Tag Archives: The Face

1982 ➤ Spot the faces at Phil and Rob’s bleeding-edge Dirtbox


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❚ HERE’S A NEW SLIDESHOW compiled by Ian Whittington, the original deejay at the Dirtbox — London’s itinerant underground warehouse party run by Phil X and Rob Y, which started life in March 1982 over an Earl’s Court chemists shop. By 1983 it was one of the four key club-nights that defined The New London Weekend in The Face magazine. In among the soulboys, soulgirls and rockabillies, look out for a young Sade, her musicians Stuart and Paul (then in the band Pride), Boy George and George Michael … Ian says the Nina S soundtrack was played at the Dirtboxes in London Bridge, King’s Cross, Stockwell Green, Titanic, Wandsworth and Bournemouth.

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➤ Did London’s £15m security cameras really fail to record attack on Boy George’s best friend?

Philip Sallon, nightclubbing, homophobic attacks,

Birthday party 2010: clubworld entrepreneur Philip Sallon seen last November at Home House, courtesy pandemonia99.blogspot.com

❚ LAST WEEKEND BANG ON PICCADILLY CIRCUS one of London nightclubbing’s most familiar superstars — a leading club promoter and party planner for the past 30 years — was beaten senseless at about 3.30am. Police say two people kicked him in the head repeatedly and ran off. They fractured his skull. So far, however, neither the Metropolitan Police nor Westminster City Council have reported any surveillance video footage of the incident. On Piccadilly Circus.  The most famous, most brilliantly lit traffic roundabout in our 24-hour capital city.

Philip Sallon, club promoter, party planner

Sallon as few of us have ever seen him, pictured last year by Nigel Howard

Tuesday’s Evening Standard carried the headline: Boy George appeals to catch attackers of ‘oldest and closest friend’. The report said: “Philip Sallon, 59, a flamboyant figure on the West End club scene, is recovering in hospital after the assault near Piccadilly Circus in the early hours of Saturday. Mr Sallon, from St John’s Wood, who founded the Mud Club in the Eighties, was stamped on and kicked in the head and suffered broken bones in his face.”

The fact that Sallon is an overtly gay man has raised suspicions that the attack was motivated by homophobia.

Pop star George O’Dowd told the Standard: “I am very upset. He is my oldest and closest friend. He is a colourful character but certainly not aggressive. He is not someone who would have got into a fight. He is a bit like me and just goes out on his own.”

➢ Meet at the Eros statue on Piccadilly Friday night/Saturday morning April 15–16, from midnight to 03:30 to distribute witness appeal flyers, to talk to potential witnesses and to show your support. Alice Shaw, Tamara Adair, Benjamin Till have organised the Facebook group Supporting Philip Sallon.
➢ April 8 update: Guardian Online reports a change to the precise location where Sallon was attacked. “The victim was found outside Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition,” police told The Guardian. This is housed in the triangular building once known as the London Pavilion, directly across Shaftesbury Avenue from Gap, which was mentioned in early reports.

April 16 update — Only about 30 of the 127 Facebookers who said they would attend this morning’s rally had arrived when Sallon sympathisers carrying posters bearing the victim’s photo departed from the Eros steps just after midnight to seek witnesses in nearby streets. One of the three Westminster policemen accompanying them was vague about where Sallon had been found on April 2. He seemed to think Sallon had staggered north to Regent Street before collapsing, whereas the Standard had police reporting he was found outside Gap and The Guardian outside Ripley’s, which has five security cameras on various parts of its Piccadilly facades. Among many building works in progress around the Circus, five more CCTV cameras can be seen within line of sight of Eros himself, which makes it all the more surprising that no footage of the attack has come to light.

George appealed for witnesses to come forward: “The police are dealing with it but apparently there is no CCTV footage.”

The scandalous irony is that half a mile away, Westminster Council celebrates the glory of its CCTV system with a plaque in Meard Street, Soho, on the wall of the former nightclub “Gossips formerly Billy’s”. This legendary cellar club is where Sallon and O’Dowd’s generation gave birth to the once-a-week clubnight that transformed British clubbing at the dawn of the 80s, and made London a dance destination for the young people of Europe. [Read The Making of UK Club Culture, from The Face, 1983]

The inscription on the plaque, which was unveiled only last year, pays tribute to the late Ian Wilder, a Westminster councillor: “In recognition of his pioneering work in proposing Westminster’s Wi-Fi system, this site can be seen throughout the world 24/7”. Opposite the plaque, a Wi-Fi enabled camera hangs from a lamp-post so that the world may view the reasonably tranquil pedestrian walkway that is Meard Street. Seemingly, Piccadilly Circus which teems with people and traffic most nights at 3am does not qualify for such 24/7 surveillance.

CCTV,Westminster Council, Meard Street, Soho, security, WiFi

Visible on camera 24/7: Westminster Council’s plaque in Meard Street

Councillor Wilder saw how wireless technology was being deployed during a visit to the United States. In 2004 he initiated the installation of a pilot wireless network and four wireless TV cameras in Soho, portable enough to be moved to potential troublespots and slung from lamp-posts without attracting attention. They cost a fifth as much as traditional fixed-line CCTV cameras.

Within two years, the Wireless City Project had become a network of 40 wireless cameras, and in Soho, eight remote monitoring stations, as well as mobile applications for food and licensing inspectors, housing estate officers, and parking attendants. These cameras were integrated into Westminster’s existing £15million monitoring system of wired CCTV cameras. The council has long believed that its street surveillance network is one of the most efficient in the world, capturing high-quality, scalable data that can provide viable evidence in the law courts.

A video report at Guardian Online shows us inside Westminster’s CCTV control centre, where a supervisor talks confidently about being able to identify “aggressive beggars, illegal street trading — we can see it all” while enjoying “full talkthrough with police on the ground”. And yet. No sign of two thugs beating Philip Sallon unconscious, apparently. He is still in hospital.

Meanwhile in today’s Evening Standard fashion editor Laura Craik cites the police statistic that homophobic incidents in London have increased by 28 per cent over the past four years — “and that only reflects the ones that were reported”.

❚ @BoyGeorge on Twitter “My friend was brutally attacked & hospitalized on Saturday in Piccadilly, someone called an ambulance? Was it you?” — If you witnessed Philip Sallon’s beating last Saturday at about 3.30am, contact Westminster Serious Violence Team on 0207 321 9315, ref 65 1803/11, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Philip Sallon, George O'Dowd, 1980

Philip Sallon with George O’Dowd, 1980: as mentor and guiding light, Sallon gave George his first break as a deejay at Planet’s nightspot and urged him to form a pop group. Photographed at one of Paul Sturridge’s houseparties in Harlesden

➢ Who’s who in the New London Weekend — The Face in 1983 picks Philip Sallon’s Mud Club as one of the four prime movers making London swing again

➢ View video of The Cruella Diaries — Philip Sallon in performance mode… “I’m wearing British ethnic at the moment”

➢ June 8 update: Wise-cracking Sallon shimmies back onto London’s party scene

Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Bromley Contingent, Philip Sallon, punks, Bill Grundy

Epic picture of the Bromley Contingent, 1976: Cricklewood-born style leader Philip Sallon wears plastic shorts, second right. The Bromley Contingent were the core Sex Pistols fans who popularised early punk looks. They included Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Simone Thomas and Simon “Boy” Barker who appeared on teatime TV when the Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy in December 1976. Between them they uttered a series of expletives live on-air, achieved lift-off for the punk movement and catapulted Grundy out of his job. (Photographed © by Ray Stevenson)

➢ 2012 update: Six rewrites punk history with an outlandish claim about the Not-Really-From-Bromley Contingent

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➤ How Roman Kemp helped his dad Martin to pick up the bass again

Paradise Point in rehearsal, above: Roman, Johnnie, Cameron, Adam

❚ “I’M THRILLED FOR ROMAN’S BAND. It’s one of the most exciting bands I’ve heard for a while. They’ve been rehearsing downstairs in my games room for the past year and they’ve turned out really well. Their sound reminds me a lot of Duran Duran, but the singer Cameron looks like Tony Hadley when he was younger and he’s got the vibe of Tony. He’s got a great voice, very expressive — he’s got a long way to go this boy.”

Roman Kemp, Martin Kemp, Paradise Point, livepop,The Face club

On the town: Roman and Martin Kemp a couple of years back. Photograph © Dave Hogan

OK, if that sounds like a doting father, yes it is. Martin Kemp is best known as one of British TV’s most popular actors after his stint as a villain in the leading soap, EastEnders, but the past year of course was spent touring as bass player with Spandau Ballet, his reformed 80s supergroup.

This Friday, the fourpiece called Paradise Point is unveiled at London’s coolest club-night, The Face, and Martin’s 17-year-old son Roman Kemp follows his father by opting to play bass. This group’s claim to novelty is that they all play their instruments live and their music is pop. They are the vanguard for a return to real Brit pop.

Martin says: “I’m just pleased for Roman that he’s in a proper band, rather than a boyband where five people stand up singing while working out when they’re going to sit on the stools. His band is very polished. If I think of the level Spandau had reached at their age, they’re well ahead of us, much more polished than Spandau were then.

“They look fantastic as well. It’s a band that’s made for girls to pin on their walls, which we haven’t had for a long time. That’s what needs to come around again.

“The whole thing of saying ‘Let’s be famous’ before you have a reason to be famous has meant being in a boyband is much easier than putting in the time and effort, learning to play your instrument, then finding mates who can play bass and the drums, bringing round the gear. That whole thing is a slog. But what you get out of that setup is a bonding experience with your band, which you’ve all been through. And that has disappeared at the moment. For me, it’s nice to see Roman inside a band where he’s got some real mates.”

Paradise Point, Cameron Jones, Firework,livepop
➢ Teen musicians call time for
 Cowell and his X-culture — First interview with Roman Kemp on
Paradise Point’s livepop debut this week

Paradise Point are determined to return credibility to teen pop music by playing their own instruments live onstage. They offer a determined farewell to the X-culture inflicted on the singles charts by Simon Cowell and his cloned songbirds. PP have had enough of manufactured pop idols and prancing boybands

Spandau Ballet had already broken up by the time Roman was born but with a pop-star mother too — Shirlie Holliman from Wham! — there was always music in the house. Martin says: “I taught him to play guitar when he was about six, then he got into rap for a while. Like all kids, this killed learning any kind of instrument, because they’re into the gangsta rap words.

“Then he picked up his guitar again and now he’s playing bass. He’s doing all right. He’s got a much better ear than I have, it’s brilliant. To tell you truth, when I was going back on tour with Spandau, after 19 years out, I couldn’t work out how I used to do some of the riffs. So I got Roman down to listen to the Spandau track to work out the fingering.

“He’s turning into a good bass player, a lot like John Taylor. Yes, from Duran! I don’t mind who he wants to turn into. If your kids go into the entertainment business, success isn’t about how much money you make — it’s about turning your hobby into your job. For me, that is success. If he can do that fantastic.”

So, Martin, are you coming down to The Face to see Paradise Point? “Absolutely. I’ll be roadying. Back to my original job with Spandau.”

➢ Four audio tracks and more by Paradise Point at MySpace
➢ Four audio tracks by Paradise Point at Facebook
➢ On the road with Martin: Shapersofthe80s’ coverage of Spandau Ballet’s 2009-10 Reformation tour

Pepsi & Shirlie, Holliman, Roman Kemp

Musical family: Roman Kemp’s mum Shirlie (right) in her glory days beside Pepsi with Wham!

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➤ Was the Band With No Past truly wafted here from Paradise?

Paradise Point, pop group,

Paradise Point: Roman, Adam, Cameron and Johnnie

❚ THEY’RE BROODY, A TOUCH SULKY, they’re very fresh and very photogenic in black and white. Four songs online show they play their instruments with startling energy — bass, rhythm guitar, syndrums and synth. Their music is high-octane power pop on one track called The Only One. Furious upbeat emo on another called Tears. Whiffs of Duran Duran on Unbearable Without You. The singer does also happen to have a voice, bone structure, mad hands, attitude. Can’t be more than 18. There’s no evidence on their website of ever playing in public. This is the Band With No Past.

Where do bands like this come from, fully formed, straight from the egg? A whisper tells you they’ve already landed a deal, but that can’t be true. Google the name Paradise Point and all you find is a Palm-dotted beach in San Diego.

The Face, Neo Romantics, clubbing, London, Rosemary TurnerSomebody else tells you PP are Brits, playing their first date this month, live with, er, actual instruments. Hang on. These aren’t indie scruffs or thrash rockers. These kids are in their teens, unashamedly popsters, writing songs and making their own music like real pop groups used to before boy-bands — and before the Cowell X-culture robbed the pop charts of a generation of musicians. We have to reach way back into the heritage for groups who could play their own pop.

It turns out to be Steve Strange who’s showcasing Paradise Point at The Face, the bleeding-edge Neo-Romantic clubnight of the 20-tens, but hang on again, you wouldn’t call this band Romos, they don’t dress like Alejandro Gocast. Yet. OK, they sing of angsty love, like in two more tunes they’ve covered on video and posted today — live versions of Katy Perry’s Firework, and Rihanna’s Only Girl in the World, just to show they can big-time it. Straight to-camera demos, in one take, in fashionable black-and-white, understated and fearless and fizzing with energy. Don’t say Busted. Don’t say McFly. Really, there’s no need to wince.

Roman Kemp, Paradise Point

Strange, I’ve seen that face before ... the one on the right’s called Roman, and he somehow reminds me of her

So far, there’s no press coverage on the band. There’s no info, even of any kind, on Paradise Point’s MySpace page or at Facebook. Apart from four names in alpha order: Cameron Jones (vocals), Roman Kemp (bass), Adam Saunderson (guitar/synth), Johnnie Shinner (drums). So, Watson, what do you deduce? Kemp’s face, Holmes, looks familiar, seen it somewhere before. By jove, Watson, you’re right — some pretty high-powered friends on MySpace, as well, Lady Gaga top of the list. There’s a clue in their YouTube tags too: if you like the tags, you’ll probably like the Band With No Past. Better trek down to The Face Friday fortnight, see what they amount to…

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2010 ➤ Index of posts for May

Steve New, Rich Kids, Revolver,Index May 2010, Shapersofthe80s➢ Spider-woman Bourgeois created her art as meditations on sexuality

➢ Foxx celebrates his life as the Duchamp of electropop

➢ Rich Kid Steve New (left, aka Stella Nova) dies at 50

➢ Just the birthday present Steve Strange really wanted this week of all weeks

➢ ‘A triumph’ – George’s verdict before transmission of his biopic

The Face, magazines, July 1983, New Order, Art on the Run➢ Ex-Blitz Kids give their verdicts on Worried About the Boy

➢ Three key men in Boy George’s life

➢ Can Generation Y be bovvered to vote?

➢ Lest we forget, on this day Britain sank the Belgrano

➢ Birth of The Face: magazine that launched a generation of stylists and style sections

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