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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Sep-18 > Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

SOFT CELL’S CHAOTIC, CREATIVE FIRST INCARNATION WAS A TEXTBOOK ON HOW NOT TO MANAGE A CAREER. AFTER AN ILL - FATED FIRST COMEBACK 17 YEARS LATER, MARC ALMOND AND DAVE BALL HAVE WAITED 17 MORE TO PERFORM ONE FINAL CONCERT. THIS TIME, THEY’RE DETERMINED TO GET IT RIGHT…

SOFT CELL

For a perfect example of the contrast in the personalities of Soft Cell’s constituent parts, look no further than their respective interview locations. Time constraints mean they have to talk separately, yet both ask to meet Classic Pop in Soho, the setting of many Soft Cell songs. Marc Almond chooses the offices of fashion designer Roland Mouret. Dave Ball heads down the pub. Not just any pub, but the Coach & Horses, whose opposite-of-gastro-pub ethos was made notorious as the setting for boozesoaked West End play Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, starring Peter O’Toole as the titular columnist and raconteur.

© Mike Owen
Used to wearing less… Almond contends that he “was gender-fluid decades before it became fashionable”
© Mike Owen

That mix of glamour and intoxicants looms large in Soft Cell’s music, which romanticised London for a generation of misfits. “We were very contained in our little Soft Cell world of sleaziness and neon,” says Dave, settling into a quiet corner of the pub with a pint of Seafarers ale. “A lot of people tell me the reason they moved to London was because of Soft Cell. They thought the Soho we were describing in our songs was the whole of what London life would be like.”

Ostensibly, Dave and Marc are promoting Soft Cell’s comprehensive 10-disc boxset Keychains & Snowstorms and their farewell gig on 30 September at The O2 in London, which, despite (or because of) being the first British arena show the pair have ever played, sold out the weekend it was announced in February. But, as Marc quickly admits, compiling Keychains & Snowstorms was at least partly an excuse for Soft Cell to become friends again.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 44 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we speak to Soft Cell's Marc Almond and Dave Ball as they prepare for their farewell gig at the O2 in London and release a career-spanning boxset, Keychains & Snowstorms. We also take a look at their Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret LP in our Classic Album feature. Elsewhere, we have an exclusive interview with the world's biggest record producer, Mark Ronson, catch up with The Proclaimers who return with their politicised new album Angry Cyclist and talk to Level 42's Mark King about his life in pop's funkiest band. This month, we look back on the glory days of house music and Toyah tells us how she brought the punk aesthetic to the pop world. For boombox fans, we take an in-depth look at why cassettes are making a return and we also serve up a buyer's guide to the wonderful Luther Vandross. Our packed reviews section features new albums from Prince, Paul Weller, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Simon and many more while the reissues section includes Pet Shop Boys, the latest David Bowie boxset and Curiosity Killed The Cat. On the gig front, we head to Hyde Park for The Cure's only European show of the year, delve into the latest Let's Rock festival in Shrewsbury and check out gigs by Nick Heyward, Del Amitri and others. Enjoy the issue!