INDEX OF ALL 700+ POSTS
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
An “invaluable website” — historian Dominic Sandbrook, 2012
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
➢ FOR NEWS & MONTH BY MONTH SEARCH, see the sidebar below
❏ 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
- ➤ Bowie TV trilogy triumphs thanks to candour and a few tears
- ➤ Thanks, Steve, for my invitation to the Swinging 80s
- ➤ Four years on: How the Blitz Kids paid magnificent tribute to Steve Strange
- ➤ Topical issues enliven Leave to Remain, an innovative stage musical about gay romance
- ➤ Sullivan the wag changes hats at the touch of his paintbrush
- ➤ Magical glimpses into the unreal world of pop photographer Peter Ashworth
- ➤ Truly a once in a lifetime evening of pure joy with David Byrne
- ➤ Hadley v Spandau: Whose superb band is paying tribute to the other?
- ➤ How one fan came 11,000 miles for those Spandau smiles
- ➤ Milan says Ciao to snazzy Ross now fronting the flash dads of Spandau Ballet
- 2018 ➤ Big Tone live still raising the hairs on your neck
- ➤ 45 years of soothing egos and arresting our attention by portraitist Ridgers
SEARCH our 700 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
NEWS — OLD FACES, NEW MIXES FOR THE 20-TEENS
✱ Celebrating 40 years of music in her 60th year, Toyah Willcox has opened bookings for 2019’s first live dates from February to April via Toyah’s own website – “Live with full electric band”
✱ Ex-Spandau singer Tony Hadley’s Talking To The Moon UK tour was a triumph at the London Palladium. . . View Tone’s first YouTube music video – for his single Tonight Belongs To Us, from his album Talking To The Moon … Hadley’s events list gives more live European dates into the spring, and his US agent will be planning more.
✱ Latest from legendary Blitz Club deejay and remixer Rusty Egan: Welcome to the Remix at Bandcamp, plus Welcome to the Beach in which Austrian producer HP Hoeger and Egan have taken last year’s Welcome to the Dance Floor and transformed it for the beach with additional musicians joining in and adaptations and spoken word. . . More Egan mixes at Mixcloud. . . and personal playlists at Soundcloud. This man seems to own the interweb.
✱ Jeff Young on Jazz FM last year made the new 18-track Siren his album of the week. This January it won the Bright Star Music Award for Best Soul / R& B Album 2018, brainchild of Colourful Radio. It was superbly crafted by Londoner Robb Scott, with strong supporting lineup, for the Expansion label. Soul Brother Records says: “A collection of classy soul/jazz grooves on that has jazz at its heart but with some superb soulful brushstrokes applied.” Purchase directly from the artist’s store
✱ One Nation Under the Groove – Wag club legend Chris Sullivan currently resident on Fridays at Mau Mau, 265 Portobello Road “which looks like a New York rhythm ’n’ blues soul bar.” Playing rare funk and disco from the likes of Mantus, Father Time,The Kinsman Band plus Parliament, Bohannon and Larry Young – sample him at Mixcloud. . . Sullivan’s book Rebel Rebel, “a riotous history of people and things that broke the mould”, is due from Unbound on 15 March 2019.
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
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: Pete Postlethwaite
Responding today to news of the death of actor Pete Postlethwaite, the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, has credited the 1996 film Brassed Off — about the struggles faced by a colliery brass band after the closure of their pit under a Conservative government — as the inspiration for a Labour regeneration programme for coalfield communities
Lord Prescott writes…
❚ I FIRST SAW BRASSED OFF in June 1997. The story, loosely based on the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, was moving but it was Pete Postlethwaite’s speech right at the end that had a deep effect on me. His character, band leader Danny, after spending his life wanting to win the national brass-band trophy, symbolically turns it down because he knows it’s the only way he can get publicity for the 1,000 miners who were sacked from his pit…
❏ Tribute — In 2008, Pete Postlethwaite fell victim to the director Rupert Goold in his absurd updating of Shakespeare’s King Lear at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. At the actor’s prompting the production was revised slightly before moving to London’s Young Vic in 2009. The staging still hit the heights of am-dram self-consciousness, but Postlethwaite’s performance [see video trailer below] rose above his surroundings to be intensely affecting, as an abject monarch who seemed more a vulnerable man of the people.
❏ Daniel Day-Lewis, who played Postlethwaite’s son in 1993’s In the Name of the Father (for which they both earned Oscar nominations), and co-starred with him in 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans: “Pos was the one. As students, it was him we went to see on stage time and time again. It was him we wanted to be like: wild and true, lion hearted, unselfconscious, irreverent. He was on our side. He watched out for us. We loved him and followed him like happy children, never a breath away from laughter.”
Postlethwaite was acclaimed for other performances in films such as Stephen Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet and Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects.
➢ A face we won’t forget — Pete Postlethwaite, who died on Sunday, was one of our finest actors. Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw recalls the unwitting role he played in the Northern Ireland peace process
➢ Blessed with one of the most remarkable faces of any British actor this past half century — Daily Telegraph obituary