Modern Music 80s:Visage

On a winter’s day in London, in the grounds of an old people’s home,a man is posing for the camera.
It could be the ghost of Lord Byron, but that old poet aristo used to dress up like an 18th century Greek shepherd while today’s man looks more Bavarian – Busby Berkeley Bavarian, that is.It’s Steve Strange, and he’s only spent an hour and a half getting ready: he doesn’t have a huge quiff any more and that cuts down on his preparations to meet the day and the mirrors in a thousand eyes.Spandau Ballet are in the charts. The new
dandyism has arrived. More and more people are dressing up and fancily romancing, while Beau Brummel’s own country rots to the silly Billy beat of ‘punk monetarism’ and economic cuts.Steve Strange is no longer famous for being famous or for being the glorifi ed doorman of Blitz and Hell where, before those niteries closed, the clientele used to go to pose and – ornateness of costume permitting – dance. Steve can now be famous because he’s the vocalist in a band called Visage who’ve just released an album of the same name.Ever since he moved to London from Newport, Steve has always wanted to be in a band. He remembers being in the dole queue
at the same time as a lot of today’s stars, and inevitably be hung around the Pistols and Siouxsie. His real passion, though, was for Generation X, the punks with a touch of glam.
After doing some artwork at the request of Billy Idol, the poseur’s apprentice ran into a spot of bother. He joined a band called The Moors Murderers, an event which he now – sitting in the spacious Chelsea basement of Visage’s publicist – bitterly regrets.“I was singing the songs and didn’t even know what they were about. I was led on by the guy with the money upfront. One day he got a load of photographers in and – bam! – it was all over the papers, I thought: ‘What the fuck have I done?’ I got out fast.”After The Moors Murderers, Steve joined The Photons. “We wore very colourful two-piece suits with Cuban heels. It was a very sharp image, but nothing to do with the ’60s thing.” Steve left: he didn’t like the bassist – as a player or a person. The Photons faded,Vince the drummer joining The Psychedelic Furs.
Related Albums by Modern Music:
Visage - Debut Album Visage [1981]


bulut on 8:48 pm said...

By late-’78 Strange had started hanging out with
drummer Rusty Egan, whose band The Rich Kids
were then on the point of splitting. “We started a weekly
Bowie night at Billy’s. The idea was to be an alternative to
disco even though we only had a handful of suitable records
– The Human League, The Normal, Kraftwerk and, of course,
Bowie and Roxy.”
To fi ll the gap the two nightclubbers started to make their own
tapes in the studio time which The Rich Kids still had set aside.
Producer Martin Rushent engineered several tracks which have
now surfaced on the Visage album.
By now Egan and Strange had moved out to Blitz and Hell
to master the ceremonies and dictate the sounds. They kept up
the studio work and the project transfi gured itself into a band
– Visage, who signed with Polydor in May this year.
Strange isn’t worried that the germ of Visage’s album is quite
old. He thinks that the timing is absolutely right for what it’s trying
to put across: the album is both a gloss on the high glossiness of
Blitz and a manifesto for Strange’s next gaudy cellar The People’s
Palace, which will open in spring next year.
Strange quotes from ‘Visage’ the title track: “‘New styles/New
shapes/New moulds’. It’s about why we closed down Blitz and Hell;
they were becoming stale. You’ve got to have a constant change of
music, fashion and venue.”
Until the People’s Palace throws open its doors the London
glitterati are all dressed up with nowhere to go. “There’s not much
at the moment, even though we’re going to start using the Venue
in Victoria for one night a week. I get people ringing me up all the
time asking me what’s going on.
“It may sound immodest but me and Rusty have played a hell
of a part over the last two years in the nightlife of a lot of kids…
kids are people who work nine to fi ve and then go out and live
their fantasies. They’re glad to be dressed up and escaping work.
I don’t think people should be knocked for having a good time,
if it’s all about style and being romantic.”

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