Category Archives: Australasia

2012 ➤ Boy George reunites with Culture Club for New Year’s Eve — and a new album

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy Geoge, Mikey Craig,New Years Eve,Sydney Resolution,concert,video,interview

Culture Club on Sunrise this week: Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy Geoge and Mikey Craig

➢ Click the pic to view video interview with Culture Club on Sunrise, the breakfast show at Sydney’s Seven Television station

❚ HERE’S A PICTURE MANY SAID would never be taken: all four members of 80s supergroup Culture Club reunited. And a live concert imminent. In 1983 the New Romantic band with its gender-bending singer and unique reggae-based rhythms were prominent among the 18 new-wave bands who mounted the Second British Invasion of the US charts. In 1984 the band won the Grammy Award as Best New Artist and along with Princess Diana, Boy George became an international fashion emblem for the new Swinging London.

This week Boy George’s official website announces that the four original members of Culture Club have reunited for the first time since 2002 for a one-off concert in Australia on Jan 1. Before an audience of 30,000 at Sydney’s Glebe Island, overlooking the harbour, the band will play after the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on a bill with The Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquai and other Australian acts.

More surprising is that the photo shows Roy, Jon, George and Mikey in a London recording studio where George said “we’re in the middle of writing for a new album” with their original producer Steve Levine. This first pic of the reunited Culture Club is grabbed from Sydney’s Seven Television in an interview on Tuesday when George said they’d include a couple of new songs in the “hit-packed” Sydney show. When Jon was asked why a reunion has taken so long, an agonisingly long silence followed until he managed to answer “I don’t know!” This did raise the laugh we see above, then he added “I think we have a ten-year cycle. It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other.” Not a flicker of a smile from anyone. The six-minute exchange contained so many sidelong glances between the four and generally awkward body language that you might wonder whether they would survive the flight to Australia together.

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

Culture Club’s initial five-year career was blown apart after clocking ten Top 40 hits in the US, which included Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. By 1986, however, George’s addiction to drugs was making tabloid headlines and his secret four-year romance with Jon was growing ever more explosive. A sanitised TV dramatisation titled Worried About The Boy provided an extremely one-sided version of events when aired last year. From 1998 a band reunion over four years yielded two chart hits and a platinum compilation album in the UK.

➢ NY Eve concert tickets are priced from $198 at Sydney Resolution

➢ Update: Boy George’s first live concert in ages, scheduled for Dec 8 in London, has been cancelled without explanation

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➤ Tut-tut, Your Maj, that Aussie tram ride was a missed music video opportunity

Bedroom Philosopher, Awkwardstra,  Songs From The 86 Tram,Northcote (So Hungover), The Queen,

The Bedroom Philosopher’s new band: all aboard the 86 tram to hear their record deal announced by cell-phone

➢ CLICK ON THE PIC to run the music video Northcote, by the Bedroom Philosopher, shot on board the 86 tram

❚ MELBOURNE’S DEEPLY GEEKY Bedroom Philosopher, noted for his ode to absurdity, I’m So Post Modern, famously rode the No 86 tram last year in the video (above) for his cross-over hit single Northcote (So Hungover). Why? Melbourne boasts the world’s largest tramway system (249 km) and within that, Route 86 is not only the busiest but universally regarded as THE hippest in the universe. Because it connects RMIT University campus to Waterfront City, it carries All Human Life.

The Bedroom Philosopher has graduated from broadcasting with JJJ’s Morning Show to the crucial role blogging as one of Australia’s spokesmen for confused youth. His third studio album, Songs From The 86 Tram, recorded with his dynamic backing band The Awkwardstra, was nominated for an ARIA award. The album drew on the multi-award winning show of the same name (Directors Choice, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2009), which showcased the BP’s “astonishing range as an impersonator of suburban characters with depth and empathy, all backed with lively, genre-hopping soundtracks – think Chris Lilley meets Beck” (his own words).

Bedroom Philosopher, Songs From The 86 Tram,Royal visit

Facebook earlier today

The video for its single Northcote is directed by Craig Melville (Chaser, John Safran) and featuring cameos by rock royalty Tim Rogers, Kram and Angie Hart. It has won more awards than we have time to count.

And yet the Lord Mayor still put Her Majesty QE2 on the wrong tram during her 16th state visit to Australia this week. The video below, specially commissioned by Shapersofthe80s, seeks to redress this diplomatic howler.

TBH, DOESN’T QUITE WORK DOES IT?

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➢ View also the BP’s sub-Bowie Tram Inspector — live on the 86 tram

➢ View spycam video of a spontaneous Melbourne Tram Dance aboard the 86

➢ The BP sings I’m So Post Modern (live)

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➤ Big Tone Hadley feeling good(-ish) as his Australia tour kicks off

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❚ LAST NIGHT IT WAS HOBART, TASMANIA, the first of eight dates in Australia for Tony Hadley and His Band, with John Keeble on drums and Go West sharing the bill. Facebook is awash with admiration from his fans down-under and he’s sounding pretty relaxed covering Feeling Good in the video shot by sabathiel01 (above) … We’re not sure what was eating Tony in the “losing-it” moment caught by Nyree Yali (below), while guitarist Richie Barrett didn’t know which way to jump!

➢ Update Oct 26: interview with Western Weekender in Penrith, NSW — “I decided to get together with my old mates from Go West because we’ve worked together before and been great friends for a long time,” Tony said. “People like to see musicians and singers mix together and have a good time, so they’ll be doing all their hits, I’ll be doing all my hits, plus maybe a song or two from my forthcoming album. I’m a big fan of bands like the Kaiser Chiefs and The Killers, so there’ll be some interesting covers in there as well,” he said.

➢ “Spandau Ballet made some crucial mistakes in America in the 80s” Tony tells The West Australian, Oct 5. “You can’t just have a hit there — you have to tour and back it up. We had a big cult following there but never followed it up. I took my band there this year and the reviews were first class, which is what I wanted. Now the agents are calling so we’ll work with that.”

➢ Upcoming dates for Tony Hadley and His Band include Nov 12 Abu Dhabi, Dec 1 Hamburg O2, and Dec 2 Berlin O2

➢ Reviews and videos of Tony’s first US solo tour in August at Shapersofthe80s and a few interview squibs as he said Good morning America!

➢ Convivial music and chat interview with Paul “Goffy” Gough in conversation with Tony Hadley when his 10-piece band played before 1,300 guests at the 8th annual Oyster Festival in Sedgefield, County Durham, on Sep 16, 2011. Lessons learned in life? “Don’t get the lawyers involved. It was an expensive way to learn about English civil law. I can laugh about it now. It cost me an absolute arm and a leg.”

Hobart, Tasmania, live concert,Tony Hadley, pop music

Hadley in Hobart: At Facebook, Vivien Cumberland asks, “What’s going on here? Looks like poor Richie is going to get a smack in the face.” Nyree Yali, who took this pic, says, “I don’t know, LOL. Tony was pulling this face & my camera cooperated at just the right time to capture it. Looks like Richie’s thinking, WTF are you doing???”

❏ 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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➤ Bombshell for Spandau Ballet fans as Hadley unwinds after US solo tour

Tony Hadley , John Keeble, Las Vegas, US tour

The Hadley band in Las Vegas last week: John Keeble (drums), Phil Williams (bass guitar), Big Tone, Richie Barrett (guitar), Phil Taylor (keyboards)

❚ EXACTLY WHAT SPANDAU BALLET FANS don’t want to hear! Yesterday as the 80s supergroup’s vocalist Tony Hadley was taking a well-earned rest following his American solo tour, he delivered the bombshell. Fans who want to see him singing again with his onetime schoolmates in Spandau “could be waiting 20 years”!

The shocking prospect came yesterday in an interview with TNT, the Australian backpacker magazine, anticipating his imminent tour down under. Before his US dates earlier this month he’d been much more circumspect about another Spandau reunion, using the phrase “maybe one day in the future” to American music magazine ConcertLivewire. Tony’s new forecast for a rendezvous with Spandau means the already portly singer would have passed his 71st birthday — along with many of Spandau’s original fans, ear trumpets at the ready.

Remember, an argument over royalties split Spandau asunder in 1990 and Tony didn’t speak to songwriter Gary Kemp for 19 years until their sudden reunion tour in 2009. Even so, the singer tells TNT: “It was only ever meant to be a one-off. After 20 years of squabbling we buried our differences. But after our last show in 2010, you know, I had a band waiting around for me on a retainer for six months. I’ve had no time off and I’m trying to finish the new album so at the moment there aren’t plans to do Spandau again. You could be waiting 20 years.”

Tony has pursued an active solo career ever since the split and his current band has backed him for 13 years, with John Keeble of Spandau playing drums. This month’s American tour was an investment, and Tony told Windy City Times they “want to come back next year and do 20 or 30 shows”.

His big news is about his solo album, due next year. He tells TNT: “I’m doing some writing with Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees. I went round his house and had a little cup of tea and said, let’s get together and do some songs. For me, that is a major wow.

“2012 will be busy with the Olympics. My manager has been talking to various people about an orchestral version of Gold [the Spandau Ballet hit] for the games — doing it with an 80-piece orchestra would be amazing.”

➢ Read the full Tony Hadley interview with TNT, dated August 26

➢ Videos and reports from Hadley’s US tour at Shapersofthe80s

➢ Next stops — Sep 2, Rewind Scarborough UK; Sep 4, Cantazaro, Italy.

➢ Sept 11 in New York, 13h30 — Tony sings at the memorial concert for 9/11 in The British Garden, Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan, NYC, created with the endorsement of the British Consulate-General to honour the 67 British subjects lost in the 2001 attacks

➢ Tony’s Australia dates 2011 — Oct 26, Hindmarsh, South Australia; Oct 27, South Morang, Victoria; Oct 28, Doncaster, Victoria; Oct 29, Chelsea Heights, Victoria; Oct 30, Rewind Australia, Wollongong, NSW; Nov 3, Coolangatta, Queensland; Nov 4, Penrith NSW.

➢ Spandau Ballet’s official website news

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➤ FHM says “Pass the sick bucket” after readers vote Andrej Pejic one of the “Sexiest Women”

Andrej Pejic

Pejic wears Tina Kalivas. Photography © Stephen Ward for oystermag.com

❚ THE US EDITION OF FHM magazine has posted an apology on its website for publishing offensive remarks about the 19-year-old Australian male model Andrej Pejic. Readers had voted him number 98 on its list, “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011”, ahead of Lady Gaga. Following publication three weeks ago, yesterday the mag finally removed his online profile after complaints about its anti-gender-bender stance on the Haus of Andrej Pejic blog.

The original FHM text published May 5 [see below] written by the mag’s evidently chauvinist editors was indeed downright insulting, considering that Pejic’s androgynous appearance (stats: 6ft 2in tall, 36-in waist, UK shoe size 10)  had after all caught the fancy of FHM’s metrosexual readers in the first place.

Headed “Why we love Andrej Pejic”, the online text read: “Although his sexual identity is ambiguous, designers are hailing him as the next big thing. We think ‘thing’ is quite accurate. Tall, skinny and flat-chested . . . the blonde gender-bender has jumped the gun in hoping he might one day be signed as a Victoria’s Secret Model (Pass the sick bucket).” [Victoria’s Secret is a US retailer of chic and sexy women’s clothing.]

FHM magazine FHM’s apology blamed slackness in its own ranks: “Regrettably the copy accompanying Andrej’s online entry wasn’t subbed [ie, checked] prior to going live. FHM has taken steps to ensure this can never happen again.”

Dossier Journal, Andrej Pejic, censorship

In an earlier Pejic controversy, Huffington Post asked on May 16: Should this cover be censored? — 31% said Yes! Too racy for the magazine rack. 69% said No! It’s a shirtless guy. Big deal. (Dossier cover art by Collier Schorr)

FHM’s editorial debacle follows a separate anti-Pejic episode mid-month when Dossier Journal’s cover pictured the model wearing his blond hair rolled in curlers while removing his shirt. Elle.com reported: “News-stands are covering the image for being too risqué. Little do they know they’re censoring the image of a shirtless man. Katherine Krause, Dossier’s Editor-In-Chief, says that bookstores have been made aware of Pejic’s gender but will move forward with the censoring. What’s more, it’s Dossier’s financial responsibility to pay for the black poly bags with which their distribution people must cover the magazines.”

Bosnian-born Pejic told New York magazine’s Party Lines: “The question really isn’t the gender of the person on the cover, it’s whether it’s porn or it’s art. And clearly, it’s art, so art really should not be censored in a democratic society.”

FHM magazine, Andrej Pejic, 100 Sexiest Women in the World,

FHM's original profile of Andrej Pejic published online May 5, 2011. (Source: Haus of Andrej Pejic)

➢ FOOTNOTE — Topping the FHM 100 were 1 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 2 Katy Perry, 3 Rihanna

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