Tag Archives: Martin Kemp

➤ 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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1983 ➤ A True romance aboard Spandau’s triumphal Thames riverboat

Spandau Ballet,1983, tour, Gary Kemp

Spandau over Bournemouth, 1 April 1983: Gary Kemp teases the screamers at the Good Friday show in the Pavilion Theatre. © Shapersofthe80s

❚ YES IT’S 30 YEARS SINCE Spandau Ballet scored their only No 1 chart hit single with True, coinciding with their epic “Spandau Over Britain Tour”. By May 3, True the album reached No 1, while the single remained at No 1 as well. The band’s official website is celebrating with a month of recollections from 1983 and asking UK fans to offer their own memories. Naturally Shapersofthe80s was there on the waterfront and has a few inside stories of its own.

The month-long tour ended in triumph at London’s Royal Festival Hall 30 years ago today, on Friday April 29, because True hit the top spot in the UK singles chart and the night before Spandau topped the bill on Top of the Pops – only two weeks after its release. After the London gig there followed a right old knees-up for friends and family aboard a Thames riverboat. As it cast off Shapersofthe80s was onboard and snapped a True romance as Steve “Spiny” Norman took to the dance floor with bass-player Martin Kemp, while Steve’s mum Sheila tried to muscle in. Here are our snaps, never seen before.

CLICK ANY PIC TO LAUNCH CAROUSEL:

The band’s third album True, produced by Tony Swain and Steve Jolley, had preceded the tour and was to yield several chart hits across the world, Gold among them. The tour moved on to Europe in the summer and to North America in the autumn, when Shapersofthe80s will have some wild eye-witness scenes to report – laters…

➢ May 1 update: all five members of Spandau Ballet have agreed to an individual ‘TRUE’ Twitter Q&A session with fans, according to the official Spandau website – Q&A sessions start at 8pm (BST) on the official Spandau Twitter account, not their personal accounts, as follows: Gary May 3, Martin May 6, John May 7, Steve May 9, Tony tbc.

➢ 30th anniversary interview with Gary Kemp
at UK Official Charts website

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

HOW IT ALL BEGAN FOR
THE ANGEL BOYS

➢ Read the story of Spandau Ballet,
the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics
in my feature at The Observer

➢ Photographer Neil Matthews, another friend of Spandau from their earliest days, has been celebrating with an exhibition of his popstar photos titled My 80s Through the Lens, at The Great British Restaurant, 14 North Audley Street, London W1K 6WE. All images can be viewed online and are for sale in limited editions printed on smart archival paper. As well as Spandau, his subjects include Bananarama, Blue Rondo, Bauhaus, Haysi Fantayzee, Malcolm McLaren, The Jam, Nick Heyward, Bow Wow Wow and more.

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2013 ➤ Double whammy from the Spandau boys

Spandau Ballet, Genesis books, Spandau the True Story , Paul Simper
❚ BEING REVEALED currently on Facebook, two major Spandau Ballet announcements. First the biography of the band, a superior coffee-table photobook, Spandau the True Story, which records the entire career of the Angel Boys from Islingon, penned by their longtime shadow Paul “Scoop” Simper and published by the prestige celebrity publisher Genesis. It features unseen pictures taken not only by clubland mate Graham “Heroes” Smith, but also by Shapersofthe80s – the team who were there from the start of the New Romantic story.

➢ Spandau the True Story: sign up today at Genesis Publications, “the home of beautiful music books” … Register your interest
without financial commitment

A second announcement tonight heralds the movie Soul Boys of The Western World, a feature-length documentary containing much unseen vintage footage, produced by Grammy Award-winner Scott Millaney who was a founding member of the promo video company MGMM in the 80s just as the British music industry boomed. His company produced over 1,000 pop promos including Video Killed the Radio Star, Vienna, Dancing in the Street and Rio.

“Scoop” Simper, today an executive celebrity writer at The Sun who wrote the film’s treatment, said tonight: “There is wonderful footage of the Spandau mums and dads when they were all still with us. And never-before-seen footage from Los Angeles and Australia when the band were in their pop pomp. All the band have contributed voiceovers.”

Spandau manager Steve Dagger reveals that a case full of early film footage of the band has been discovered recently. This includes offcuts not used in a prominent TV item just before release of the band’s third single Musclebound in March 1981, and aired on the BBC teatime news magazine Nationwide. Just as the phrase New Romantics was coming into wider use by both media and an emerging generation of UK image bands, including Duran Duran, the BBC cameras capture what Dagger calls “priceless cavortings” within Soho’s heaving Beat Route club.

There’s also a whole film sequence in Jon “Mole” Baker’s shop off Carnaby Street, where Spandau members are seen trying on a variety of outfits by the Axiom collective of designers, which were to be shown in a New York runway show two months later, in what became the “First Blitz invasion” of the US, organised by both the band and the former Blitz Kid fashionistas. These Axiom collections received another runway show at Steve Strange’s Club for Heroes in London in the autumn of ’81, by which time the charts were ablaze with new slipstream bands and British street style began to explode.

movie, Scott Millaney, Spandau Ballet, Soul Boys of The Western World,
❏ On tonight’s Jonathan Ross Show Gary and Martin Kemp (pictured below) were talking about their new TV series Gangs of Britain, due to air on the Crime & Investigation Network (Sky 553 and Virgin 237) on Sundays from April 21 at 9pm BST. It’s three years since Spandau Ballet played live together so the killer question is whether they might reunite for another tour? Gary told Ross: “I pretty much guarantee we’ll do it again next year.” Martin added: “I hope so. I’ve never laughed as much as that year [on the Reformation Tour]. Just to have that year of getting your best friends back together was so lovely. I would say it was the best year of my life.”

Jonathan Ross Show,Martin Kemp, Gary Kemp ,TV series, Gangs of Britain

Another Spandau tour? Martin and Gary Kemp give Jonathan Ross a cautious yes tonight. (Viewable on ITV Player for another month. Screengrab © ITV)

TWEET ALONG TO THE KRAYS

❏ Tomorrow night, if you’re viewing the 1990 British movie The Krays on ITV4 at 9pm BST, Martin and Gary Kemp will be tweeting along with the film. Viewers can take part by using the hashtag #KraysLive while watching the brothers recreating the villainy of the English gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray who led organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.
➢ Follow Martin @ Twitter
➢ Follow Gary @ Twitter

Spandau Ballet, limited edition, lithograph, prints, True, Artwork, David Band

EXCLUSIVE PRINTS OF TRUE ARTWORK

❏ New on sale at the Spandau store is a limited edition 20 x 20-inch lithographic print embossed onto the highest quality 270gsm uncoated paper of the True album artwork by Spandau friend David Band, a Scottish artist who also designed sleeves for Altered Images and Aztec Camera and sadly died in Australia in 2011. Reproduced to celebrate Spandau’s 30th anniversary of their No 1 hit, each print is hand-signed (not reproduction signatures) by all members of Spandau Ballet, and hand-numbered by a professional scribe in a run of only 500 prints.

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➤ No humble pie for Olympian god Martin Kemp as Big Brother boots him out

Coleen Nolan, Julian Clary, Martin Kemp, Celebrity Big Brother, TV show

Da-a-a-a-ayyy Twenny-Five: waiting to hear their fates tonight, Celebrity Big Brother’s final trio of Coleen Nolan, Julian Clary, Martin Kemp. (Screengrab © Channel 5)

❚ GAME PLAN OR NO GAME PLAN, actor and musician Martin Kemp was booted out of the Celebrity Big Brother house having survived to become one of the final three housemates, along with Coleen Nolan and comedian Julian Clary who won by a clear margin of the public’s votes. Speaking at last night’s farewell dinner for the six finalists, Martin confessed:

There was one moment that taught me everything about myself and that was when we were playing gods on Mt Olympus and we decided whether or not we were going to make it easy for the mortals [fellow Big Brother housemates], or whether to make it hell on earth, and we made it hell on earth. What I’m saying is that power really does go to your head. And we enjoyed every minute.

➢ To catch-up online click the video tab at CBB: view exclusive after-show interview with Martin on Sep 8 well bronzed from the BB garden… plus his best bits

What I see in the house is completely different to what you see as a viewer. You get to see much more than what I see… Was I going to mix it up in the house? I said I was in the pre-launch video, but I got in there and found what I was comfortable with was … to show people exactly who I am when I’m being a father to my two kids and husband to my wife. That’s what I really enjoyed about it. I found that instead of mixing it up, I was sorting stuff out. Being more of a mediator… / View more online

BACK TO REALITY

➢ Back on Twitter after CBB, Martin enjoys his freedom…
Sep 8: In bed at 4am — now on the way to the studio for press. All day… The rest is over… Yurggghhh.
Sep 8: Work over for the day… On my way home to get to know the fam’ again! Thanks to everyone for all your support…x
Sep 9: Life on the outside this beautiful shiny morning is fantastic — topped off with a lock on the loo door!!!
Sep 9: Right, back to the gym… headphones, guns and roses, protein shake and Nikes… Later guys…

CATCH UP AT SHAPERSOFTHE80S

➢ Martin Kemp teeters on brink of eviction from the BB house

➢ Da-a-a-a-yyy Wunn: Kemp promises to make trouble on CBB

films, Fall of The Essex Boys, Roman Kemp,

Feature film debut: Roman Kemp in character for The Fall of The Essex Boys

➢ Sep 7: First look at film debut of Martin Kemp’s son Roman— “Roman Kemp is breaking a sweat to make his name in film while his dad Martin is still locked away in the Big Brother house. These are the first pictures of the 19-year-old in the gritty new Brit flick The Fall of The Essex Boys”

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