➤ A couple of slaps in the Visage

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❚ OOPS! RECENT RUSTLINGS IN THE DOVECOTE suggest all is not well between founder members of the 80s synthpop band Visage who gave the world The Anvil and a couple of other albums and confirmed Steve Strange as king of the pop posers.

Talks about talks to make their first album since Visage fell apart in 1984 have been going on for a year or more but the three founding members – synth pioneer Midge Ure, drummer Rusty Egan and vocalist Steve Strange – haven’t seen eye to eye since last summer. Then in November differences went public when Strange performed their biggest hit Fade to Grey on German TV [see video above] and in the ensuing interview he claimed that Midge Ure was still collaborating. At the three-minute mark Strange says: “We’re in the studio now doing a new fourth album with Midge Ure – Midge is writing the songs with me.” When a Tweeter asked if this was true, Ure’s denial was immediate: “He is deluded if he thinks that. He knows that isn’t happening.”

Midge Ure, Visage

Before Christmas Egan suddenly went public with a serious allegation about Strange’s handling of a substantial Visage royalties payment (accumulated revenue intended for all members of the 80s band) which he had allegedly received in 2004. I asked Egan whether his move was a little unwise, and he replied: “Sorry to say but as Steve Strange is blaming the hold up of Visage on me. I just can’t listen to any more of his complete rubbish. There is NO VISAGE ALBUM. There is Steve Stange [sic] and some blokes cashing in on the success of Ultravox.”

The same day Strange tweeted [below]: “there are 2 sides 2 every story”.

Steve Strange, Visage

Dozens of fans piled into Facebook to comment and in the first week of January Strange typed erratically: “thank you all 4 bringn 2my attention it s,ilegall slanderous lies by an ex member of Visage. As an agreement,we as a 4 piece ?4igned an agreement not 2 mention ,this story ? As this person is talkn in. public a lega restraining order is soon to be put in place .tThis Visage album will not be derailed .”

Only days later Strange announced to the world on Facebook “The New Visage Line up” in a glam studio portrait [below] which showed him beneath a marcel wave alongside Lauren Duvall, Steve Barnacle and Robin Simon. Strange commented on the pre-Christmas allegations: “There s always got ? Too be , the voice of doom n gloom. Not a band reunion a new lineup.” [sic]

This week a despairing Facebook follower asked Egan why the pair couldn’t resolve their differences. Yesterday Egan replied: “the way was to make a visage record and Steve repay ——* royalties. We failed.”
[* word deleted by Shapersofthe80s]

➢ 2010, Feast of remixes on new ‘Very Best’ of Visage album

Visage 2013, Steve Barnacle, Steve Strange, Lauren Duvall ,Robin Simon

Visage 2013: Steve Barnacle, the inimitable Steve Strange, Lauren Duvall and Robin Simon. Photography © by David Levine

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