◼ TEN OF THE MOST POPULAR POSTS visited here during 2014 confirm Shapers of the 80s as an “invaluable website” in the words of British historian Dominic Sandbrook. Grounded in the 1980s – the most explosive decade for British youth culture since the Swinging 60s – our eye witness reports and monthly reviews of British nightlife were originally published in magazines such as The Face, the “style bible” of its day. Our recent commentaries monitor fresh interest in the revival of 80s music and attitude during the past five years. Year-ending visit figures at Shapers of the 80s during 2014 have increased year-on-year by 16% to total 210,000.
Much unseen vintage video footage was discovered by the producers researching Spandau Ballet’s biopic, Soul Boys of the Western World, which proved an eye-opening slice of social history when it was released this year. Every frame reveals the sheer energy and commitment to hedonism and creative self-expression that characterised a generation of school-leavers who in the economic gloom of 1979 faced the threat of no jobs ever in their adult lives. The parallels with Britain’s protracted austerity today are obvious and we might hope the lessons of the 80s will again inspire the young to take their fate into their own hands.
TEN BENCHMARKS FROM THE SWINGING 80S
➢ Read: 69 Dean Street and the making of UK club culture
➢ Who’s who among the Blitz Kids: 50 crucial nightclubbers who set the style for a decade
➢ 1981, first Blitz invasion of the US by Spandau/Axiom
➢ 1983, Who’s who in the new London nightlife boom
➢ 1980, ‘Your own i-D counts more than fashion’
➢ How real did 1980 feel? Ex-Blitz Kids give verdicts on the 2010 TV play about Boy George, Worried About the Boy
➢ 1983, Posing with a purpose at the Camden Palace
➢ Six rewrites punk history with an outlandish claim about the Not-Really-From-Bromley Contingent
➢ 1982, “Who?!” Peter Capaldi’s first interview (probably) as a green young stand-up
➢ 2014, Video gems unearthed by the Spandau Ballet biopic premiering at SXSW
➢ 2009 till now – Index of all posts at Shapers of the 80s