Blancmange – Garage

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Why this gig?

It seems to be quite a year for seeing dodgy old 80s band. So when I saw that Blancmange were also touring, I added them to the list.


The support band were Echoes, who I saw supporting BEF a few weeks earlier. I was interested to see that I recognised some of the songs, so they obviously made a bigger impression on me than I thought at the time. I still think it’s a bloody stupid name for a band though. I’ve just spent five minutes trying to find their web site and I all I can find is a sea of Pink Floyd Tribute bands.


The selling point for this tour is that they have reimagined their debut album Happy Families and they’ll be playing it all the way through – so I’ve given it a listen in preparation. It’s the first time I’ve heard it for about thirty years and it doesn’t really make much of an impression.

But Happy Families comes later. They start with forty minutes or so of other tracks. I know I never listened to very much Blancmange, but I’m surprised that I don’t recognise any of them. It all sounds pretty good, but I’m not exactly inspired to rush out and buy all of their back catalogue.

Happy Families is better. It includes “Living on the Ceiling”, their first (and biggest) hit and another song, “God’s Kitchen” that I remember hearing a lot in the early 80s. But where I’m thinking “yeah, this is alright”, most of the audience are obviously big Blancmange fans and are really enjoying it.

“God’s Kitchen” is the last track on the album and the last song of the set. But they soon return for an encore of “Blind Hope” (all evening I was trying to remember whether that was by them or Tears For Fears) and another song that I didn’t know. I was slightly disappointed not to hear “The Day Before You Came”.

It was a good night. I’m that I’ve seen them. But I won’t be rushing back to every gig they play in London from now.

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