commitment, the enormous individual and corporate investment in web technology simply would never have happened, and we wouldn’t have the web today.” – Tim Berners-Lee, Director, WWW Consortium