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New Romantic

Parent categories: new - Romanticism

Related: dandy - glam - UK music


New Romantic was a Pop music and fashion movement that occurred primarily in Britain during the early 1980s. Its genesis took place largely through clubs such as Billy's in Great Queen Street, London, England, which ran Bowie and Roxy Music nights in the post-punk aftermath, evolving into the highly successful and elitist Blitz Club, which featured Steve Strange as doorman and Boy George as cloakroom attendant. The club spawned a hundred suburban spin-offs in and around London, among which were Croc's in Rayleigh, Essex, and The Regency in Chadwell Heath, where both Depeche Mode and Culture Club had their debut gigs as fledgling bands.

The New Romantic phenomenon was similar to that of glam rock during the early 1970s, in that (male) New Romantics dressed in effeminate clothing, often with frilly shirts, and wore make up. David Bowie was an obvious influence, and his 1980 single "Fashion" could be considered an anthem for the New Romantics. However as with many art-school based youth movements, by the time this 'anthem' was pronounced, the movement itself had been seized upon by commercial forces, and watered-down versions were being cheaply reproduced for the High Street.

The main difference from glam, however, was that instead of guitar rock, the music was largely synthesizer-based electropop music. There was also discernable difference in emphasis and mood, from the frenzied screeching of Slade roaring Coz I Luv You to the more ethereal langour of Visage and their Fade to Grey. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Romantic

New Romantics as dandies

A more recent and minor trend is "fop-rock", in which the performers don eighteenth century wigs, lace cravats, and similar costumes to perform, a minor movement that would appear to owe something to glam rock and the New Romantic movement. Adam Ant of Adam and the Ants would seem to be a forerunner of the trend, who occasionally performed in elaborate highwayman outfits. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fop, Feb 2004

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