Tag Archives: clubbing

2012 ➤ Blue Rondo breathe fresh life into Mr Sanchez a whole aeon later

Chris Sullivan,Blue Rondo , Christos Tolera,Glasgow, clubbing, Maestro’s

Maestro’s in Glasgow, 1981: suited and zooted onstage are Blue Rondo vocalists Chris Sullivan and Christos Tolera

◼ “HERE’S A NEW BLUE RONDO REMIX — at last we’ve got it right. Recorded in 1981 … remixed in 2012.” So says the Latin-funk combo’s founder and frontman Chris Sullivan on Facebook today, after posting on Soundcloud a pacy instrumental mix of the London clubland band’s first hit, Me & Mr Sanchez, which stayed four weeks in the UK chart in 1981. Wait for the virtuosi to open up in the second half.

In the topmost pic we see vocalist Sullivan onstage demonstrating his northern soul choreography alongside sidekick Christos Tolera. This pic was taken during Blue Rondo’s promotional tour for their debut single at Glasgow’s trendiest nightspot Maestro’s on 6 Nov 1981, the day of its release. As a former fashion student at St Martin’s School of Art, Sullivan almost single-handedly introduced the zoot suit to Soho’s nightclub scene, and designed styles for both himself as leader of the band and for Tolera and Beat Route host Ollie O’Donnell, among many others.

Blue Rondo, jazz, latin, dance music, Maestro’s, live gig, Glasgow, Under its full name of Blue Rondo à la Turk, the stylish seven-piece was among the first of the Blitzworld’s new image bands to change the musical gear of 1981, in their case towards a tongue-in-cheek collage of carnival rhythms inspired by the Brubeck era of jazz. If you visit Soundcloud you’ll also find a fresh 2012 remix of the single, complete with vocals. “Mark Reilly did the lion’s share,” says Sullivan, referring to Rondo’s guitarist, who still flies the flag for his band Matt Bianco, which he formed in 1983 with the late Kito Poncioni and Daniel White, both Rondo members. The new remixes have been brought about only now because “it has taken us a few years to get the masters back,” Sullivan says. “More to follow as well.”

➢ From the summer of New Romance in 1981, read how the UK charts were bursting with a new generation of pop sounds … Also, view Rondo’s video of Sanchez … Then click through to my eye-witness account of the day that Blue Rondo à la Turk set off on their road to fame — here at Shapersofthe80s



2011 ➤ Party of the year recreates the Swinging 80s at the legendary Beat Route (down, down past the Talk of the Town)


Graham Smith,Chris Sullivan, photography, books,youth culture, We Can Be Heroes , Swinging 80s,Beat Route, clubbing

Le Beat Route recreated for one night only: One of our heroes, MC Sullivan, sharing the best sounds in London last night

Beat Route, nightclubbing,We Can Be Heroes, books

Thursday night Beat Route! The same underground club emanating a spookily familiar spirit of place

❚ WITHOUT DOUBT party of the year at the former Beat Route, Soho, last night as Graham Smith and Chris Sullivan launched their photobook We Can Be Heroes, which is winging its way from printers to the lucky buyers of the first edition.

Full report and yet more exclusive pix are coming on Shapersofthe80s.com once I can wade through the many brilliant soundbites offered by everybody out last night to celebrate the Swinging 80s…

➢ Although the first edition of We Can Be Heroes has sold out, a special clothbound edition is now on sale for £35, plus a Deluxe edition for £350, at the Unbound Publishing website

Beat Route, nightclubbing,Graham Smith, Chris Sullivan,We Can Be Heroes

Thursday night Beat Route! Hosts, authors and 80s deejays Graham Smith and Chris Sullivan

Beat Route, nightclubbing,We Can Be Heroes,1980s, Steve Lewis, Jay Strongman

Thursday night Beat Route! Seminal club deejays of the 80s Steve Lewis and Jay Strongman

Beat Route, nightclubbing,Lesley Chilkes, Boy George, David Holah,We Can Be Heroes

Thursday night Beat Route! Lesley Chilkes, Boy George, David Holah

[ Exclusive party pix courtesy of sandromartini.com ]

Graham Smith,Chris Sullivan, photography, books,youth culture, We Can Be Heroes , Swinging 80s,Beat Route, clubbing

TNBR! Last night’s other chief hero hosting the party of the photobook of the 80s — snapper Graham Smith and his lovely wife Lorraine (Northern Soul veterans, both)


1982 ➤ Spot the faces at Phil and Rob’s bleeding-edge Dirtbox

❚ HERE’S A NEW SLIDESHOW compiled by Ian Whittington, the original deejay at the Dirtbox — London’s itinerant underground warehouse party run by Phil X and Rob Y, which started life in March 1982 over an Earl’s Court chemists shop. By 1983 it was one of the four key club-nights that defined The New London Weekend in The Face magazine. In among the soulboys, soulgirls and rockabillies, look out for a young Sade, her musicians Stuart and Paul (then in the band Pride), Boy George and George Michael … Ian says the Nina S soundtrack was played at the Dirtboxes in London Bridge, King’s Cross, Stockwell Green, Titanic, Wandsworth and Bournemouth.