New Romantic


Sheffield band ABC revolved around Martin Fry (a onetime fanzine editor of a rag called Modern Drugs) and rose from the ashes of post-punk group Vice Versa. On their first album, The Lexicon Of Love (1982) , Fry set his own Bryan Ferry-influenced vocals in lustrous pop production (by Buggles frontman Trevor Horn) laden with keyboards and strings to a techno-soul(...)


A duo consisting of singer and guitarist Neil Arthur from Lancashire and keyboard player Stephen Luscombe from Middlesex, Blancmange released a non-charting EP in 1981 titled - with Morrissey-like kitsch wit - Irene and Mavis. Although it vanished without a trace, ''Stevo'' Pearse at Some Bizarre (manager of Soft Cell and The The) was keen enough(...)

Classix Nouveaux

Another bunch of synth-mongers to make it to the big time thanks to an appearance on the Some Bizarre label sampler, Classix Nouveaux and their singer - the Hatfield-born Sal Solo - made an immediate visual impact thanks to Solo's bald head. They signed to the Liberty label in 1981 and scored a handful of(...)

Duran Duran

The band that most surely have come closest to being The Beatles of their day, since (like The Beatles) they were a blonde five piece from Birmingham . . . er. Their image of being a teeny bopper band whose fans were all under ten did not stop their meteoric rise to stardom. Formed in Birmingham, England, in(...)

Flock Of Seagulls

This new wave electro-pop act from Liverpool, England, had remarkable success in the USA before finding a large following in Britain. Originally called Tontrix the band comprised Mike Score (keyboards, vocals), Ali Score (drum machine, vocals), Paul Reynolds (guitar) and Frank Maudsley (bass). Following an adventurous EP on Bill Nelson's Cocteau label, the band made their album debut(...)

Heaven 17

Glenn Gregory, the only son of a steel worker, was born in Sheffield and grew up on the Flower Council Estate in Shire Green, one of the poorest and roughest areas of Sheffield. As a frustrated 16-year old he found salvation at the Meatwhistle theatre/arts workshop, where he met Phil Oakey, Adi Newton, Martyn Ware(...)

Human League

A lead singer with pierced nipples and half a head of hair, and two bits of Sheffield totty, discovered dancing in a disco. The band was initially formed as a synthesizer duo called The Dead Daughters in 1977 by computer operators and synthesizer players Martyn Ware and Ian Craig-Marsh . A few months later Phil(...)

New Romantic

Each decade of popular music so far has its merits and its embarrassments. But perhaps the most derided of them all is the Eighties. Looking back on this most confused of eras - a juxtaposition of gloom (urban decay in Sheffield) and luminescence (the fluorescent socks your auntie bought you in 1983) - it's easy(...)

New Romantic Movement

The "New Romantic" movement was a new and distinctive music and fashion genre that sprang up in Britain in the early 80s as a reaction to the anti-fashion of punk. After all, anyone could slap on a T-shirt, write "Destroy" across the front and rip their jeans with a razor. But to look like a(...)

Spandau Ballet

In September 1976, having just left school in Islington, North London, Gary Kemp formed power pop band The Makers with friends Tony Hadley, John Keeble, Steve Norman and Richard Miller. Three years later, after Miller left, Kemp's brother Martin joined the band on bass and they renamed themselves Spandau Ballet - taking their name from the grim(...)


Poster boys for the New Romantic movement until Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran came along, took their ball and ran off with it, Steve Strange's Visage had more of a career than most observers imagine. While their December 1980 single Fade To Grey was (and remains) a landmark single for the scene - and for the whole synth pop movement in general -(...)