Archive for the ‘Blancmange’ Category

Blancmange Newcastle City Hall 1984

Blancmange Newcastle City Hall 1984
Guilty pleasure time again. Blancmange came out of the Soft Cell / Depeche Mode stable, and had a few hits in the early 80s, the biggest of which was Living on the Ceiling. The band was a duo of of Neil Arthur (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Luscombe (keyboards). They formed in London in the late ’70s. This gig at the City Hall was part of their 1984 tour, in support of the Mange Tout album. Their single at the time was a pretty nice cover of Abba’a The day before you came. There was more to Blancmange than simple synth pop in that their music blended middle eastern influences with European electro dance. Like many bands of that era, they disappeared from the scene in the mid-80s, to reform last year, and “emerged into the sunlight with a 21st Century Blancmange LP” –“blanc burn”. Their facebook page describes them as the “maiden aunts of electronic music – the godfathers being Kraftwerk”. The ticket for this gig tells me that I was close to the front, in row F of the stalls. However, I don’t recall a lot about the concert, so I went to youtube and watched videos of Living on the ceiling, and Day before you came. I also found some video of the band live at Hammersmith Palais in 1984, which must have been from the same tour. The show looks very impressive blending synth pop with eastern drummers, singers and costumed dancers. Watching the video brought back memories of how good some of the much maligned 80s bands actually were at the time, and how influential they have been, which is often sadly forgotten. Maybe this isn’t such a guilty pleasure after all!? PS The pink blancmange on the cover of the programme looks tasty.

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