Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Adam Ant, Hovis, Milk and More - 1981

The Daily Telegraph does a pictorial history of 1981 today. Not sure why. But what the heck... here it is:
1981: What was the price of a pint and who was top of the pops? - Telegraph

Monday, 28 March 2011

Adam Ant, Goody Two Shoes, Number One this week...

UK Number One this week in 1982. Well, that's a good excuse for this fab song from Adam!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

New Romantics - so what’s New Romanticism anyway?

New Romantic, Futurist, The Cult With No Name...

The ‘New Romantic’ movement never really existed, of course. It just happened that, towards the beginning of the 1980s, various young people decided they liked dressing up in funny clothes, wearing makeup and going to clubs that played Bowie, Roxy and electronic music rather than (for example) wearing safety pins through their noses, listening to The Sex Pistols and spitting at one another.

Along came groups ranging from the hard-core electro Depeche Mode to the funkier Spandau Ballet. On the face of it, many of these groups had very little in common with one another. But they weren’t punk, they weren’t heavy metal and they weren’t progressive so they must be something new and different and so what the heck were we supposed to call them?

There were various attempts at finding a name: Power Pop, Futurist, The Cult With No Name, New Wave, The Now Crowd, The Blitz Kids and so on. But ‘New Romantic’ was the name that stuck. According to legend, it was Richard James Burgess, the man who produced early Spandau Ballet songs and went on to have a hit with Landscape’s 'Einstein A Go Go' who came up with the term ‘New Romantic’ while producing Spandau’s first album. I really don’t know if that is the case or if there is any way of proving it, but it’s been said often enough that we may as well accept it as, well, moderately possible, at any rate.

On the other hand, I distinctly recall that the terms ‘Neo-Romantic’ and ‘Nouveau Romantic’ were also being bandied about in the early days. In his autobiography (Blitzed, page 54) Steve Strange seems to give the impression that the term ‘New Romantic’ was in use as early as 1979 which would have pre-dated the first Spandau album by over a year. Who knows?

I remember when I interviewed Duran Duran in 1982, they insisted that they weren’t a New Romantic group. Which is curious since the first song I know of in which the term “New Romantic” appears is Duran Duran’s debut single (1981), Planet Earth – and here it is...

Friday, 11 March 2011

New Romantic Murder Mystery - the video

Here's a little video to promote my new Kindle novel, Killers In Mascara. For more info go to

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

New Romantic Murder Mysteries

If you fancy immersing yourself in the ‘Futurist’ (aka New Romantic) club scene of the early ‘80s you might like to read my new novel, just published for Kindle. It’s called ‘Killers In Mascara’ and it’s the first of a series.

Here’s the Blurb:
New Year's Eve, London, 1979. In the exclusive Spivz nightclub the city's trendiest trend-setters prepare to drink and dance their way into the new decade, unaware that a killer is in their midst. When the dead body of a young man is discovered, there is no motive and far too many suspects. But there is one deadly clue - a bottle of mascara. The hunt is on: "Find the mascara and you find the murderer!" Killers in Mascara leads the reader on an extraordinary journey into a decadent and glittering subculture where even killers do it with style!

Anyway, it’s available for immediate download from Amazon USA and Amazon UK at the bargain price of 99 cents/70p. If you grab a copy, read it and like it, suffice to say I’d be most incredibly grateful if you would write a review on Amazon.

The Dark Neon web site (which used to contain my old interviews with 80s pop stars has now been changed to provide more info on my books – and you can also download a map of the murder scene). Meanwhile, the 80s interviews have been moved over to their own area of the 80s Empire web site.

I hope you enjoy reading all this 80s stuff! :-)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Blancmange: Blanc Burn new album

Blancmange are back with their first album since (gulp!) 1985. I always rather liked Blancmange so I'll bee keen to hear their new stuff. the album is called Blanc Burn and there's a teensy reviewette in The Guardian.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Wild Boys Bring Back The 80s!

So you're having a party and you really want Duran Duran to do the entertainment but, guess what, they are busy on a world tour or lying around on palm fringed beaches somewhere, so what do you do? You hire an 80s retro band, of course! Well, here's a UK 80s band I've just come across: Wild Boys. Their repertoire takes in everything from Wham! to Madonna. Their music sounds pretty good but their wigs, it has to be said, make Limahl's two-tone mullet look positively tasteful. Anyway, this is their web site:

And here they are in action...