Getting a gig at the Blitz Club was no easy task. “I wanted pioneers of creativity who looked like roving works of art, not drunk kids full of beer,” said Steve Strange, frontman of Visage and founder of the legendary club on Great Queen Street. Outside, there was the economic disaster of the end of the 1970s. Inside, a timeless scene, “far more stunning than any film set” - Strange would wear Elizabethan dress, there was a young woman dressed as Marie Antoinette, a madcap John Galliano and a seriously made-up Boy George working the coat check. “We would spend all week getting our clothes ready for the club,” recalled Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama, “A home-made mix of glam, military dress and extravagance.” The anthem was Heroes by David Bowie, to be, even just for one day, more than Great Britain had to offer you. On December 5, 1979, Spandau Ballet played its first live show with Billy Idol and Siouxie Sioux in the audience. The New Romantic Era had just begun, the synthesised sounds of Electro-Pop filled the minuscule club of Covent Garden. Spandau Ballet band members Gary and Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, John Keeble and Tony Hadley were about to step into the looking glass. Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Records - the coolest label of the moment - offered them a contract right away. On Great Queen Street, a plaque commemorates that evening - a PRS for Music Heritage Award that tells passersby that an icon was born right there.
More than 50 artists, half a millennium of art and the immense variety of the planet’s cultures - a fascinating journey awaits at the Camden Art Centre, exploring the intimate tie between humans and plants.