Tag Archives: live concert

2012 ➤ Moss misses Culture Club’s new dawn in Australia

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, TV interview, Sunrise

TV scoop November 15: Culture Club announced their reunion on Sunrise, yet Jon Moss seemed distinctly uncomfortable. (Videograb © Channel 7)

❚ THE 80s REUNION OF THE NEW YEAR had been long touted and sceptically doubted. Yet suddenly on November 15 Australia’s number one breakfast show Sunrise on Channel 7 had a world exclusive: the 80s supergroup Culture Club were reforming to play live at the New Year’s Eve celebrations on Glebe Island right in Sydney harbour. That week Shapersofthe80s reported the amazing news. There on video we saw all four members of the chart-topping band with their vocalist Boy George sporting his powder blue Treacy hat, squeezed into a tiny studio in London.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, concert,Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, But everybody’s body language looked awkward, not helped by the satellite link causing long silences in the London-Oz conversation. Once each member spoke up, however, they seemed able to laugh at themselves, including drummer and onetime lover of George, Jon Moss now married and aged 54, who attended George’s last birthday party with his wife. All three were papped there in a smiling embrace.

In the Sunrise interview, however, Jon wore a wearisome expression as he sat behind George, like some jaded husband who’s heard the wife making promises a million times before. And when asked why it had taken ten years to get together, Jon fessed up that “It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other”. Nobody laughed, only averted their eyes. This might of course have been Jon being his usual sardonic self. Or, even then, he might have been suffering the terrible back pain which it is said has laid him low since Christmas .

In the event, on Tuesday as George watched the in-flight movie Senna aboard the plane out of London and tweeted “OMG, he was a beauty & so sweet”, Jon Moss was not beside him. When Culture Club stopped over to play a warm-up gig at the Tennis Stadium in Dubai, Jon was not at his drumkit, nor did he appear in Australia. A brief announcement before Culture Club took the stage in Sydney just after midnight on Jan 1 amounts to all the public has been told: Jon was stuck in London with a bad back, apparently a slipped disc. A sharp-eyed fan in the US called Gloria recalls that George tweeted about this on December 30. He said: “Jon is very unwell sadly. He was too poorly to travel. He’s gutted, so are we!”

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Dubai Tennis Stadium,live concert

Culture Club’s warm-up gig in Dubai Dec 29: while the poster includes Jon Moss, only Boy George, Mikey Craig and Roy Hay take to the stage with a stand-in drummer. (Videograb courtesy boypierreemmanuel)

Fans naturally started to ask what’s really up behind the scenes? Old friends initially suspected a classic attack with a hatpin, harking back to the old feuding of the 80s. But talk within Culture Club circles this week confirms that Jon has suffered an authentic injury and is due to go into hospital for treatment. The camaraderie between George, Jon, Roy and Mikey is reported to have been rekindled and rehearsals actually enjoyable and relaxed enough for whoever is around to join in with the writing. At band dinners in Dubai and Sydney there was agreement that the two shows had gone well. George was being particularly sociable with everyone after hours, rather than doing his own thing as in the old days.

All the more surprising then that George hasn’t offered Jon any further sympathy on Twitter or Facebook. Nor have we heard anything about Jon’s health expressed publicly. OK, there doesn’t seem to be an active official website for Culture Club as a band, but George’s own website has stayed schtum too. Amid George’s continual tweeting during the round trip (which included a bleat about a hotel charging $8 to deliver coffee to his room), the only reference to the show itself said: “I had such a great time tonight in Sydney. A very memorable NYE, with Neil Tennant from PSBs.”

Seven words spring to mind: Do you really want to hurt me?

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Twitter,Neil Tennant, Sydney,live concert
One other interview during December gave a glimpse inside Culture Club family relations. With George sitting on ITV’s This Morning sofa [video below] plugging his £500 coffee-table photobook, Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby quizzed him about the infamous Culture Club split back in 1986, and the 10-year gap since the band’s last reformation.

George said: “We never really ‘fell-out’ fell out. It was more personality things. It was never financial because they’re the worst fall-outs when people fall out financially, that’s hard to come back from. But we never had any of that stuff. It was just childish stuff… What’s funny about bands is it’s a bit like being in a dysfunctional family — and people don’t change. What happens is you change the way you react to people. The thing about being grown up. ‘That annoys me but I’m just going to take a walk’ — ‘I’m not going to tell you that that annnoys me.’ You have to learn to be tolerant.”

Make of that what you can!



Culture Club, Roy Hay, Kevan Frost,reunion, Boy George,  Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert,

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Kevan Frost substituting for Jon Moss on drums. Photo courtesy samesame.com.au

❏ Standing in for Jon Moss as drummer in both Dubai and Sydney was Kevan Frost whose credits as a collaborator with George go back to the 90s, so the music was familiar territory for him. Prominent onstage, too, was the familiar bearded figure of John Themis on guitar, another long-standing co-writer and producer during George’s years as a solo performer. Also onstage, keyboard player, percussionist, four brass and three backing singers.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, live concert,John Themis, reunion, Boy George,Sydney, Glebe Island

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Roy Hay and John Themis. Photo courtesy cyberchameleon.com

Culture Club, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Mikey Craig photographed by Johnny Au



➢ More NYE pix at The Music Network


1970 ➤ Hey Rudolph! It’s The Temptations, starring James Jamerson

The Temptations, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Motown, Barrett Strong,Christmas Card,pop music,audio
♫ CLICK on the pic to run the audio of The Temptations at YouTube

James Jamerson , Motown, musician,Fender Precision Bass

James Jamerson courtesy of Phil Chen, former bassist with Rod Stewart

❚ BOOST YOUR BASS for this vintage Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from The Temptations Christmas Card, the group’s first holiday release, produced by Barrett Strong on Motown Records in 1970.

That distinctive bass line comes from the fingers of Funk Brother the “incomparable” James Jamerson, whose improvisations on his Fender Precision Bass, nicknamed the Funk Machine, underpin the fabled Motown Sound. JJ is supposed to hold the record for playing on the most No 1 chart hits, from My Guy, Baby Love, Reach Out, Grapevine, Tears of a Clown, What’s Going On, and on pretty well everything that came out of Hitsville USA.

Boggle at the Jamerson discography documented at Bob Lee’s Bassland.net … Then glimpse him on-camera and relish his playing effectively a duet with Marvyn Gaye’s angelic vocals in this exceptional video of What’s Going On (below). It’s a live ensemble performance from the 1973 film, Save The Children. Hang on in for “Hey baby” and the tumultuous seventh minute when cool-as-ever JJ is doing his bit to push the temperature…


➤ Taste Masters throw another party to show Cowell there’s real music up North

Taste Masters 3 , Laboratory Project, Fac251, albums, live concert,Saturday Night Gym Club,

Electronics: Saturday Night Gym Club

Taste Masters 3 , Laboratory Project, Fac251, albums, live concert,Twin Planets

New wave: Twin Planets

❚ THE PRESTON-BASED Laboratory Project is “a utopian vision” as an antidote to the reign of Simon Cowell’s production-line X-Factor performers. The label and studio aims to support artists with integrity, skill and soul to break into the music industry. A new album Taste Masters 3 is being launched tomorrow, Dec 17, at Manchester’s Fac251 venue with seven acts from the north-west promoting the album release on Jan 1.

Shapersofthe80s featured the Lab and its founder Tony Rigg when an earlier album Taste Masters 2 launched last spring, presenting Dresden, The Salford Jets, China White, Jimmy Docherty, Antistar, Super 8 Cynics … Last autumn the original album Taste Masters 1 included Drama King, Evenhand, Fez, Helvelyn 2, Osiris — both albums are still available for download.

Taste Masters 3 , Laboratory Project, Fac251, albums, live concert,Pangaea

Contemporary rock: Pangaea

The Laboratory project is promoting tomorrow’s showcase as a “World Class Live Music Event” featuring these acts:

Taste Masters 3 , Laboratory Project, Fac251, albums, live concert, MC Tunes, Salford Jets,  Saturday Night Gym Club, Two Weeks Running, Twin Planets, Pangaea, Drew Smith  ➢ MC Tunes — seminal British rap artist performing hits and new material

➢ Salford Jets — hard-hitting punk flavoured rock from the Mancunian institution founded 1976

➢ Saturday Night Gym Club — electronic story-telling from Radio 1 favourites

➢ Two Weeks Running — epochal guitar music at its finest

➢ Twin Planets — alternative/ new wave future classics

➢ Pangaea — fusing classic and contemporary rock since 2009

➢ Drew Smith — unplugged acoustic musical delights

Taste Masters 3 , Laboratory Project, Fac251, albums, live concert,Two Weeks Running

Guitar champs: Two Weeks Running

➢ Taste Masters 3 album launch party, Dec 17 from 7.30pm at Fac251, Princess Street 
M1 7EN. Tickets £6 at Factory website


2011 ➤ Jubilant Seattle welcomes back Wild Boys Duran, spiced with a touch of Frankie

❚ DURAN ARE ELECTRIC in the first fan vid to hit YouTube at 2am Seattle time. A student at SHS High called Kristy was testing her new cell phone at the Everett WA gig and caught this blazing first-night performance of their 1984 smash, Wild Boys — with a halfway break-out for Relax!, the Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit from 1983. And Simon Le Bon sounds back on fine form after suffering dramatic vocal problems that enforced a four-month break in the All You Need Is Now world tour, halfway through its North America leg.

Everett WA,Seattle Herald,multimedia,video,live concert,Duran Duran, John Taylor, interview, US tour,All You Need is Now,

John Taylor at the Everett Comcast Arena, grabbed from video by kristy34a at YouTube

In yesterday’s Spinner.com interview, SLB said: “I did go to a vocal coach but I didn’t find that that was really the right thing for me. It was a voice therapist that really helped me. I’ve got a very individual style of singing. Coaches tend to have an idea in their mind of the right way to do it, and I don’t think that necessarily is the case.”

In another interview, for the Seattle Herald, bassist John Taylor promised America a “sparkling new multimedia spectacle with screens synchronized to the music”. Thanks go to Kristy for two more vids in HD, below.

❏ Seattle set-list: Before The Rain/ All You Need Is Now/ Hungry Like The Wolf/ A View To A Kill/ Blame The Machines/ Come Undone/ Safe/ Notorious/ Other People’s Lives/ Leave A Light On/ Tiger Tiger/ The Reflex/ Ordinary World/ The Man Who Stole A Leopard/ Planet Earth/ Sunrise/ Wild Boys/ Relax/ (Encore) Girl Panic!/ Girls On Film

➢ For latest news of the AYNIN tour — Keep checking
Duran Duran’s website

➢ Shapersofthe80s celebrates Duran’s return by choosing ten killer videos that transform key AYNIN numbers into visual feasts

❏ CATCH-UP: Shapersofthe80s wraps up Duran’s 2010-11 comeback with links to the Unstaged online concert March 23 at the Mayan theatre, Los Angeles, plus vital links and video interviews

❏ CATCH-UP: 30 years ago the 80s supergroup’s debut single Planet Earth peaked at No 12 in the UK chart

❏ CATCH-UP: Shapersofthe80s tells how Duran’s road to stardom began in the Studio 54 of Birmingham, UK, in 1980

❏ iPAD & TABLET USERS PLEASE NOTE — You are viewing only a very small selection of content from this wide-ranging website on the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and topical updates please view Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer


➤ Crazee or crazed? Lynch’s view of Duran from within his hellish cave

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Duran live on YouTube: a choice of three camera streams and “Lynchian effects” smothering John Taylor’s performance on All You Need Is Now

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

What’s with the floating heads? Kelis joins Le Bon for The Man who Stole a Leopard

❚ WHAT RUM NIGHTMARES DAVID LYNCH must have in bed at night, but then, he did direct Eraserhead after all. For the best part of two hours, today’s much vaunted Duran Duran live web concert in the Unstaged series kept making you want to hurl virtual cabbages at the screen, enraged by a director whose intent was to obscure the act from view with his relentlessly potty toy-box full of widgets. From 2am UK time till almost the dawn chorus, the band onstage in California had no idea what web audiences in 22 overseas territories (432,000 channel views by 6.30am) were enduring as they pushed on through 18 numbers where musically there was much to enjoy (though Simon Le Bon did lurch badly off-key a couple of times). Two of the guest performers Kelis and Beth Ditto added real pleasure to Duran’s output old and new, as did a medley of Bond themes arranged by Mark Ronson.

The YouTube HD media player offered viewers at their computers a choice of three image sources, but gallingly the director’s cut wasn’t simply an option — it was the main stream. A couple of handheld “fun” cams in the audience searching for alternative shots added nothing whatsoever (one vanished entirely), so you were stuck with Lynch’s hellish visions and flickering ghosts from within his own mental Plato’s cave.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Gerard Way

Collision of vocalists: Le Bon and guest Gerard Way during Planet Earth

The trouble with the way-over-the-top “Lynchian effects” was that by shooting the band in broodily gloomy black and white, then adding a light-storm of flashing bleached-out effects resulted in obscuring the musicians for literally 90% of the concert. This utterly defeats the founding principle for televising live events — which was always to give the viewer a privileged close-up vantage point. Not to superimpose a veil of tears. What Lynch added to the often rousing performance in the Mayan theatre, Los Angeles, was a heavy-handed montage (loosely echoing Duran’s lyrics) of old clock parts, bicycle wheels, smoking twigs, flames, sparklers, crashing airplanes, shrunken heads on sticks, BBQ hot dogs, dancing mice, gnomes and the sock fairy.

All of which prompted scrolling comments onscreen from viewers: “I wanna see the boys”, “What’s with the floating heads?”, “This guy is on freaking crack”, “Fatuous visuals”, “Giving me a headache”, “I’m going dizzy” and “Fire Lynch!”

Conclusion: arm yourself with a couple of extra-strong Nurofen Plus if you feel up to catching either the whole concert restreamed for UK audiences at 8pm tonight on Duran’s Vevo channel at YouTube, or opt right away for what look like edited highlights which were already being uploaded as the live show ended. The highlights seem likely to linger online for the next month. But if Rhodes, Le Bon, and the Taylors can brace themselves to view the whole Lynchian farrago in real time — as we had to — they’ll never, ever repeat this kind of laughable venture live. The surrealists played this card in 1930, and won hands down.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Beth Ditto

Ghost in the machine: the usually high-visibility guest Beth Ditto trapped in a Lynchian spinning jenny during Notorious

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Given a roasting: Nick Rhodes gets barbecued during, appropriately, Come Undone

➢ Duran’s official website lists these 22 territories (based on YouTube licensing agreements) which are able to view Unstaged: Argentina, 
, Canada, 
Czech Republic
, France
, Hong Kong
, Ireland, Israel, 
, Japan, 
Korea, Republic of 
New Zealand, 
Russian Federation, 
South Africa
, Spain
, Taiwan Province of China, 
United Kingdom
, United States.

➢ Shapersofthe80s reports on Duran Duran in America — plus media verdicts on the new album All You Need Is Now