Rocking The Blitz Club

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20100417

Midge Ure takes us back The Blitz Club in London's Covent Garden where the 'New Romantics' came of age.

The club first opened its doors in 1979 at the height of another recession and Midge explores how the flamboyant Blitz scene offered an escape from the hard economic reality that he and his contemporaries were facing.

Midge remembers how walking into the Blitz was like stepping out of time, you never knew what period it was set in.

It was a total mish-mash of styles, full of blurred genders and make-up for girls and boys".

The Blitz crowd were christened the 'New Romantics' because of what Midge calls their "nostalgia for the future".

The Blitz was a seedbed for creative talent, full of musicians, designers, photographers and stylists.

John Galliano first flaunted his ideas there, Spandau Ballet played their early gigs and a young Boy George took the coats.

A new sound emerged from the club - the synthesizer-based electropop pioneered by Midge in his bands Visage and Ultravox.

The success of the Blitz bands brought wealth and fame, but the "extreme hedonism" of the 'New Romantic' movement led many into very dark places.

Finally, Midge explores why the 1980s 'New Romantic' synth sound has seen a revival in the current recession.

Midge meets former Blitz Kids including: Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), Gary Numan, Robert Elms, Rusty Egan, Steve Strange (Visage), Stephen Jones (milliner) and Dylan Jones, to revisit what was undoubtedly a golden era of British pop music.

The producer is Melissa FitzGerald, and this is a Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

Midge Ure returns to The Blitz Club, where the 1980s New Romantics came of age."