❚ FED UP WITH BEING IMPERSONATED by the many lookalike websites online, Steve Strange and Rusty Egan have resolved their differences to collaborate on a brand-new official Blitz club website at:
The partnership of Strange as greeter and Egan as deejay famously hosted the Blitz club-nights which launched the New Romantic fashion and electro-pop movement in 1980, and opened the door for much more sparkling new music during that decade. Last night the legendary motormouths blagged themselves a couple of valuable minutes on London’s TV news to announce a reunion party actually at the site of the original Blitz, then a Covent Garden wine bar which these days is an after-hours saucy gentlemen’s club called The Red Rooms (pictured above). And though the BBC presenters banged on about a 30th anniversary, any original Blitz Kid knows the club actually opened in 1979.
Not one to let that stand in the way of a party, Strange says: “The furniture may have changed but there is no doubt we are heading back to our spiritual home.” Next Saturday night the Blitz partners wrap up three celebrations in one shebang, with live entertainment thrown in.
The Return To The Blitz party both celebrates their reunion and launches their website. It is an evening-only event from 8pm to midnight, with Rusty and Princess Julia on the decks while Steve and Rosemary Turner are hosting. In addition, from 7.30pm (doors open 7pm), Jus Forest will be reading from her book Remembering Eden, which is a celebration of Ultravox’s 30th anniversary tour. Jan 15 itself was chosen to mark the day in 1981 when the single Vienna was released — the hit single that established Ultravox as the driving force for the new wave of electronic music. During the previous couple of years their vocalist Midge Ure and keyboard player Billy Currie had also played crucial roles in creating new music tailored to the Blitz club through the studio group Visage, which was fronted by Strange as vocalist.
Performances on Saturday include a set by the new livepop band Paradise Point, whose bassist is Roman Kemp, son of Martin whose own band Spandau Ballet were launched from the Blitz in 1979. We’re also promised Quilla Constance, an electro-punk singer and lap dancer who will no doubt be taking advantage of The Red Rooms’ dance-poles.
True to the New Romantic ethos that insisted “the band holds a mirror up to the audience”, Rusty says: “The real stars are the people who come, dress up, dance and enjoy electronic 80s music at its best.” He is shrewdly inviting guests to “hit me with your own Top 10 — tunes I would hear in the Blitz club if it were open now … Current acts I like are LCD Soundsystem, Gossip, Muse, La Roux, The xx, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga.”
➢ Tickets are now sold out for Return To The Blitz (with Paradise Point & Special Guests) on Jan 15, 2011. Contact Rusty with playlist suggestions through the new website
➢ Remembering Eden – 30th Anniversary Tour Book celebrates the return of Ultravox, the synth-pop pioneers, to the live stage in 2009-10. Compiled by Jus Forrest and Helen Waterman, it tells the band’s story from the 80s right through the Return to Eden 2 tour, with interviews by Rob Kirby, fan reviews and many previously unpublished photos.
➢ Listen to Robert Elms interview Rusty Egan on BBC London about the Blitz club and how the new sounds he played were the springboard for a musical sea-change… “Steve Strange and me, we’re like chalk and cheese. I’m music, Steve’s fashion. But it’s obvious: music and fashion, you’ve got to have them together.”
OTHER TAKES ON THE BLITZ BY SHAPERSOFTHE80s
➢ The story of Spandau Ballet, the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics — at The Observer
➢ On this day in 1980 Spandau fired the starting gun for British clubland’s pop hopefuls: dada didi daaa!
➢ Who are the New Romantics, what are their sounds, and how do they dance?
➢ How real did 1980 feel? Ex-Blitz Kids give verdicts on the TV play, Worried About the Boy