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Coming together: Roxy, Bowie and the Insect Nation

Adam Ant or Princess Di? Annabella L'win or Tony Hadley? Club reunion in Liverpool for those who know the right answers - or who just like Ashes to Ashes

Published on April 6th 2010.

Coming together: Roxy, Bowie and the Insect Nation

CONFIDENTIAL'S editor was once marooned on a train with a stranger.

Matthew Ashman, it turned out to be. Guitarist with Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, he was good for sharing his cigarettes and an anecdote or two.

'Ridiclue is nothing to be
scared of,' they chanted. Then Princess Diana and Stephanie Beacham got in on the act - and that was the end of that

He had been an integral part of two acts at the forefront of the new romantic movement – both styled and visioned by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. They were part of what was to become a manufactured pop genre where the words “multi layered” and “volume” applied not only to the production values used on big singles, but more importantly to the condition of performers' hair.

New romantics started out as futurists who were too well dressed for punk; so sartorial camp-cool and lipsticked men soon found themselves being followed by, erm, sartorial camp-cool and lipsticked men.

They still got the girls – and the boys, though, thanks to those deep, deep macho voices and flamboyant videos. Steve Strange, Rusty Egan, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, The Human League, Culture Club, Roxy Music, David Bowie could be taken either in full swashbuckling leather pantaloons or sharp-zooted suits.

“Ridiclue is nothing to be scared of,” they chanted. Then Princess Diana and Stephanie Beacham got in on the act - and that was the end of that.

Until now. Next week, all the not-so-new romantics will be meeting up for some hot Bauhaus/Simple Minds action right here in Liverpool. They are being brought together by a group that sprung up on Face Book called RoxyBowie. Not only that, but their local hero, DJ Steve Proctor will be atop the record decks, just like it used to be. Well, as near as dammit.

Mark Edmonson, organiser, tells us: We are putting on a reunion night for people who went to Michelle Claire's, Cagneys, The Executive Club and The System

nightclubs in the late seventies/early eighties.

“These clubs were the focal point for the original Roxy Music/Bowie nights that attracted people who were known as futurists and latterly the new romantics.”

How come?

Mark explains: “As a result of our friend Francesco Mellina's successful Sound and Vision Photographic Exhibition of photographs from the alternative club scene in Liverpool circa 1979-1983 last year at the Liverpool Conservation Centre, a lot of the original people who went to these clubs have since met up. It seemed the right time to put on a one-off night of nightclub music from that time.

It won't be one big karaoke of “True” and “Rio”, we are assured: “The music encompasses all the early electronic and pop music of the genre from 1979/1982 as well as some of the underground music of the time such as Fad Gadget and Bauhaus.”

“Beauts” was the word coined to describe such dandy highwaymen by those at the other end of the city's musical spectrum: football loving Huyton men like the Farm, Cook Da Books, and the End Fanzine. Yet while both camps many have danced to a different tune, fashion and follicular set of rules, nowadays all are equal - at least as far as the latter is concerned.

This will not be a problem for the entertaining Mr Ashman who unexpectedly departed the mortal platform a few months after that encounter - at just 35.

Good hair, of course, intact.

*RoxyBowie Present, Retrospective - Looking Back to the Future - Nightclub music from 1979-1982 @ Kingdom, Harrington Street, Liverpool L1. Thursday 8th April 9.00pm – late Tickets £8, available from Probe Records, Slater Street, Liverpool. Tip: If you fancy joining the Roxy/Bowie Facebook group, they often take impromptu video requests - when they are in the mood.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

East Lancs RoadsterApril 1st 2010.

Now Malcolm McLaren's dropped dead. He must have known.

star_spotterApril 1st 2010.

I'm sure I saw that Lori Lartey in Sainsbury's just before last Christmas

Marie NettyApril 1st 2010.

Futurists? I doubt that any of these bumfluff-tached 'Roxy-Bowie' scals knew what Futurism was, though Bowie made some embarrassingly Fascist statements in the late seventies.

Inhuman SeventeenApril 1st 2010.

Surely the barrel has been scraped clean by now? This sounds absolutely dire. Bowie gone all Top of the Pops and synthetic sounds passed off as music. O dear.

CybermanApril 1st 2010.

I was a Dalek I Love You man myself

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