This post is being updated throughout the month
✱ “Blur reunion” scheduled for pre-Brit Awards fundraising gig — as reported at Live4ever: Blur members Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon will be among the special guests at this year’s Brit Awards party, which will take place at the Shepherds Bush Empire two nights before the official prize-giving ceremony (Tues Feb 21), aiming to raise money for the War Child charity. The two bandmates are then set to reunite on-stage with Alex James and Dave Rowntree at the Brit Awards event itself, when they will perform live after picking up the Outstanding Contribution gong… Deejay for the Brit Awards After Party at Indigo 2 is Rusty Egan.
✱ New Head of Central Saint Martins announced — From August 2012 Professor Jeremy Till is to be the next Head of Central Saint Martins within the University of the Arts London. Currently Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster, he takes over from retiring head, Professor Jane Rapley OBE who took up the role in 2006.
✱ The Bedroom Philosopher and A Small Press cut the ribbon on The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries, Feb 17 at Trades Hall, Melbourne, Oz — The BPD is a collection of hilarious and melancholic reports from Justin Heazlewood’s (Frankie, Mess & Noise) experiences as a touring folkstar. Read about his epic battles with drunk punters, scatty rockstars, aloof groupies and mostly himself. Feb 17 is a literary danceathon featuring many guests, and of course the Boho Stripped Bare in conversation with himself: “Sometimes performing is like meeting yourself for the first time and not being that into it.” Buy BPD here
✱ 10,000 tickets will be selected by ballot for a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace, celebrating The Queen’s 60-year reign. The Diamond Jubilee Concert will be produced by the BBC on June 4, 2012. Take That’s Gary Barlow is musical director and artists invited so far include Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran. Ticket applications are being received between Feb 7 and March 2, NOT first come first served.
✱ Guitar hero Johnny Marr has a tip-top new website … And in a video interview he’s thrilled to bits with the new Signature Jaguar he’s been developing with Fender — read more.
✱ Anything goes at Wearable Art, the London Fashion Week special at Egg, Feb 18, 22–10:00 — Hosted by Malice, Wearable Art promises a mélange of design and performance and music from London’s most fashion friendly and visual DJs including a Frequenza Records showcase with Alex D’Elia, Nihil Young and CJ Hartmann, Larry Tee, Jodie Harsh…
✱ Madonna’s 2012 World Tour starts Tel Aviv May 29, ends Atlanta GA Nov 17, calling at London July 17, Edinburgh July 21, Dublin July 24, NYC Sept 6 and LA Oct 10 … Madge, you’re a fool if you approve standing tickets for Hyde Park going on sale between £175 and £5,000 EACH! … Meanwhile 12-track edition of MDNA goes on sale March 26.
✱ Lloyd Johnson The Modern Outfitter exhibition is at The Chelsea Space, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1 until Mar 3 — Read Robert Elms’s blog: “His King’s Road shop, with the scooter parked outside, was part of the hub of wild boutiques, along with Vivienne Westwood, Boy, Antony Price and Rockit, which made Chelsea the place to be throughout the punk era.” Lloyd Johnson will be at The Chelsea Space every Wednesday throughout the exhibition.
✱ Hot news! Pulp reissue their weird and groundbreaking first three albums on Feb 20. Then Jarvis and friends head for the States. We have the tour dates for Pulp in the US — plus Spain again in May. Can this be the year Pulp and Jarvis start delivering some answers?
✱ Ringo Starr’s 17th solo studio record, Ringo 2012 was released on January 31. Of the nine tracks two are covers, Think It Over and Rock Island Line, and two are new versions of his own songs, Wings and Step Lightly.
✱ At Facebook Richard Strange announces: “What a year it’s been… getting married to my amazing wife, Kelly, and culminating Jan 24 with the exciting launch of A Mighty Big If and Don Boyd’s online arts channel, HiBrow. My guests Alison Jackson and Richard Wilson were nothing short of inspirational, and having Gary Kemp [above] play three songs with me was the icing on a delicious cake. Thank you all!”
✱ Led by film maker Don Boyd, HiBrow is a highly personalised online platform for the performing and visual arts — Launch highlights include Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre performing David Eldridge’s All Is Vanity; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s Fifth Symphony; 2011 World Book Night readings and interviews presented by Graham Norton; coverage of the 2011 film festival in Burkina Faso; Raf Bonachela Company’s dance performance of The Land Of Yes and the Land of No; Gavin Turk in conversation with Richard Strange; and previews from the Tate St Ives.
✱ Kid Creole & The Coconuts headline at The Apple Cart Festival 2012 in London’s Victoria Park E9 on June 3. Comedy, art, cabaret, magic — plus Billy Bragg, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Marcus Foster, Marques Toliver, Martin Creed, Noah & The Whale, Penguin Café, Stornoway & more.
✱ Last month, the Preston-based Laboratory Project launched a new album Taste Masters 3 featuring Two Weeks Running, MC Tunes, Saturday Night Gym Club, Salford Jets, Twin Planets, Pangaea & Drew Smith.
✱ Singer Tony Hadley announces: “My wife and I are pleased to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful baby daughter born on February 6, 2012.”
✱ The definitive history of 80s clubbing We Can Be Heroes is throwing a Soho party Feb 22 where you can meet Graham Smith and co-author Chris Sullivan and buy signed copies downstairs at the The Sun & Thirteen Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG. From 7pm until late, with Sullivan on the turntables… View video of Sullivan telling his “Ribald tales of excess”.
✱ i-D magazine launches its Pre-Spring 2012 Whatever The Weather issue with covers inspired by the Chinese Year of The Dragon, Pan Yan [left] shot by Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man… Fashion forecasts for the season ahead include Wolfgang Tillmans on London Fashion Week and Juergen Teller at Pam Hogg’s Paris show, while Hedi Slimmane shoots Dylan Riley (don’t ask which one). Music includes Azealia Banks and the Albanian Rita Ora … Here at Shapersofthe80s Dazed and i-D hipster sounds go head to head
✱ Bowie’s friend Wendy spotted herself dancing in the newly discovered Jean Genie video — read her story here at Shapersofthe80s.
✱ Spandau bass player Martin Kemp returns to UK TV screens as a stylish gangster in the hit peaktime BBC1 drama series, Hustle, viewable on iPlayer until Feb 17. Martin talks about the show, veteran American actor Robert Vaughn, and being directed by one of its stars, Adrian Lester, in an interview at Cultbox
✱ Released Jan 30 on DVD: the moody psycho-thriller Martin Kemp’s Stalker — Amazon sold out early so visit Martin’s Facebook page. Signed poster cards also available…
At Shapersofthe80s view video interview with Martin as the popstar talks about becoming a movie mogul … and read how he got blood on his hands during his his directorial debut.
✱ Taking in London’s Albert Hall on Nov 26, the Human League XXXV Tour kicks off Nov 23, 2012 from Brighton with 14 UK dates so far.
✱ Submotion Orchestra, the live 7-piece from Leeds whose Facebook interests include “Jazz, Grime, Classical, Dubstep, Soul, Dub, Garage, Improv” announce their third headline tour March 12–17 from Fac251 in Manc via Scala London to Bristol Fleece, to promote a hotly anticipated new single and second album. Here’s Angel Eyes…
Listen at Soundcloud to their Finest Hour – The Remixes available now on iTunes featuring versions by Goth-Trad, Planas, Phaeleh, Synkro, Laxx, SeeMore Productions, Eddie Ranking and Jack Sparrow … “Submotion Orchestra carry both the funk and the groove into new dimensions” — The Word
✱ On sale now: Rewind The 80s Festival in Henley-on-Thames returns for a fourth successive year Aug 17–19 at Temple Island Meadows with Kool & The Gang, OMD, Grandmaster Flash, Rick Astley, Soul II Soul, Five Star, Starship, Jimmy Somerville, Sinitta, Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Midge Ure and Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse. Plus festival fun from silent discos to live karaoke … Also, Rewind Scotland — The 80s Festival at Scone Palace, Perthshire July 20–22, with 80s recording artists who include ABC, Holly Johnson, Marc Almond, Midge Ure, Squeeze, Jimmy Somerville, Altered Images, Five Star, Go West, Limahl, Village People and Adam Ant.
✱ PopJustice has gone ape for two Nordic beauties: 16-year-old Swede Amanda Mair [pictured] whose debut album is “a nonstop amazeathon” while expressing “high hopes” for a new album from Norwegian electro-pop goddess Bertine Zetlitz, “whose last studio album is one of the best of the modern pop era”.
✱ The massive new exhibition of vibrantly coloured landscapes by David Hockney is not, he insists, a retrospective, but mainly new work responding to the unique skies over Yorkshire. The show concludes with an eye-popping series of “cubistic” multi-screen cine films of exactly the kind he was proposing to Shapersofthe80s in his 1983 landmark interview when he revealed “Suddenly I see cubism differently, more clearly”. Read it inside.
✱ The February issue of Dazed & Confused heads to Harlem to hang with 24-year-old rap sensation A$AP Rocky … Plus four interviews with groundbreaking designers Meadham Kirchhoff, Kris Van Assche, Kim Jones and Christopher Kane … Online at Dazed Digital: profile of John Brockman, vanguard of intellectual fashion.
✱ Spandau Ballet now offer a UK download bundle of three club and dub mixes of their anthemic hit single Gold at a special price … Paul Oakenfold’s BMX Remix of Gold on sale at iTunes and at Amazon Downloads
✱ View the ♫ pre-Olympics music video of the Gold BMX remix and read the story behind it here at Shapersofthe80s.
✱ Feb 19 from 8pm: Spandau’s songwriting Kemp brother is interviewed on Absolute 80s radio about The Lyrics of Gary Kemp to be published on March 27 by the Lyric Book Company, featuring all the songs the guitarist has written over four decades, including club anthems To Cut A Long Story Short, Chant No.1 and True — discover why Kemp found it “hard to write the next line” here at Shapersofthe80s.
✱ Marc Almond in Concert: A Birthday Celebration, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, July 9 — another milestone celebration on the night of his 55th birthday. A string and brass section will join Almond’s regular band and they promise a Northern Soul finale.
✱ Rusty Egan will bring the authentic 80s sounds of The Blitz to a Very New Romantic Valentines Party at Bath’s recently enlarged Circo cocktail bar on Feb 11 … Other Saturdays there are cocktails, food and Egan deejaying at Jaks on Walton Street in Chelsea… Listen to his latest 16-track 80s mix L’amour et la Violence.
✱ Lou Reed has announced a From Vu To Lulu European tour during summer 2012, without a single appearance in the UK. Kicking off in Luxembourg on June 6, ending in Slovakia July 5, he will perform material from his entire canon, Velvet Underground to his recent Metallica collaborative album Lulu. His five-piece band will include Tony ‘Thunder’ Smith (drums), Rob Wasserman (bass), Kevin Hearn (keyboards), and Aram Bajakian (guitar).
✱ The first release of 2012 will be Dark Teenage Fantasy, the “slinky, twisted disco” debut EP on Feb 6 from synthpop duo Super White Assassin … Fac251’s Second Birthday comes in two parts at M1 7EN: Sat Feb 4 has 24Hr Party People onscreen, Covelles live, plus DJ sets inc Peter Hook … More on Feb 11, with free gig by Reverend and the Makers … Missionary every Tuesday at Fac251: three rooms with Bombed Out hosting the basement.
✱ Verdicts on 2011: Picky people’s year-ending Best Ofs in fashion, TV, web and film … also Best Ofs across the music scene