Rumour Bands and Tease Gigs

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Here’s an extract from David Johnson‘s “Spandau Ballet, the Blitz Kids and the Birth of the New Romantics” (The Observer Music Monthly 4 October 2009, p.38):

…Such was the rigour that Spandau [Ballet]’s coalition of 20-year-old talents brought to executing the whirlwind wind-up that it became a template for every New Romantics “rumour band”:

(1) They staged secret “tease dates”, never “gigs”, at clubs and venues calculated to annoy the rockists, such as the Blitz, an art-house cinema, or a warship on the Thames. The audience got in only by looking good — which applied to critics, too.

(2) They refused to send demo tapes or invite inviting record companies to shows, so few insiders actually knew how the band sounded.

(3) Seemingly a band with no past, Spandau crafted an artful creation myth around the Blitz’s postmodern themes: Bowie’s “just for one day” notion of disposable identities, and of bricolage in which the band’s baffling name was supposedly plucked arbitrarily by Elms from some graffiti in Berlin. The Blitz’s motormouths and myth-makers were a gift to the media. …Spandau Ballet had played only eight live dates before signing an unrivalled contract worth £300,000 in today’s money. …

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