Tag Archives: Concert

➤ Prince live in London puts the afro back in fashion!

Prince, live, London, pop music

Last night’s secret gig: Prince live at the Electric Ballroom in London backed by his new band 3rdEyeGirl. (Photograph PA)

❚ HERE’S THE GODLIKE ONE live onstage in the Electric Ballroom at about 1am this morning all in black with a furry sleeveless top plus wild afro hair. Prince was backed by his new band 3rdEyeGirl and his audience consisted of whoever ventured out in last night’s lashing storm.

His first London gig since he played 20 nights at the O2 arena seven years ago opened with a slow version of I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man and Prince told the smattering of fans: “You sound like ten thousand. We love each and every one of you.” His manager Kiran Sharma tweeted: “If you were there… you know :) See you tomorrow! Same place.”

Prince, now aged 55, said he hoped to play “iconic” London venues such as Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and the legendary 60s club the Bag o’ Nails, where Jimi Hendrix performed and recently reopened.

According to the passionate lifelong Prince fan Goldies Parade a series of “guerrilla gigs”, which mark the release of the PlectrumElectrum album, is expected to be held at the Electric Ballroom for the remainder of the week. Info is sparce but leaked out following the long-awaited “press conference” in the Leyton, east London, living room of Lianne La Havas, the British soul singer whose debut album became iTunes Album of the Year 2012. There Prince played two acoustic tracks, Pretzelbodylogic and FunkNRoll, bathed in purple light.

The London jaunt is, he said, “open-ended – we’re going to be here until people don’t want to hear us any more”. 3rdEyeGirl consists of Danish bassist Ida Nielsen, Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis and American drummer Hannah Ford.

Ticketing for further dates is to be handled by one outlet, but to avoid touts cashing in, tickets for this week – price £6 !!! “because it’s a new band” – will be available only on the door and only one per person.

This year of course marks the 30th anniversary of Prince’s astonishing debut album Purple Rain.

➢ On video: the monster queue for tickets in Camden at 3pm!

Prince , live, concert, UK tour, Electric Ballroom, pop music

First pic tweeted last night: Prince live at the Electric Ballroom. Photograph @stephenbudd

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➤ Thief duo take a trip into the 90s

Fin Munro, Charlotte Mallory, electronic music, pop, Thief, concert, review, London, Hoxton Bar

Thief in Hoxton: languid romance from vocalist Charlotte Mallery. (Photography Shapersofthe80s)

❚ A DECADE SHIFT HAS MOVED Thief’s sound into another era of Britpop. Wednesday’s live set of half a dozen numbers at the Hoxton Bar and Grill suggests that the electro duo’s early 80s vibe has acquired the garagey feel of the 90s, while still evincing languid romance.

Mesmeric hints of Sade layered with essence of Massive Attack result in laid-back electronic lounge music with kickin’ beats and bleeps. The single Friend Lover becomes a mildly melancholy love song as delivered by its lyricist, drama-studies graduate Charlotte Mallory, yet it is propelled by the optimistic harmonics and percussion of Fin Munro, keyboardist, deejay, producer and London club-host. As they told radio deejay Gary Crowley in an interview last month, their songwriting partnership pursues the themes of soul and emotion, complicated feelings and unrequited love.

An EP is planned for release within the next couple of months. Meanwhile catch Thief again on Thursday Jan 30 at The Notting Hill Arts Club.

Fin Munro, Charlotte Mallory, electronic music, pop, Thief, concert, review, London, Hoxton Bar,

Thief in Hoxton: electronics by Fin Munro, vocals by Charlotte Mallery. (Photography Shapersofthe80s)

➢ Listen to Thief interviewed by 80s pathfinder Gary Crowley – Tuesdays at 7pm on Amazing Radio (not forgetting his Music Machine, Saturdays at 6pm on BBC London)

➢ Fin Munro interviewed at Farah, Feb 6:
We’re a two piece, Charlotte sings and I play the music. We’ve been influenced by bands like Sade, Everything but the Girl, but also more recent acts like SBTRKT, James Blake and Purity Ring. We’re an electronic band but we definitely have influences of soul and R&B in our songs… / Continued online

➢ Charlotte Mallory blogging at Huffington Post, Feb 6:
Fin and I first met at a house party four years ago. He’d just been to see The XX at Maida Vale studios earlier that day, so was feeling musically inspired to start something new. Although we didn’t form Thief that year, we began sending each other music we liked and kept in contact while I was studying at Sussex Uni in Brighton and he was DJing and running club nights in London… / Continued online

FRIEND LOVER AT SOUNDCLOUD

Don’t Let Go (En Vogue Cover) AT SOUNDCLOUD


➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Fin Munro plunges into love and takes a walk on the wild side

➢ Thief at Facebook

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2013 ➤ Gary Kemp’s video message for posterity on TV this Saturday

Dublin O2, Reformation Tour, Spandau Ballet reunion

Afternoon sound check at Dublin’s O2: Spandau Ballet on stage together in 2009 for the first time in two decades – John Keeble, Steve Norman, Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp. At centre, production manager Lars. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

❚ SONGWRITER GARY KEMP recalls the 2009-10 Reformation Tour by his pioneering New Romantic band Spandau Ballet, to be screened as a 2 hours 30 mins broadcast on Sky Arts this weekend:

The Reformation Tour was a coming back together I never thought would happen. After years of fighting, this tour taught us that being Spandau Ballet is a thing to be proud of. It turned out to be the best and most successful tour we ever did. If there’s one piece of evidence I’d like to leave for posterity it would be this film.

➢ The Reformation Tour 2009, produced by Scott Millaney –
Sky Arts 1 on Saturday November 9 at 9pm GMT
and again on Sunday at 12pm GMT

➢ Full coverage and review by Shapersofthe80s of Spandau’s reunion concert at the O2 arena in Dublin on October 13, 2009, plus more backstage colour from the UK tour

➢ 2010, Shapersofthe80s with Spandau touring overseas:
“so British, so gracious”

Spandau Ballet, Reformation Tour, 2009, Dublin, Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley, reunion

The picture they said could never be taken: a big hug between Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp during the band’s 2009 comeback concert in Dublin, after duetting With the Pride from 1984. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

❏ iPAD, TABLET & MOBILE USERS PLEASE NOTE — You may see only a tiny selection of items from this wide-ranging website about the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and site index either click on “Standard view” or visit Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer. ➢ Click here to visit a different random item every time you click

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2012 ➤ Grace Jones celebrates the day she met the Queen, two months on

Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert,

Meeting of two queens on June 4. At Facebook Ivan Antunovic adds this caption… The Queen: Tell me your secret, dear… Grace: Nightclubbing, your majesty, nightclubbing. (Photograph: PA)

❚ IT WAS A MEETING OF TWO QUEENS in their own realms… This isn’t a new photo but it was published yesterday on Grace Jones’s Official Facebook page as if the singer is suddenly chuffed to bits with the moment it captures. Just as chuffed seems to be the expression on the face of one’s monarch as HMQ greets Grace backstage following the star-studded Diamond Jubilee Concert on June 4. The official Facebook caption marks the two-month-old occasion: “It was an honour to play a part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with such an incredible band… two months ago this weekend.”

Between the regal pair, the photo captures the terminally unfunny comedian Rob Brydon giving his impersonation of the nation in shock. Other videos record how his gags died the death on the Jubilee stage, but Grace’s video continues to make compulsive viewing as she twirls a hula-hoop (Why?) while singing Slave To The Rhythm, her biggest hit and title track from her triumphant seventh studio album, produced by Trevor Horn in 1985. Priceless cutaway shots of the royal box as Grace performs might have come straight from the Mel Brooks movie satire, The Producers.

The Jamaican-American singer, supermodel and actress Grace made her home in Britain after settling down with music producer Ivor Guest, 4th Viscount Wimborne. Didn’t she do well?

Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert

Grace’s showstopper: This BBC video cutaway to the Royal Box during Grace Jones’s orgasmic act is a dead ringer for the gobsmacked audience watching Springtime for Hitler. How many astonished princesses, archbishops, ex-prime ministers and director-generals can you count?

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Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert

Grace’s finale: Another cutaway as Grace bids farewell to her audience and becomes confused about the occasion: “We love you! Happy birthday, our Queen.” How many humourless heirs to the throne and bemused princesses royal can you count?

➢ Shapersofthe80s records how this happy breed enjoyed the rainiest Diamond Jubilee Pageant of the year on June 3

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2011 ➤ The Hadley bombshell no Spandau Ballet fan will welcome

Tony Hadley,Richie Barrett , O2 World, Hamburg ,Back to the 80s ,concert, live,pop music,

Onstage last Thursday in Hamburg: Tony Hadley with guitarist Richie Barrett and drummer John Keeble. (Photo by RTN)

❚ WE HAVE HEARD ONLY HINTS SO FAR. But today singer Tony Hadley posted a link at Facebook that leaves no doubt. When you click through to photos of his performance in Hamburg last Thursday, a stark message is attached. “Spandau Ballet got together for the last time in 2009/2010 for a farewell world tour.” Nobody in the Spandau circle has yet used the words “last time” and “farewell”. Tactfully they allow us to believe that the future is a place where anything might still be possible. Hadley’s bel canto baritone voice was the most identifiable part of the supergroup’s musical signature in the 80s, and there’s nothing the band’s fans want more than to hear him singing again with his onetime schoolmates.

On Thursday and Friday, Hadley as solo performer was one of five British acts rostered for the Back to the 80s live gigs in Hamburg and Berlin. Above, we see him raising a storm onstage with Richie Barrett, the guitarist in the permanent band that has accompanied him as a singer for 13 years. Behind them on drums we see John Keeble, also a founder member of Spandau.

Heaven 1980: only Spandau's tenth live date soon after their first single had reached No 5 in the UK chart. Tony was still smoking as he sang in those days. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

And when the Hamburg concert pictures were published on Friday by the German RTN news agency, this report accompanied them:
Hamburg — Konzert mit Musiklegenden der 80er Jahre war Tony Hadley am 1. Dezember 2011 in der o2 World Hamburg zu sehen. Tony Hadley sorgte mit Spandau Ballet und Songs wie True, Gold oder Only When You Leave für unverwechselbaren Sound und echte Ohrwürmer.

Anfang der 90er Jahre startete Tony Hadley seine Solokarriere. Spandau Ballet taten sich 2009/2010 für einen Abschieds-Welttournee letztmalig zusammen.

The brutal second paragraph translates into English as:

At the beginning of the 90s Tony Hadley began his solo career. Spandau Ballet got together for the last time in 2009/2010 for a farewell world tour.

The two key words in German are more explicit than anything Hadley has issued before about past and future… letztmalig means bluntly “for the last time”. And Abschied undeniably means “farewell, leave-taking, parting”, and in a military context is used to describe an officer who is being retired.

This statement from the Hadley camp removes any ambiguity that lingered in an interview he gave in August, following his first American solo tour. Remember, an argument over royalties split Spandau Ballet asunder in 1990, until they agreed to reunite and tour in 2009. In August the singer said: “It was only ever meant to be a one-off. At the moment there aren’t plans to do Spandau again. You could be waiting 20 years.” Well, now we know that means for ever.

➢ August’s bombshell as Hadley unwinds after US solo tour

➢ Spandau Ballet’s final furlong: the Reformation tour ends at Newmarket racecourse

ONCE MORE — JOHN KEEBLE’S FAMOUS
LAST WORDS AT NEWMARKET IN 2010. . .

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