“Double, double, toil and trouble” . . . Mandy d’Wit, Judith Frankland and Darla-Jane Gilroy await the casting call in case Mr Bowie drops in at the Blitz
◼ A SURPRISING NEW CACHE of photographs of the Blitz Club in colour has been discovered from the spring of 1980 when TIME magazine asked British photographer Terry Smith to turn his lens on the nightlife posers at Covent Garden’s Blitz Club. They were to become feted as the New Romantics.
Tuesdays at the Blitz were all ritual. Everyone supped and danced on the same spot every week according to some invisible floorplan: downstairs near the bar stood the boys in the band (no make-up), their media and management by the stairs, credible punk legends such as Siouxsie Sioux along the bar, suburban wannabes beside the dancefloor.
Deep within the club, around Rusty Egan’s deejay booth, were the dedicated dancing feet, the white-faced shock troops, the fashionista elite – either there or near the cloakroom, ruled first by Julia Fodor (still going strong as deejay Princess Julia) and later by George O’Dowd (known today as ex-jailbird Boy George). Downstairs, the women’s loo was hijacked, naturally, by boys who would be girls. Upstairs on the railway banquettes might be respected alumni from an earlier London: film-maker Derek Jarman, artists Brian Clarke and Kevin Whitney, designers Antony Price and Zandra Rhodes…
➢ Previously at Shapers of the 80s:
1980, Just don’t call us New Romantics
Posted in Britain, Clubbing, dance music, Fashion, London, New Romantics, photography, Pop music, Swinging 80s, Tipping points, Youth culture
Tagged Chris Sullivan, Darla-Jane Gilroy, David Holah, Dick Breslaw, Fiona Dealey, George O’Dowd, Harley Price, Helen Carey, Jeremy Healy, Judith Frankland, Ken Banta, Kim Bowen, Lesley Chilkes, Lucy Bell, Mandy d’Wit, Philip Sallon, Rose Turner, Rusty Egan, Stephen Jones, Steve Strange, Terry Smith, Time magazine, Tracey Rivers
Never before published: Steve Strange, co-founder with deejay Rusty Egan of the legendary Tuesday night at the Blitz in London
◼ AN ENORMOUS NEW CACHE of photographs of the Blitz Club in colour has been discovered from the spring of 1980 when the UK media started to take an interest in the Tuesday-night antics of the nightlife posers at Covent Garden’s Blitz Club. They were to become celebrated as the Blitz Kids by some and as New Romantics by others. Until this moment it has been easy to count the number of surviving professional pictures ever taken inside the Blitz during its 20-month life – all of them in black-and-white – and the total doesn’t even approach 100.
Now a call to Shapers of the 80s by the British photographer Terry Smith has unearthed probably 300 more images, commissioned by Time magazine. Many of them are in glorious colour, shedding extra light on the creativity of the night-owls who were in the throes of transforming the fashion and pop landscape of Britain in the Swinging 80s.
Shapers of the 80s today showcases the first of four batches of Terry’s pictures capturing the Blitz in colour, while a selling exhibition of his black-and-white images is preparing to open on 7 June in St Leonards-on-Sea.
➢ Terry Smith/Blitz and Pieces: Unseen Blitz Club Pictures
& 80s Bands runs 7 June–21 July 2018 at Lucy Bell Gallery,
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN38 0EJ.
Preview 7 June, 6-8pm
Blitz Club 1980: Can you name these early New Romantics in the frilly-shirt posse?
Posted in Clubbing, exhibitions, Fashion, History, journalism, London, Media, New Romantics, nightlife, photography, Pop music, Swinging 80s, Tipping points, Youth culture
Tagged David Holah, Fiona Dealey, George O’Dowd, Harley Price, Jeremy Healy, Judith Frankland, Ken Banta, Kim Bowen, Lesley Chilkes, Lucy Bell, Philip Sallon, Rose Turner, Rusty Egan, Stephen Jones, Steve Strange, Terry Smith, Time magazine, Tracey Rivers