Monday, April 18, 2005

God Ain't In My Kitchen

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Blancmange - a duo comprised of vocalist Neil Arthur and intrumentalist Stephen Luscombe, part of the early '80s UK synth pop scene. They started out as experimentalists, then embraced a more pop-tastic direction. This led to a handful of clever, catchy, humorous pop songs that mixed synth pop's electronics with organic percussion and guitars. They had instant success with their debut LP Happy Families and it's hits Living On The Ceiling and Feel Me. The next couple of records sold less and less, and then it was over. I always loved these guys, and thought they should have been bigger than they were - they seemed like they were having a good time when so many of their peers were moody and gloomy. I also loved their blend of instumentation - to me they were like an UK electro version of the Talking Heads. Here is their first single on London Records (a double A side - catalog # BLANC 1, produced by Mike Howlett)

I've Seen The Word is plaintive and moody, with it's wistful melody and Neil's croon.

God's Kitchen - cool scratchy guitars, rudimentary beats, and a very David Byrne-sy vocal delivery make this one of my personal fave moments from these two.


dave said...

thanks for that find, gods kitchen is one for the collection. wonder if thats where that awful club night got its name?

jonny jenks said...

Anybody know what they're up to these days?
I know Neil Arthur made a solo album (that was pretty good in places) and Luscombe got involved in Indian-stylee music of some kind. I think.

There's a reformation I'd pay good money to see...

troy said...

great songs. the first reminds me of the magnetic fields a bit. the second is so very talking heads, not only in song structure but also with the pop-gospel lyrical style and delivery. fun stuff!

mtim said...

Great picks! I was a huge fan of "Feel Me", "That's Love, that it is" and Blancmange in general.

Do you remember New Musik, Tony Mansfield's band before he made more a name for himself producing Naked Eyes? I'd recommend "They All Run".

Also China Crisis "Working with Fire and Steel", "Hanna Hanna" or "Wishful Thinking".