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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

ST. VALENTINE’S BAL L , THE PEOPLE’S PALACE, 1981

On February 14 1981, the ‘People of Romance’ arrived at Steve Strange and Rusty Egan’s St. Valentine’s Ball at The People’s Palace – or Finsbury Park’s Rainbow Theatre, as it was known on any other night. Where the Blitz was cramped, here was a playground almost as ostentatious as its occupants. As the tribe members preened and posed for the flashing bulbs of the media, the event’s status as the apex of the New Romantic timeline was assured – at least, for the outside world. Aside from Rusty’s record collection, the entertainment included headliners Ultravox – riding high on the success of Vienna – plus dance/mime troupe Shock (pictured) and Depeche Mode, playing their first-ever London show. “If the New Romantics ever had a perfect moment,” opined Dave Rimmer, “then that – FLASH! – was it. From then on, the whole scene began to dissipate.”

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About Classic Pop Presents

In our latest Classic Pop Presents special, we immerse ourselves in the flamboyant world of the New Romantics. From the scene's origins as an underground movement born out of the Blitz Club in Soho through to the worldwide surge of popularity that led to mainstream success for some of the major players who made their musical mark, such as Boy George, Spandau Ballet, Visage and Duran Duran. Inside we tell the story of the Godfather of the scene, Steve Strange, and explore his pioneering band Visage with the help of Blitz DJ and band member Rusty Egan and fellow band-mate Midge Ure, who moved on to front Ultravox. We chat to Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman, who guides us through the making of their game-changing debut album Journeys To Glory, plus we head up to the Midlands to the Rum Runner club, which gave rise to another of the scene's major success stories, Duran Duran. This issue has plenty more to be enjoyed, including an exploration of David Bowie's influence on the movement plus eye-opening interviews with some of the scene's faces to get their side of this fascinating era, including Toyah, Princess Julia and Mark Shaw. Raconteur, author, DJ – and Soho's Wag Club founder – Chris Sullivan shares his hilarious memories of the times, and we strut the cat-walk with Blitz Kids, fashion designer Judith Franklin and photographer Graham Smith for our New Romantic fashion feature. Also inside, there's our Top 40 Essential New Romantic playlist, the design styles and artwork of the scene's many fine releases, and all with stunning photos throughout!