Why Culture Club Matter(ed)

The post-punk thaw of the late 70s spawned the New Romantics. Despite the surfeit of blaringly loud Anthony Price suits the early 80s needed brightening up. Then Boy George and Culture Club spilled out in 4K colour before it was a thing; a one band rainbow coalition fronted by a guy/girl (the tabloid take) who not only sang like his vocals had been pinched from Motown but looked like he could have you in a fight. ‘Time Clock Of The Heart’ was the first Culture Club single to nuzzle in the charts. Borne of yearning and loss, it was the sound of Marvin Gaye blubbing on Old Compton Street. Then everything kicked off. ‘Karma Chameleon’ was a singalong for even grannies. Whom, let’s not forget, loved George. His smarts. His sensitivity. His stated preference for tea over sex. For a while - some 150 million records sold - Boy George and Culture Club painted the planet in rainbow colours; helped defuse prejudice.In every way as revolutionary  as David Bowie had been in the 70s when Ziggy Stardust came out to a startled journo from one of the weekly music mags.And now they’re back. A false start chronicled in the recently re-aired ‘Boy George and Culture Club: From Karma To Calamity’ on BBC 4 suggested that they’d struggle to make it through a civil afternoon tea let alone a full shebang  tour.But it looks like it will happen tail end of the year. Culture Club will be sashaying through the UK and Ireland as well as North America. And for that exquisite 80s overload they’ve got Belinda Carlisle and one of The Thompson Twins in tow.

See you there?

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