Earlier this month saw the premature death of 80s pop singer/promoter/ club host Steve Strange.
The man from South Wales aimed to put the glamour back into the pop industry after the demise of punk rock and the emerging sound of synth pop.
Born as Steven Harrington, he became interested in music after watching a Sex Pistols concert in Wales and quickly formed a band The Moors Murderers who had amongst its personnel Soo Catwoman and Chrissie Hynde. At the same time he started working for Malcolm McLaren and with the demise of his first band he joined the Photons but then he left he met up with some fellow like minded people and his career took off.
Using his stage name of Steve Strange he formed Visage with Rich Kids members Rusty Egan and Midge Ure and Magazine members Barry Adamson, John McGeoch and Dave Formula. The band was started purely a studio project to release material to coincide with there day to day jobs. They signed to Radar Records and released TAR in 1979 but the single was not a massive hit. The success was around the corner when Steve appeared in David Bowie ‘Ashes to Ashes’ promo video and the whole new romantic scene took off. They released ‘Fade to Grey’ on Polydor records and enjoyed a top 10 hit in the UK.
Further top 20 hits followed on the back of this with ‘mind of a toy’, ‘visage’ and ‘the damned don’t cry’. They also released 3 albums with ‘visage’ a top 20 success and ‘the anvil’ a top 10 and there most successful album. The band split in 1985 following some low sales but there music was the fledgling sound for the new romantic scene.
Also Steve was involved with Rusty Egan as a nightclub host and DJ respectively. They started at Billys club in Soho, London before moving to Blitz Club in Covent Garden. Steve had a strict door policy of admitting the weird and wonderful but it attracted huge success and a result they moved to Club for Heroes On Baker Street, London for 2 nights a week. They eventually settled at Camden Palace for 2 years and became the scene for famous people to attend. When this success all died down he moved to Ibiza and became part of the new party scene hosting for the rich and famous.
Visage did reform in 2012 and released ‘Hearts and Knives’ album which enjoyed some moderate success and gave a blast back to the early 1980s.
RIP Steve Strange