Blancmange :: Blanc Burn


Het Britse duo Blancmange maakte in de eerste helft van de jaren tachtig furore met een onweerstaanbare mix van commerciële synthpop, dansbare ritmes en experimenteerdrift. Dat leverde drie lp’s, zeven top 40 hits en veel lovende recensies op. Maar in 1986 hielden ze het voor gezien. Nu, 25 jaar later, zijn ze terug met Blanc Burn en alles wat de groep toen zo bijzonder maakte is nog steeds volop aanwezig. Eindelijk eens een reünie die honderd procent geslaagd is. Muziek om op te dansen en bij na te denken.

The last time Blancmange did a major interview, it was 1986 and they had just been chased down a motorway by a group of girls. This was not an uncommon experience for Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe, the two members of the duo who, along with Human League, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and OMD, made edgy but accessible synthpop with croony vocals the de rigueur sound of the early-to-mid-80s. Why were the pair being chased by said gaggle of excitable young women? Because at the time – i.e. between 1982 and 1985 – Blancmange had seven top 40 hits and two top 40 albums and they were bona fide, if unlikely, pop stars.

Unlikely? They were if you consider that they met eight years earlier when Neil (from Darwen in Lancashire) was studying at the Harrow School of Art and he and Stephen (a local boy from Hillingdon in Middlesex then working as a printer) were in a variety of alternative rock bands, with names like The Viewfinders and Miru, that ranged from the experimental to the plain mental – Stephen‟s group, for example, would regularly turn up at gigs with “instruments” including washing machines and Hoovers. When they decided to join forces circa 1978, with Neil on lugubrious vocals and guitar and Stephen (actually the original vocalist) on keyboards, their motto was “anything goes” and it showed, what with their use of Tupperware and tin foil for percussion, tape loops and borrowed synth equipment. Following a mad moment during which they toyed with the idea of calling themselves A Pint Of Curry, Blancmange were born.

By The Bus Stop @ Woolies
Drive Me 
The Western
Radio Therapy
Probably Nothing
I’m Having A Coffee
Don’t Let These Days
Don’t Forget Your Teeth

BLANCMANGE bio by paul lester