Blancmange – Feel Me
The re-imagined version of landmark 1982 debut ‘Happy Families’ has been specially re-recorded by Blancmange and rechristened ‘Happy Families too…’
The deluxe version is out this February on Cherry Red records.
Neil refers to the new versions, which include fan favourites ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘Waves’ ‘Feel Me’ and the Top 10 hit ‘Living On The Ceiling’ – as an “interpretation”. “I just wanted to approach the songs using today’s technology,” he says. “Every time we perform it’s a different interpretation. So rather than just dust off the old songs, I wanted to bring something fresh to the project and make it a contemporary reworking rather than an exact imitation.”
Eccentric musical pioneers, Blancmange melded a unique sound, bringing together electronic and eastern influences with a distinct dance floor sensibility. The resulting album, ‘Happy Families’, with its mixture of theatricality and sincerity won them a legion of fans.
From their origins making experimental synth wave, to the chart-topping yet cool and credible hits, Blancmange were at the very heart of 1980s club culture, from support slots with Grace Jones, to killer 12” remixes by the likes of John Luongo. Their tracks were on regular rotation in sweaty nightclubs from New York, to Berlin to London, forming part of sets reflecting the open minded “as long as it moves the floor” policy of the time, that would see their records blended seamlessly with disco, post punk, EBM, new beat and early house. Their music also sat with equal comfort alongside both the synth pop of piers OMD or Human League and leftfield cult figures like Cabaret Voltaire or XTC, and was undoubtedly popular with many of the leading electronic music pioneers worldwide. Predating the acid house explosion and the many subsequent sub genres, Blancmange’s music is a key cornerstone in the musical landscape that shaped both the original electronic music boom and its huge lasting legacy.
Their influence on the past few years’ slew of electro revivalists like La Roux, Hot Chip and Metronomy has been well documented, but of equal note is the likelihood that anyone partying from Dalston, Peckham, Brixton and beyond in recent times is likely to have heard Blancmange tracks fitting perfectly into sets by hip party selectors proffering cold wave, Balearic, electronic oddities, cosmic disco, house and even techno.
With their 2011 album ‘Blanc Burn’ having won critical acclaim, and the lasting legacy of their still-fresh past output, the time is ripe for yet more Blancmange action.
The tour begins on 3rd November in Clitheroe, Lancashire, finishing in London and Cardiff on 15th & 16th. Tickets are on sale now from all major outlets priced between £16 and £22.50.