Category Archives: Music

My Top 10 80′s Hair Styles.

This article is from 80s Legends. Click the title to hop over there.

10. Buster Bloodvessel –  A bald statement from one of the 80′s larger than life characters. How most men who grew up in the 80′s look today.

Buster

9. Toyah Wilcox – This is more Space Age than 80′s, Great Stuff.

Toyah

8. Carol Decker – What 80′s hair was all about.

T'pauchinainyourhandsingle - courtesy wiki

7. Phil Oakey – Long hair on one side, a couple of school mates try to copy this and failed.

Phil Oakey - Coutesy Wiki

6. Mick Beggs – Thankfully none of my school mates attempted this one.

Nick Beggs - Courtesy Wiki

5. Limahl – I had hair like this, a very long time ago.

Limahl - Courtesy Wiki

4. Paul King – Super Mullett

King Courtesy Wiki

3. Annie Lennox – Short and Simple (the hair that is)

Annie Lennox - Courtesy Wiki

2. Sigue Sigue Sputkik – Way out there,

Sigue - Courtesy Wiki

1. Mike Score – A Flock Of Seagulls. The only Hairstyle of the 80′s that shares its name with the Band you are in.

Flock - Courtesy of Wiki

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AC/DC Charge up Wembley.

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acdc3

In the past, the new Wembley Stadium has been criticised for it’s poor acoustics during concert performances but last Saturday, this was the last thing on any hard rock fan’s mind when AC/DC rolled in with crunching riffs, screaming vocals, half a dozen cannons and a seriously loud PA System

ACDC1

Kicking off with Rock or Bust before playing classics such as Back in Black, Thunderstruck, You Shook me all night long and Whole Lotta Rosie, Angus Young and Brian Johnson wooed the 70,000+ Wembley Crowd with their on stage heroics.

Young, in his velvet burgundy school uniform and black Gibson duck-walking up and down the stage while Johnson snarled and screeched beneath his flat cap.

ACDC2

The show came to a dramatic conclusion with encores Highway to Hell and For those about to Rock. The latter accompanied by a 6 cannon salute coupled with one or two pyrotechnics….superb!

 

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80′s DIY

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The_Go-Gos_-_Belinda_Carlisle - Courtesy Wikipedia

7

Which of the following U.K. Number 1 Hits included brackets in its title?




Which of these U.K. Top 10 Hits did not contain a bracket in its title?




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Heaven17 Live!

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Heaven 17 continued their tour this weekend gone on Saturday April 18th with their annual outing at the Jazz Cafe in London.

Go to the Heaven17.com website for more information on their tour or to the Jazz Cafe facebook page for photos of their amazing gig.

If you’ve not caught them live, do so as they are must-see band!

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They came, They played, They Conquered

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The picturesque Rochester Castle sitting on the east bank of The River Medway, has seen plenty of action since the 12th Century but nothing like the performance delivered by Level 42 yesterday evening. The perfect Summers evening, not a cloud in the sky, temperature a lovely 17 degrees with little or no breeze.

Rochester_Castle,_Kent_Courtesy Wikipedia

Wednesday,  not the night of the week usually associated with attending a concert but the draw of Mark King and co was too much for many to resist. With the cost of watching live music becoming more and more expensive, for the modest sum of £35, a double 80′s Jazz Funk treat was on the menu and the good people of Medway came to feast on what was an evening of nostalgia and great music.

Night_Birds_(album) - Courtesy Wikipedia

Shakatak was the starter, many had forgotten that their 1982 album, Night Birds, reached number 4 in the U.K. charts and couldn’t see past the Top Ten single, Down On The Street released in 1984. As a collective it was obvious from the first note that these accomplished musicians were enjoying themselves. The crowd warmed to them immediately, the vocals of Jill Saward, prominent keyboard, smooth backing vocals and the Mark Kingesque bass playing of George Anderson were a fantastic mix. A few eyebrows were raised and heads nodded in respect when Jill introduced the song Day By Day which Shakatak originally performed with Al Jarreau in 1985. Brilliant performances of Night Birds, Easier Said Than Done, Dark Is The Night were of course rounded off with the evergreen hit Down On The Street. Those that turned up after seven thirty only to see Level 42 missed out on a polished, entertaining set which was technically brilliant and delivered with a sense of fun. Make no mistake, these guys will be playing to and pleasing crowds for many years to come, personally I’m glad to have had the opportunity to experience Shakatak.

Having arrived at the venue at seven fifteen, I couldn’t believe my luck when I found myself a spot front and centre of the stage. I was not to move from this location for the next three and a half hours and having just been treated to some smooth 80′s sounds from Shakatak, I was ready for the main course. Suddenly things got a little cosier around me as the roadies set to work on setting the stage for the unrivalled Kings of Jazz Funk. The average age of the front three rows would have been touching at least forty. The younger generation, at this point,were hanging back perhaps intimidated by the mature individuals standing proudly in their excellent viewing spots. It became evident as the evening went on that it was the beer tent keeping them away rather than the potential “cool killer” of standing with their parents.

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Now for the main course, it didn’t really matter what was played or in which order, just the experience of Level 42 live was always going to be enough for most of those attending. The set kicked off with Heaven In My Hands and it was obvious that the crowd and the band were up for a great evening. Mark King was all smiles and the energy levels in the first 6 or 7 minutes would set the tone for the duration of this Jazz Funk fest. The treat of Love Games was, for me, one of the performances of the night. The 1981 hit was described by Mark in our interview as the “bands breakthrough track” and it clearly means a lot to him and the fans. There were a few tears when It’s Over slowed the pace down for a while, one of the best ballads of the 80′s and sung perfectly. All of the band members were relaxed and having a great time, Mike Lindup doesn’t sit still for long and we were treated to his trademark dance around the stage on a couple of occasions.

The Rochester air funked to the  sounds of Something About You, Running in The Family, To Be With You Again and a great performance of Starchild. The Sun Goes Down encouraged the crowd to join in with loud bursts of “Living It Up” ringing in the night air. Time moved all too quickly and it didn’t seem long before the band left the stage to be encouraged to return by the energetic crowd. What a fabulous encore it was, beginning with Hot Water and to close the evening, The Chines Way.

To say the guys Smashed It, is an understatement.

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Rochester Castle is a great venue and we must thank the organisers (not forgetting the bands) and all others concerned for keeping the cost of these events at a reasonable level. When you consider that the cost of a ticket at, for example, the O2 Arena to be in the region of £70 for a seat no where near the front with a set of binoculars required to have any chance of  seeing the performers, paying £35 for over three hours of live entertainment is good value.

The irony of the gig was that at the end as the crowd disbursed, an announcement was made for anyone travelling to Essex. There had been an accident and there was a huge tail back on The M25. Most of the hits played were released before the M25 was completed, so to be without it on that evening made perfect sense.

If you didn’t catch Level 42 at Rochester, the band are touring this  October. We will publish the dates and venues shortly.

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The Three Million Pound Thumb Man

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It is with great pleasure that we can share our interview with charismatic front man and ace of bass, Mark King of Level 42.

Mark King Wiki

Firstly, we would like to thank Mark for sparing some of his free time to talk to us ahead of The Rochester Castle gig in Kent on Wednesday 16th July.

I began by asking Mark what he was listening to at the moment, he was full of praise for Radio 6 and described it as a” A great station with great people, it has an Ethos of dedication and I particularly enjoy tuning in to Giles Peterson on Saturday afternoons.” The bands that Mark particularly mentioned were Jungle and Stubborn Heart.

We talked about the bands early years, “Love Games was the classic breakthrough track and is still a firm favourite with audiences today, there is a wide range of ages turning out these days including teenagers that have heard a little bit of us and are coming along to hear more. It is important to include a bit of everything in our sets.” I suggested that Level 42 fans fell in to two main categories, those have been following the Band since the early whistle blowing Jazz Funk days of the late 70′s and early 80′s and those that climbed on board during the most successful commercial years of 1985 and 1987. ” You could say that, there are also the new generation, the release of Sirens last year has opened the band to a brand new audience of curious listeners.” It’s great that you are still performing today to such high standards. “The last thing that a heavyweight loses is his punch.”

I asked if Mark could sneak in a performance of one of my favourite Level 42 tracks, Can’t Walk You Home, at the Rochester Gig. “Sorry Glen, I don’t do requests” was the response. I commented that the Level 42 back catalogue was so vast that it would be impossible to please everyone, ” we try our very best, we enjoy what we do and will continue to play as long as audiences will take the time to come out and see us, which we really appreciate.”

I wondered if Mark ever thought, that back in the 80′s,  he would still be performing the same hits today to such appreciative audiences. ” In 1985, we thought that our ship had landed, the original line up talked about another five years if they were lucky. Of course Boon and Phil left the Band, it was hard work and we put in plenty of mileage. The demands of 1986 and 1987 were huge and of course opinions change in the music industry very quickly. Not only the opinions of the band members and the direction they wanted to go but the listening public have their say too.”  

On a lighter note I asked for validity of an Urban Myth surrounding one of the bands support gigs of Madonna in 1987. Is it true that the crowd were warming to the band so much that The Queen of Pop asked that they leave the stage? “No, absolutely not. You can forget that one.” Is it true that your thumb was insured for three million quid in the eighties? “Yes, our record label insisted on it, doesn’t sound like a lot of money today, back then it was a considerable sum.”

We briefly discussed social media and Mark had no problem with his music being available. “It’s good that there are historical performances available to all, it’s great to have your back catalogue ready to be viewed by a global audience.” I commented how Twitter has made, stars, like Mark, more accessible . ” Yes, I have no problem with Twitter.” Even if you get stalked for and interview? ” Well , you’ve had your chat now.”

Something_About_You_cover - Courtesy Wiki

I have always been intrigued by the Clown like role that Mark plays in the Something About You and Leaving Me Now Videos and was interested in the inspiration behind the checked suit and the character. ” The inspiration for the character was Archie Ross, played by Sir Laurence Olivier in the film The Entertainer. The film told the story of a failing entertainer and it  reminded me of growing up on the seaside and the clown puppets in the glass cabinets on the seafront. When World Machine became a hit in The States, they didn’t care much for the Something About You promo and requested that another promo video be produced. To be honest we didn’t have the time or the inclination. Funnily enough when World Machine started to sell a few copies, The States wanted the clown left in.”

I was interested in how Mark relaxes. ” Last week I hired a rehearsal room and with a few friends, had a few drinks and spent some time playing some Cream and Led Zeppelin, amongst others.”

I had just enough time to wish Level 42 the very best for the gig at Rochester Castle and to thank Mark again for taking time to talk to me.

 

 

 

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