Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
NEW ROMANTICS, The
Pop movement in UK c'80 created round London club scene of the era: cues from black music and synthesizer pop combined with new fashion image to stress exclusivity after iconoclasm of punk. Steve Strange and ex-Rich Kids drummer Rusty Egan set musical agenda at clubs like Billy's in Soho and the Blitz in Covent Garden, where Spandau Ballet played one of its first gigs. Euro-popsters like Kraftwerk were de rigueur; fashion flamboyance (even kilts, and makeup introduced by Culture Club and Hazi Fantaysee) took androgyny in pop to new heights. Some Bizzare label run by Stevo showcased new bands on Some Bizzare album '81; Soft Cell scored with synthesized cover of Northern soul hit 'Tainted Love' same year, Strange and Egan hired the Rainbow Theatre as 'The People's Palace' for St Valentine's Day Ball: a debs ball for a new elite. By the time they opened the Camden Palace (formerly the Music Machine) April '82 the movement was fading; no more than an orgy of conspicuous consumption, it celebrated an image rather than pretending it didn't exist as punk did, but soon only Culture Club was left, and not for long.