INDEX OF ALL 700+ POSTS➢ 2009 till now : Everything at Shapers of the 80s...
Now in our eleventh year.
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MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984They didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did.
“I’d find people at the Blitz who were possible only in my imagination. But they were real” — Stephen Jones, hatmaker, 1983. (Illustration courtesy Iain R Webb, 1983)
“The truth about those Blitz club people was more interesting than most people’s fantasies” — Steve Dagger, pop group manager, 1983
“See David Johnson’s fabulously detailed website Shapersofthe80s to which I am hugely indebted” – Political historian Dominic Sandbrook, in his book Who Dares Wins, 2019
A UNIQUE HISTORY➢ WELCOME to the Swinging 80s
➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates
➢ ROLL OVER THE MENU AT TOP to go deeper into the past
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❏ Header artwork by Kat Starchild shows Blitz Kids Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise Brazier, Judi Frankland and Steve Strange, with David Bowie at centre in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes
TOLD FOR THE FIRST TIME
◆ Who was who in Spandau’s break-out year of 1980? The Invisible Hand of Shapersofthe80s draws a selective timeline for The unprecedented rise and rise of Spandau Ballet –– Turn to our inside page
- 2020 ➤ Steve Norman takes up noodlin’ while Staying At Home… ditto Nick Heyward
- 2020 ➤ Hockney’s drawings lay bare the artist’s soul in the shifting sands of time
- 2020 ➤ “Every hat is opening night” – Stephen Jones 40 years on
- ➤ Stoppard’s superlative new play is a tearjerker echoing his own roots
- ➤ Starman given new life by David McAlmont in concert
- ➤ Second time unlucky as fire ravages former Camden Palace nightspot
- ➤ Singer Tony Hadley wins royal gong for his services to charity
- ➤ Andy Polaris loads up his own fantabulous Yuletide jukebox
- 2019 ➤ Scott Walker: a singular figure in art and ideas
- 1979 ➤ Spandau’s manager Steve Dagger tells of two offers to sign his band at their debut
- 35 years since Band Aid’s monster Christmas single and the 80s ceased to swing
- 2019 ➤ The Boulevard rises from the ashes of the Raymond Revuebar
SEARCH our 700 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
UNTOLD BLITZ STORIES
✱ If you thought there was no more to know about the birth of Blitz culture in 1980 then get your hands on a sensational new book by an obsessive music fan called David Barrat. It is gripping, original and epic – a spooky tale of coincidence and parallel lives as mind-tingling as a Sherlock Holmes yarn. Titled both New Romantics Who Never Were and The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet! Sample this initial taster here at Shapers of the 80s
CHEWING THE FAT
LANDMARK FAREWELLS. . . HIT THE INDEX TAB UP TOP FOR EVERYTHING ELSE
✱ “I’m not a rock star” Bowie often said – No, David, you were a messiah – Obituaries and key videos on the godlike one
Archive — Many publication dates are arbitrary, so click and take pot luck!
Tag Archives: Heaven 17
❚ SPOTTY TEENAGERS DIDDLING WITH TWO FINGERS. Electronic music has usually had a dourly downbeat image for most of us. Synths in bedsits, and all that. Yet the tunes of our youth are the spark that fuel our creative adventures. That’s the inspirational notion behind a new monthly radio show titled Music for… Growing Up To, compiled by Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 for Radio Ditto. Drawing from their own idiosyncratic record collections and their undiminished curiosity, these electronic pioneers of the early 80s — founders of The Human League who broke away in 1980 — will also be scanning the web for new discoveries in a segment they call Found on Soundcloud. And, they say, anybody can also submit their own new tunes for the webcast.
All of which is by way of a trailer for their British Electric Foundation’s two-day festival, Music of Quality and Distinction Live, at London’s Roundhouse venue in the autumn. They were encouraged by the full houses during Heaven 17’s Penthouse and Pavement 30th anniversary tour last year, built around what many of us regard as the most progressive album of 1981. Playing synthesisers live onstage seldom offers the most dramatic of experiences. Yet, despite the pretentiously named BEF, their original production company, Heaven 17’s imaginatively presented tour generated a real party atmosphere thanks to exceptional supporting musicians and innovative digital light displays — rather more than you’d expect from paunchy veterans standing at keyboards, and a darn sight more good-humoured than some recent po-faced electro-revivals. From Soul Warfare and Let’s All Make A Bomb to Fascist Groove Thang, Ware & Gregory’s rebel anthems lent themselves to enthusiastic singalongs.
➢ The Roundhouse celebration of seminal electronic music from the past 30 years consists of a major concert each night. Friday October 14 sees a live premiere of Heaven 17’s top-ten album The Luxury Gap from 1983… October 15 will be BEF’s first live show featuring guest vocals from Elly Jackson (LaRoux), Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes), Boy George (Culture Club), Midge Ure (Ultravox), Andy Bell (Erasure), Sandie Shaw, Polly Scattergood and Kim Wilde.
➢ Other summer festival gigs by Heaven 17 — brilliantly backed by Billie Godfrey, Asa Bennett, Joel Farland being dynamite on LinnDrums, Julian Crampton being a god on bass and Me’sha Bryan — include Coventry, Sheffield, London, Whitstable, Perth and Nottingham.