Category Archives: zeitgeist

➤ Maxine and Marr: heard the deeply serious tale about the actress and the rock star?

Johnny Marr, rock, theatre, film, Maxine Peake, Guardian, interview, homelessness, Royal Exchange ,working class , Manchester

Maxine Peake and Johnny Marr: “You can’t avoid homelessness in Manchester. It touched us both”

Marr: “There are so many things about being working class that never leave you entirely. A certain gratitude. A kind of humility, whether it’s forced on you or not. You could even call it guilt, I guess: working-class guilt.”

“There is a guilt, yeah,” says Peake. “A friend said to me, ‘Are you sure you’re not a Catholic? ’Cos you’re riddled with guilt.’ It’s tied up with a work ethic. You’ve got to be seen to be grafting for what you’re doing. You know what I mean? Constantly.”

➢ Today’s Guardian interview by John Harris delves into the serious stuff behind a blossoming showbiz friendship:

When the musician Johnny Marr met and the actor Maxine Peake in 2014, they “clicked straight away”, bonding over a mission to bring back socially conscious art. The first fruits of their partnership are now about to be released: a five-minute piece entitled The Priest, which has been turned into a short film, co-directed by Marr, set in the centre of Manchester, as a vivid first-person account of homelessness. Here they talk about shamanic rock stars, working-class guilt and how their spoken-word album about homelessness strives to be a modern Cathy Come Home. . .

Marr says of Peake at one point: “I’ve actually met someone who probably works even more than me, if that’s possible,” and Peake’s résumé suggests he’s not wrong. Next year will see the release of Funny Cow, in which she stars as a female standup trying to push her way through the grimness of 70s Britain, as well as the staging at the Royal Exchange of Queens of the Coal Age, the play Peake has written about the true story of four women resisting the closure of a Yorkshire coalmine. . .


Marr says he was “crushed and heartbroken” by the vote for Brexit, whereas his former creative partner Morrissey seemed to rejoice in it. Though Marr has remained firmly on the political left, Morrissey now seems to champion the reactionary right. “I’ve stayed the same. I’ve never changed. But … people tend to forget that it was 30 years ago that we were in a band together. Stop and think about it: 30 years. It’s a long time. So I honestly don’t care very much. . . / Continued at The Guardian online



➤ Ex-Blitz Kid Rusty Egan and friends dress 80s electro-pop in brilliant new clothes

Welcome to the Dancefloor, Rusty Egan, electro-pop, Blitz Kids, New Romantic, EDM, synthesisers,

Egan deejaying at Tramp this week: a nightclub launch for Welcome to the Dancefloor

AFTER FIVE YEARS OF BLAGGING, and five years of feuding with former collaborators, 80s Blitz Club deejay Rusty Egan’s own “electro-diskow” album, Welcome to the Dancefloor, amounts to a superb sonic landmark. He and his guest performers engage an impressive range of emotions by dramatically humanising the potential starkness many associate with electronica.

Welcome to the Dancefloor
Rusty Egan

Spookily, their energy rockets us immediately into that vast clean stereo soundscape that uniquely defined the new music of 1980. Here synthesiser chords are stretched and layered and cracked like a whip, as if by an invisible hand in another time and space, which of course was precisely the sound of London clubland when its youth culture erupted as a volcano of creativity. The album’s pacey opening track finds ex-New Order’s Peter Hook on The Other Side spinning through the Milky Way, his thin 80s vocal style querulous and wistful, yet poppily optimistic.

That era did after all abandon the overpowering noise of the rock stadium and the punk nihilists to celebrate a return to melodious singing voices and to arch lyrics meant for listening, while synthesisers defined a fresh musical ambience. Inexperienced young artists unsure about their singing ability half shouted, half vocodered their limited vocal range to re-imagine their teenage dreams on a different planet.

Egan’s collaborators: click any pic below to launch slideshow

While Egan has carefully selected 13 tracks reflecting the wide spectrum of synth possibilities, half are love songs in the spirit of the 80s generation who were dubbed by the press New Romantics. Nevertheless he has created a consummate showcase for electronic music, co-produced by Nick Bitzenis (aka Nikonn). He has had a hand in writing a majority of the songs, many co-written with Chris Payne (of Fade to Grey fame), these being subsequently endorsed and expressed by a handful of starry friends such as Midge Ure and Tony Hadley on tracks of their own.

Despite its title, this is not dance music that the funk nation would groove to. Laying down a dominant 4-4 beat is not conducive to free-form movement unless you think you’re Tik or Tok. Exceptions include Egan’s own pulsating title track with robo vocals as if by Stephen Hawking and knowing breaks parodying Tenek and the Human League; also the nippy number Hero, which gains spiritual resonance from Andy Huntley’s richly textured delivery.

➢ Listen online to Welcome to the Dancefloor
track by track

The stand-out track is Midge Ure’s transformation of an Egan/Payne song titled Glorious. He rewrote lyrics and melody so as to construct one magnificent crescendo filled with space and tension reminiscent of “Ohhhhh, Vienna!” A close second for reconjuring the authentic 80s is Egan’s own Wunderwerke, driven by his Trans-Europe vocals through classic synth sweeps, hypnotic repeats and bass stabs. Third comes Erik Stein on the astonishingly contemplative Ballet Dancer, basking in a wonderful waterfall of synths.

Like Brexit, Tony Hadley *is* Tony Hadley and here (without the Ballet) on the coltish lovesong Lonely Highway he canters to the top of a whole new hill as a crooner. What distinguishes this album is that it’s awash with affecting lyrics and fine voices to listen to in the name of electro pop – among the gentlest are Be The Man featuring the gorgeous inflections of Kira Porter; Nicole Clarke’s ethereal contribution to Love Can Conquer All; and Love Is Coming My Way, a second number from the silken-voiced Stein.

And just wait for the Chariots of Fire finale: Egan’s intensely personal track, Thank You, which unleashes a shock of the best kind. To describe more would be to spoil a gifted idea. It is emotional and all too evidently sincere. Thank you, Rusty.

Welcome to the Dancefloor, Rusty Egan, electro-pop, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, EDM, synthesisers,

Rusty Egan: co-producer, co-writer and much else – has created a landmark album in Welcome to the Dancefloor

➢ Pre-order Welcome To The Dancefloor as 180g vinyl LP and CD variants, plus bonus mixes, at Pledge Music. – All pledges immediately receive MP3 downloads of the album, with the physical products promised by Rusty Egan “once we reach a target” (unspecified). At worst, PledgeMusic clearly says it “will refund you if the Artist doesn’t reach their target”.

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
1980, First sighting of the Blitz Kids


➤ 40 years on, Ridgers casts an honest spotlight on the birth of punk

Derek Ridgers, punk ,Vortex , Clare Thom

“I didn’t make a very good punk,” says photographer Derek Ridgers, here snapped by a passing punk at the Vortex in 1977, with future Blitz Kid Clare Thom at right

◼ THE CLICHES ABOUT PUNK are the rage, the nihilism, the safety pins. In fact, punk dawned in 1976, like all British youth cults, as a fashion statement that trumped those clichés. A new and powerful photo book from Derek Ridgers titled Punk London 1977 shows in 152 pages just how considered were its style leaders who had to invent their own iconoclastic looks before they could be bought off the peg. There were no mohican haircuts at the Roxy club when it opened in December 1976 and for 100 days became the platform for Generation X, the Clash, the Jam, the Heartbreakers, the Boys, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees and a raucous wave of rebel music that spread to Soho’s Vortex and the 100 Club.

Ridgers says: “In ’76 the audience became more interesting than the bands.” As he turned his camera away from the stage, he focused on the unique characters in the audience who were creating a new movement through self-expression. “Most of the early punks didn’t look like punks anyway. They just looked like young people who would alter their clothes: very often it would be school uniform or there would be bin liners, a few safety pins but not very many. The ethos of punk is really ‘Do it yourself’. It’s not dressing up in leather and having a mohican.”

Click any pic below to launch slideshow

The book launched last night in Mayfair with a vibrant exhibition of its photos and a swell party hosted by menswear designer Paul Smith and the British Fashion Council. Rightly asked Ridgers yesterday: What did you wear while documenting these kids? He replied: “Often I’d be going to gigs straight from work, so I simply wore what I’d worn there—usually a jacket, open-neck shirt, and jeans. I was not a punk by any means.” There’s a key picture of the Damned playing the Roxy in early 1977 where Ridgers is visible in the top right-hand corner, standing on the stairs, in glasses, open-neck shirt, cardigan, smiling. “I didn’t make a very good punk,” he says. No, just a very perceptive footnote to history!

Dazed Digital probed further and asked: Out of all the scenes you’ve photographed, which have you most felt part of? Ridgers replied: “There must be a part of me that wanted to be part of all of them. I see my photography as a very vicarious thing. I suppose if I didn’t wear glasses and if I’d been a little bit more of a macho type of guy, I would have been a skinhead. I don’t think I could’ve ever been a punk or a new romantic.”

As an observer he carved out his own beat along the labyrinthine path British youth culture took during the exotic 80s and became the go-to lensman for his take on more extreme outsider cults. Ridgers told Dazed: “There were a lot of photographers around but I stuck it out longer. Woody Allen said something about success is 80% just being there. It’s the thing with me – I was there. I can’t make any other claims apart from the fact that I was there. Through everything. On the edge looking in. With a camera I was able to stare with some legitimacy.”

The trash mag Polyesterzine asks Ridgers if he could compare today’s Zeitgeist to any of the eras he had shot. “No, not at all,” he replies. “The late ’70s and early ’80s was a very different, much darker time. The streets of London were a mess. The poor guy [I photographed] who had ‘We are the flowers in your dustbin’ tattooed across his forehead had it exactly right. They did all seem like the flowers in a dustbin. . . Things are very different now because a lot of those little clubs don’t exist. Soho for instance, where nearly half my nightlife photographs were taken, is rapidly changing. There isn’t the same after dark frisson of excitement about the place any more. Gentrification and the need for developers to maximise the profit from every square inch of the place means that there just aren’t any scruffy, little basement clubs left. Those scruffy, little basement clubs were the area’s lifeblood.”

➢ Punk London 1977 is published by Carpet Bombing Culture

Adam Ant, Jordan, Vortex, punk, Derek Ridgers,

Derek Ridgers immortalises the night that the pioneering punk icon Jordan sang with The Ants at the Vortex, and says today: “They played far better music IMHO than when Adam became a big star in the 80s”


➢ At i-D – light on punk’s incendiary early days

➢ AllAccess Online in the cauldron of youth culture

➢ Dazed Digital pictures Punk London

➢ Accent shoots Brutus SS16 with Derek Ridgers

Captain Sensible , Damned , punk music, Roxy , Derek Ridgers

Captain Sensible fronts the Damned at the Roxy in 1977: spot Ridgers the cameraman top right in glasses and open-neck shirt. Photographed by Erica Echenberg

Don Letts, Andrew Czezowski , punk,Roxy

28 March 1977: deejay Don Letts and club promoter Andrew Czezowski outside the Roxy when it closed, three months after giving birth to punk. Photographed by Erica Echenberg



In 1980 a youth movement began reshaping Britain.
Its stars didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did. This writer was there and these words and pictures tell the tale.

◼︎ As a decade, the 1970s spelt doom. British youth culture had been discredited by punk. A monumental recession followed the Labour government’s “winter of discontent”, threatening the prospect of no jobs for years ahead.
Swinging 80s, London, history, blitz club, blitz kids, theblitzkids, theblitzclub, cult with no name, billy’s, gossip’s, nightclubs, fashion, pop music, 
steve strange, rusty egan, boy george, stephen jones, kim bowen, stephen linard, chris sullivan, robert elms, perry haines, princess julia, judi frankland, darla-jane gilroy,fiona dealey, jayne chilkes, derek ridgers, perry haines, terry jones,peter ashworth, lee sheldrick, michele clapton, myra, willy brown, helen robinson, stephane raynor, melissa caplan,Dinny Hall, Kate Garner, rachel auburn, richard ostell, Paul Bernstock, Dencil Williams, Darla Jane Gilroy, Simon Withers, Graham Smith, Graham Ball, christos tolera, sade adu, peter marilyn robinson, gaz mayall, midge ure, gary kemp, steve dagger,Denis O’Regan, andy polaris, john maybury, cerith Wyn Evans, iain webb, jeremy healy, david holah, stevie stewart, worried about the boy,Yet from this black hole burst an optimistic movement the press dubbed the New Romantics, based on a London club called the Blitz. Its soundtrack was a pounding synthesised electro-pop created for the dancefloor by a studio seven-piece called Visage, fronted by the ultimate poser, Steve Strange. But the live band who broke all the rules were five dandies with a preposterous name: Spandau Ballet.
As the last of the Baby Boomers, the so-called Blitz Kids were concerned with much more than music. In 1980 they shook off teenage doubt to express all those talents the later Generation X would have to live up to — leadership, adaptability, negotiating skills, focus. Children of the age of mass TV, these can-doers excelled especially in visual awareness. They were the vanguard for a self-confident new class who were ready to enjoy the personal liberty and social mobility heralded by their parents in the 60s.
For Britain, the Swinging 80s were a tumultuous period of social change when the young wrested many levers of power away from the over-40s. London became a creative powerhouse and its pop music and street fashion the toast of world capitals. All because a vast dance underground had been gagging for a very sociable revolution.


“From now on, this will become the official history”
Verdict of a former Blitz Kid.

➢ THE MENU AT TOP leads you into this Aladdin’s Cave.
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Below: View Blitz Club host Steve Strange in all his poser glory in the promo video for Fade to Grey (1982), also starring the club’s cloakroom girl, Julia Fodor, aka Princess

CLICK HERE to run the anthemic 80s video ♫ ♫ from Spandau Ballet and feel the chant:

nightlife, st moritz, club for heroes,le kilt, wag club, beat route,hacienda, cha-cha, holy city zoo, rum runner, camden palace, scala cinema, studio 21,crocs, le palace, white trash, fac51, Dirt Box, mud club, batcave, barbarella's, croc's, electro-pop, synth-pop, Chant No 1, kid creole, blue rondo, animal nightlife, visage, duran, depeche mode, ultravox, human league, gentry, ABC,soft cell, bolan,vince clarke, haysi, wham!, mclaren, heaven 17, yazoo, foxx, omd, bauhaus, phil oakey, jay strongman, Martyn Ware, martin fry ,altered images, 20th-century box, vivienne westwood, PX, axiom, body-map , foundry, sue clowes,demob, seditionaries, acme attractions, i-D, the face, new sounds new styles, Korniloff, andrew logan, kahn & bell, biddie & eve, toyah,

July 2, 1981: Shooting the video for Chant No 1 at Le Beat Route club in Soho, “down, down, pass the Talk of the Town”. Photograph © by Shapersofthe80s

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1980 ➤ One week in the private worlds of the new young

Evening Standard, Oct 16, 1980

First published in the Evening Standard, Oct 16, 1980

THE CYNICS may have written off London as dead in 1980 but somewhere under the skin a dozen small worlds are struggling to prove our swinging capital is not yet finished. Each private world has its own star system and its own code of conduct. Some steer a scenic route through the maze of being young, broke and having energy to spare

Judi Frankland in one of the clerical cassocks from her degree show summer of 1980, pictured by Derek Ridgers. Style commentator Perry Haines, by Simon Brown

◼ LAST THURSDAY was as typical as any. At about the time 5,000 fans from Disco World were leaving The Crusaders concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 1980’s new London underground was coming to life. On the door of a Covent Garden club called Hell, Chris Sullivan, in monocle and Basque beret, and Judi Frankland, in the home-made clerical cassock that she’d worn in Bowie’s video for his chart topping Ashes to Ashes, were posing for an Italian magazine photographer. Inside, playing box-office and wearing his own modish Stephen Jones hat and all too visible makeup, sat the ubiquitous Steve Strange, 21, Hell being the twice-weekly off-shoot of his much reported Tuesdays at the nearby Blitz club. For him, he said, dressing up is a way of life. “I don’t do it to get attention.”


Original photograph © by Peter Ashworth shot at the Blitz Club for the Visage LP sleeve, then airbrushed by Iain Gillies: left to right, Steve Strange, Vivienne Lynn, Stephen Jones, Daryl Humphries, Cerith Wyn Evans

Dress for these Pose Age people is very Hammer Horror, very Rank Starlet. Nobody gets in “if they’re too fat and normal”.

Talk will be artsy, of upcoming projects in music and fashion, for work and relaxation go hand-in-hand in Hell. “Next month we’ve got our own album coming out under our name, Visage,” said deejay Rusty Egan, who described their music as European electronic. It’s designed for clubbing, and Visage is less a band, more an idea, he said, so they don’t play gigs. “Every track will have a different theme: horror movies, cowboys, puppets.” This week at Hell, however, the Now sound is ’76 soul – Juggy Jones’s Inside America to Candi Staton’s Young Hearts Run Free. “People who come here were all punks then. Now they go mad for soul. It’s like punk never happened.”

Chris Sullivan , New Romantics, Hell club

Club host Chris Sullivan on the door at Hell, where his suits broke with New Romantic foppery: his mantra was (and is) “One look lasts a day”. Photographed © by Richard Law

Accuse them of being a dandyish minority and the Now Crowd point to the growing dress-sense among youth generally, the wing collars selling in Chelsea, and idiosyncratic designs of theirs copied for Knightsbridge shops. Wasn’t designer Melissa Caplan wearing black and white in 1978 before it became the Two Tone movement’s standard? Hadn’t David Bowie pinched their pierrot look since he last looked in wearing trilby and trenchcoat?

◼ HALF A MILE AWAY a visibly different branch of Club World queues in Meard Street for Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues, a Thursdays-only affair, where the music, good tight R’n’B and reggae, is more important than a dress code, but if there is one then Gaz sets it himself, Gaz being Gary Vincent [as he called himself at age 22], ex-Holland Park comprehensive school, ex-antiques salesman, wearing bumfreezer and on his head an all-American Mallory (“It sheds showers”). Some members have dressed as spivs, some as glamour girls, others as themselves. They come from miles away and span as many generations as the music. “People come here for good music,” Gaz said. “When we opened three months ago they didn’t know how to dance to this stuff. But they’ve practising at home. They’re into it now.”

i-D, clubnight, 1980◼ “BEING ABLE TO SAY this man is a rocker is finished,” said Perry Haines, 22, a student journalist and voice of Fashion World. “Through the Seventies young people accumulated a varied vocabulary of clothing and now they’re stringing it together in sentences. Our elders find it hard to handle because there are no ins and outs. One night you can be a rockabilly and the next into a different groove.”

This was Friday lunchtime and Haines was at the West Hampstead home of former Vogue art director, Terry Jones, putting together the second issue of the Jones brainchild, a magazine logically called i-D since its theme is identity. That evening Haines was presiding over i-D magazine’s own club night called Sink or Swim in Meard Street (same venue, another clientele). “We play 100mph dance music,” he said, and you’ve never seen elbows and knees fly faster to sounds like James White and the Blacks. “People are waiting for something to run with. They’re at the starting blocks.” A Polaroid movie camera filmed and played back the scene four minutes later. Were the James Dean generation ever so aware of their own performance?

Gaz Mayall (aka Vincent because he didn’t want to use his dad’s name) and Martin Degville at his London Dispensary, photographed by © Shapersofthe80s

◼ OVER AT THE BLITZ the same night Steve Dagger, 23, wore a smile as broad as a Cheshire cat’s. He clutched a fat, fat Pop World cheque signed Chrysalis Records. His band, Spandau Ballet, had clinched an £85,000 deal that day and he was celebrating with the Welshman Sullivan and budding pop journalist Robert Elms, 21.

Elms said: “Two generations have failed to get the better of the record business so this generation is learning to exploit the set-up that exists. We’re all living on our wits and that’s symptomatic of 1980. I walked into the NME and The Face and said, ‘Here read this’. Steve has held out for the deal he wanted. We’re making our own music and clothes. We’re attempting to make the most of ourselves.”

Mark Lebon, James Lebon , 1980, ArkEnt; Steve Dagger , © Shapersofthe80s

1980: Mark and James Lebon at ArkEnt; Steve Dagger on the road with his band, photographed by © Shapersofthe80s

◼ BLUE SMOKE filled the Pool Hall at Kensington Market on Saturday afternoon. Bands had played, fashions been shown and the Lebon brothers had staged an Art World manifestation in which James shaved the head of Mark, a 21-year-old photographer, as he read a novel. Now a couple called Pulp were ranting and banging drums in the smoke. “Have you heard their record, Low Flying Aircraft?” someone murmured. “It’s sold 1,500 copies,” said the performer Paul Burwell. His partner Anne Bean looked exhausted.

Ark Ent, 1980This was the fourth DIY event here, mounted as a platform for untried talent by an ad hoc gang called ArkEnt. Sadly, the proceedings didn’t rank up there with Hugo Ball’s Cabaret Voltaire and Pulp were no Zurich Dadaists, but in fairness high spirits were everywhere evident and leisure spent creatively must surely be one-up on the betting shop.

◼ DOWNSTAIRS in the market, Degville’s Dispensary sells clothes that rely heavily on pantomime, lots of lamé and tassles. A junior branch of Cabaret World. Absent from the shop was its owner, Martin Degville, 22, normally a shock to the eyes himself. Another one who’s never out of make-up. Hardly surprising, then, that he gets hassle from squaddies on the train down to Euston: “They throw half-eaten pork pies at me.” On Saturday he was at home in Walsall running up some samples for a London retailer who’d just cleaned out one rail – what he calls his “puppet tops”, in three pieces joined with straps.

“I taught myself to make clothes,” he said. “I was doing these enormous shoulders years ago when I used to stuff my T-shirts with rolled-up football socks. They’re only fad clothes. People don’t want an immaculate finish. They’re just trying to get away from C&A.”

That night as London’s Hell crowd met and the overspill filled Studio 21 in Oxford Street, Degville was in Birmingham drinking at Hurst Street’s Hosteria wine bar, with chopsticks in his hair, like you do. Since the management changed, a growing crowd is gathering there every Saturday as the place to be seen. But, he says, the really cool night to go out is Tuesday. “That’s when there’s a Bowie/Roxy night at a club called the Rum Runner. It’s where the freaks go, really dressed up.” The Pose Age is branching out.

Furious Pig

Furious Pig: Kevin Ash, Dale Hendrick, Pete West, Mike Edwards, photographed by © Shapersofthe80s

◼ FURIOUS PIG are four lads from Devon, aged 18-22, who normally play rock music. On Sunday evening they left their instruments at home, recast themselves as a “voice band” and reduced the Comic Strip audience to helpless laughter. They rendered four tunes using only screeches howls, gobbledigook and red wine. “I Don’t Like Your Face” was an instant hit. “They should make a record,” someone said. At the offices of Rough Trade on Monday, Furious Pig were discussing that very possibility. “To prove you can get up and do what you want,” one of them said.


First published one week later in the Evening Standard, Oct 23, 1980.

Left, film-maker John Maybury in Tortures That Laugh © John Maybury 1978, artist’s collection; right, graphic from ZG magazine, issue one, 1980

Marek Kohn

Marek Kohn

◼ IN A KILBURN BEDSIT, Marek Kohn, 22, and his girlfriend are planning the editing of some Super8 film they’ve shot of young Parisians. “It will only last three minutes,” he said. “It’s as disposable as that.”

The film is the next project under the banner of Restless, the name he gave to a one-off magazine he wrote, xeroxed and published for £100. Kohn, a Sussex graduate and assistant at the Science Museum, said: “Young people are full of ideas that need to be expressed but big business has subsumed so much into rock culture. I’d like to promote the idea of one-off projects.”

On Friday John Maybury, 22, will be working at Olympia, commissioned by established designer Antony Price to interpret freely his fashion show with film and video. Maybury, a fine-art first from St Martin’s, already has a reputation. “I’ve seen how restricting the film industry can be,” he said. “London is geared to the previous generation – people from the Sixties – and our generation realises we’re being denied opportunities. The notion of change has become the whole point to us.”

ZG, magazine, Rosetta Brooks, 1980Rosetta Brooks, writer and teacher at St Martin’s School of Art, has just brought out a sharp magazine called ZG, devoted to observing the cross-fertilisation that’s growing between the separate worlds of fashion, film and music. She said: “More than any previous generation, this one is aware of playing their part in a world labelled youth culture and they adopt an ironic stance to it. The young people who grew up at clubs like the Blitz, filming themselves at play, cross the boundaries of the labelled worlds of fashion and music. They take the idea of youth culture to the point of parody. So one day they’ll change their appearance, the next they’ll desert a favoured club. They’re taking the notion of fashion to its extreme – making something happen then walking away from it.”

Last week the original Now Crowd quit the Blitz club they had put on the Covent Garden map in February 1979.

Unsettled by the worlds of portable events and disposable entertainment? Psychologist John Nicholson — author of the new paperback Seven Ages — has comfort: “Where mods and rockers were deeply committed to their ways of life, these shifting new groups demand less loyalty, and that should make parents less worried.

“For young adults the Seventies were a write-off decade: they knew only a second-hand youth culture of borrowed idols. Maybe it takes a generation to see this. Certainly their degree of cynicism today is new. I’m surprised it’s taken so long for them to get angry about us running everything. Our generation came to power while young and we’ve never relinquished it. The major change is the area the young are exploring. Where we’d have picked up an acoustic guitar, they are turning to cameras and electronics.”

Time for the rock’n’roll generation to make way for the era of video’n’chips?

Text ©

Hell club, London

Saturday Oct 18, 1980: a police raid closes Hell for good, meaning Strange and Sullivan had to move on