Tag Archives: Martin Kemp

2009 till now ➤ Archive of posts at Shapersofthe80s

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➤ Martin Kemp’s new hooligan movie all a bit too Lock-Stock for us!

Martin Kemp, posters, Leo Gregory,film , Top Dog
❚ TO BE HONEST the trailer for Top Dog was way too visceral for Shapersofthe80s to view out from behind the sofa. Martin Kemp’s latest film as a director for Richwater films is described by its producer Jonathan Sothcott as “the definitive hooligan movie”. If you insist on watching the “all a bit Lock-Stock” trailer, be warned: gratuitous macho swaggering from the outset, plus bodies being broken! The Strong Men at GQ have this to say about it …

➢ Click to view Top Dog trailer at GQ magazine

The British gangster genre is a tough nut to crack. Channel Four got it right with the excellent Top Boy, but cinema has often fallen short of the mark. For every Layer Cake and Wild Bill, there’s a thousand more films that just aren’t tough enough to survive in the world of dodgy East-End pubs and expertly tailored football hooliganism. Thank goodness, then for the release of Top Dog, a new British thriller adapted from the novel of the same name by Green Street’s Dougie Brimson. Starring Leo Gregory (a veteran of the genre after roles in Green Street and EastEnders) as a football firm leader who takes on more than he can handle when he tries to reclaim his family’s pub from a group of no-nonsense gangsters. While it may do little to change Britain’s reputation as a nation of football hooligans, for those looking for something to fill the void left by Gary Oldman’s 1989 original of The Firm and 2005’s Green Street, Top Dog is a tense, Elijah Wood-free alternative.

Top Dog is released in cinemas May 23 and on Blu Ray and DVD May 26.

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Catch up on the warts-and-all biopic about Spandau Ballet premiered in Texas

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➤ Calling fashionistas for their tales of Spandau Ballet in the New Romantic 80s

Spandau Ballet, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, Liverpool Empire, 1982, Diamond Tour, fans,

IS THIS YOU? May 8, 1982: A teenage fan shins the drainpipe at the Liverpool Empire giving access to Spandau Ballet’s dressing room on their first nationwide tour with the Diamond album. Snapped by © Shapersofthe80s

❚ WERE YOU A FAN of Spandau Ballet in the 1980s? Here’s an appeal for your experiences from a reputable documentary film-maker…

We are looking to speak to people who lived through the early years of the band’s success in the 80s for a BBC 4 documentary on the history of music and fashion in post-war Britain.

We are particularly interested in hearing from people who took fashion inspiration from them and the New Romantics scene and may still have some clothing from that period. If you can identify with this and wouldn’t mind speaking to a member of the team about your experiences please contact Lucy Joyner: ljoyner [ a t ] oxfordscientificfilms.tv

Spandau Ballet, Blitz Kids, New Romantics,  1982, Diamond Tour, Martin Kemp, fans, Gary Kemp,Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Peter Capaldi

Unrivalled adulation in the early 80s: Tony Hadley faces the audience during Spandau Ballet’s Diamond tour of 1982. Photograph by © Shapersofthe80s

DID YOU WITNESS POP HISTORY IN THE MAKING?

❏ Who are the two Liverpool music fans so keen to meet their idols that they shinned the drainpipe at the Empire theatre leading to the dressing room of Spandau Ballet, Britain’s premier New Romantic band of the 80s? After knocking on the window, the girls achieved their goal when bass player Martin Kemp helped them to safety inside.

The year was 1982. Spandau’s seventh single Instinction had put them on Top of the Pops during Easter week and sales were rocketing. The night of May 8, towards the end of Spandau’s first nationwide tour, with stand-up comedian Peter Capaldi in support, has become known as The Return of the Scream. The moment the house lights dimmed, a mighty roar lifted the roof off the Empire, the city’s legendary music venue. It didn’t stop for 75 minutes. The band hadn’t heard anything so intense and were visibly shaken when they came offstage. Guitarist Gary Kemp said in disbelief: “I had to stop playing. I couldn’t hear my own monitor.”

What we had all witnessed was the return of the true teenybop scream, the continuous bellow from the lungs, little heard since the days of the Beatles. Security men and women were clearly caught out by the pandemonium as they wrestled to persuade the screamers back to their seats. One Empire veteran said that night he’d heard nothing like it since the Bay City Rollers in the mid-1970s.

A crowd of at least 500 fans surrounded the stage door afterwards and a shadow had only to fall across a dressing-room window for the scream to start again in the street. Two girls then decided to shin the drainpipe and beat the second-storey window with their handbags until they were let in.

Police with batons eventually arrived and the band managed to escape through the front doors of the theatre, but only after two decoy departures had been staged. Even so, in the murderous dash through the crowd packing the pavement, saxophonist Steve Norman lost a bracelet and singer Tony Hadley a chunk of his scalp. As their coach pulled away, I was stranded on the kerb photographing the mayhem.

Spandau Ballet, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, Liverpool Empire, 1982, Diamond Tour, Martin Kemp, fans, Gary Kemp,Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Peter Capaldi

Inside the Liverpool Empire, May 8, 1982: fans shocked security staff with the roar that greeted Spandau Ballet. Photograph by © Shapersofthe80s

Spandau Ballet, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, ,1980,Scala Cinema, concert,OMM,pop music,
➢ An early Spandau Ballet date at the Scala cinema described above in The Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics – in the Observer Music Magazine 2009

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➤ Essential pop-cultural landmarks reported here at Shapers of the 80s

Andrew Ridgeley,George Michael, Wham Rap, video, Face magazine, Club Culture,

Click pic to open the Wham Rap! video in another window … “Man or mouse” Andrew Ridgeley establishes his clubbing credentials – along with sidekick George Michael – in the opening shots of the Wham! video by reading this very Face cover story on Club Culture that you’re about to read!

THE MOST READ FEATURE ARTICLE AMONG 720,000 VIEWS SINCE THE LAUNCH OF SHAPERS OF THE 80s

➢ 1983, The Making of UK Club Culture — Definitive Face cover story by yours truly seen here in the Wham Rap! video. This account of how London nightlife had become an international magnet was first published as “an upstairs‑downstairs tale of two key nightspots” in The Face No 34 in February 1983. Photography © by Derek Ridgers. Reprinted in The Faber Book of Pop, 1995; and in Night Fever, Boxtree, 1997

69 Dean Street, Soho, club culture, The Face magazine, London, 1980s, clubbing, nightlife,Billys, Gargoyle,Red Studio,Blitz Kids

From The Face, February 1983

THE ORIGINAL HISTORY OF THE BLITZ KIDS

The Observer Music Magazine. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers

The Observer Music Magazine, Oct 4, 2009. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers

➢ Spandau Ballet, the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics — The much-plundered story originally researched by Shapers of the 80s tells who did what to make stars out of a club houseband, change the rhythm of the UK charts — and ultimately rejuvenate the British media. The obsessive fashionistas behind one small club in London in 1980 went on to dominate the international landscape of pop and fashion, while putting more British acts into the US Billboard charts than the 1960s ever achieved.

EARLY 80s REPORTS REVISITED

➢ How three wizards met at the same crossroad in time — an inside scene-setter on the forces shaping the Swinging Eighties

➢ 1980, Strange days, strange nights, strange people: at The Blitz a decade dawns

➢ 1980, One week in the private worlds of the new young: London blazes with creativity

➢ 1980, Shapersofthe80s tells how Duran Duran’s road to stardom began in the Studio 54 of Birmingham, UK

➢ 1981, Birth of Duran’s Planet Earth … when other people’s faith put the Brummies into the charts

Romance blossoms: Drummer Jon Moss gives George O’Dowd a peck at Planets club in July 1981 way before their band Culture Club existed. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ Three key men in Boy George’s life – In 2010 the BBC turned the pop star’s teens ’n’ twenties into a 90-minute drama of foot-stamping, chair-throwing, cry-baby tantrums over his self-confessed “dysfunctional romances”, all of which he had documented in his eye-wateringly frank 1995 autobiography, Take It Like a Man. Shapers of the 80s summarises George O’Dowd’s stormy lovelife.

➢ Ex-Blitz Kids give their verdicts on the TV drama Worried About the Boy – During and after its broadcast in 2010, this authoritative mixture of opinions on the Boy George story reshaped the accepted clichés about the Blitz Kids.

Chris Sullivan, club-host, deejay, Wag club, Blue Rondo, pop music,We Can Be Heroes, youth culture,

At home in Kentish Town Chris Sullivan chooses the right zootsuit for today’s mood: his wardrobe is legendary, his taste impeccable, and his influence immeasurable. Shapersofthe80s shot this for his first Evening Standard interview in June 1981

➢ 1976–1984, How creative clubbing started and ended with the 80s – “We were all kids,” says Chris Sullivan who would eventually host the Wag, the coolest club in town, for 19 years. “We went out and had a go. Empowerment is what’s important about this story.”

Photocall: Spandau Ballet, Richard Burgess and assorted Blitz Kid designers gather for the press conference before their fashion-and-music shows in New York. Yes that is Sade towards the far right. Photograph © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 1981, First Blitz invasion of the US – 21 Blitz Kids take Manhattan by storm with a fresh fashion show and the live new sound of London. Eye-witness words and pix by Shapers of the 80s

ROMANTIC REVIVAL OF THE NOUGHTIES

Sade  1983

Wow! Then and now: Sade backstage in August 1983 while still seeking a recording contract and, right, as shot to launch her 2010 album. Vintage picture © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 2010, Shapers of the 80s finds comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ – Having wowed the 80s clubbing scene, in 2011 Sade’s band won a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance By A Group.

➢ 2009, Onstage, Spandau Ballet’s Hadley and Kemp finally get huggy in a mighty Reformation – Shapers of the 80s follows the reunion of the band who wrote the new rules for pop in the Swinging 80s.

WE ARE ALL BOWIE’S CHILDREN NOW

David Bowie, Starman, 1972, Top of the Pops, tipping point, BBC

The moment the earth tilted July 6, 1972: During Starman on Top of the Pops, David Bowie drapes his arm around the shoulder of Mick Ronson. Video © BBC

➢ 40 years since “I picked on you-oo-oo”! July 6, 1972 saw the seminal pop moment — David Bowie’s first appearance on Top of the Pops as Ziggy Stardust, the day he created the next generation of popstar wannabes

➢ Where to draw a line between glitter and glam – defining what separates the naff blokes in Bacofoil from starmen with pretensions

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➤ Martin Kemp discreet about his moist moment with Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, TV, Life Stories,  Martin Kemp , Steve Dagger, Steve Norman , Shirlie Kemp

Braced for the Piers Morgan grilling: Martin Kemp (right) with Spandau manager Steve Dagger, Steve Norman and Shirlie Kemp. (Cam-tweet by Kemp cam)

❚ ALL THE REAL MARTIN KEMP tweeted last night was “#lifestories What a wonderful evening…. Thanks everyone!” Closely followed by Spandau Ballet pal Steve Norman Real tweeting: “I have arrived at the conclusion that @piersmorgan is actually a gentleman”!!! Closely followed by legendary gossip hack and TV host Piers Morgan tweeting: “Ssshhhh, you’ll ruin my reputation @SteveNormanReal”!!!

Four ropey backstage snaps were also tweeted from their respective camphones, but otherwise the Spandau camp were remaining tightlipped about what was revealed at Elstree Studios yesterday. Spandau bass player and TV star Martin (aka onetime EastEnders bad boy Steve Owen) had been a special guest for the new series of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, and the two-hour recording has yet to be edited down to its final 40 minutes for broadcast very soon.

Morgan is the notorious former editor of Britain’s tabloid Daily Mirror, currently based in the United States, whose Life Stories are famous for wringing tears from at least 11 of his celebrity interviewees in front of live audiences, spiced up with video contributions from friends and family. A sort of This Is Your Life with the gloves off.

Today Martin remained tactful about how moist his grilling became: “It was a close-run thing… But it was so much fun.”

Julie Goodyear, Martin Kemp

Bestest pals ever: Julie Goodyear comforts a weepy Martin Kemp during Celebrity Big Brother in September 2012 (© Channel 5)

Morgan’s 10th series for ITV starts with Coronation Street’s former termagant Bet Lynch aka Julie Goodyear in the hot seat at 9pm on Sept 20. This firecracker will also feature “revealing interviews with her ex-lovers, former co-stars and close friends” it says, so Julie must be gritting her teeth behind those scarlet lips. (Kempie was Julie’s best pal inside last year’s Celebrity Big Brother house – until almost the end, so we might see whether they’ve kissed and made up since.)

In the new series Julie Goodyear is being followed by Gloria Hunniford, Brian Blessed, Julian Clary, Peter Waterman and Beverley Callard (kidnap victim Liz McDonald in Corrie). So far no date set for Steve Owen!

Roman Kemp, Harleymoon Kemp, Martin Kemp, Shirlie Kemp

Moral support at the Elstree studios: the Kemp family, Roman, Harleymoon, Martin and Shirlie. (Cam-tweet by Kemp cam)

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