EIGHTIES’ synth-pop band Blancmange have decided to celebrate the release of their brand new album by touring not once…. but twice!

During October and into early November, they are undertaking their own headline tour of the UK, and then, just a week later, they will be touring England alongside Heaven 17 on The Tour Of Synthetic Delights 2.

Blancmange emerged in 1982 with their first hit God’s Kitchen/I’ve Seen The Word and over the next four years the band – Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe – had nine more hits, including Living On The Ceiling, Blind Vision and a unique take on Abba’s The Day Before You Came.

The band is still fronted by Neil Arthur, but Luscombe is taking a break on health grounds.

Neil tells me how the band started.s “Stephen and I got together and did some pieces of experimental music. Stephen sang – if you can call it that – and I played guitar. We begged, stole and borrowed other stuff.”

Much of the music was influenced by the main exponents of experimental electronic music, Brian Eno, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk.”

“It was all for fun and we continued with our studies, then we got an opportunity to record some of our stuff and it got into the hands of Stevo Pearce, who was setting up Some Bizarre Records and included one of our tracks on a sampler album which also had Depeche Mode on.

"This album was well-received and we ended up touring Japan with Depeche Mode.”

Living On The Ceiling was their biggest hit, then Blancmange recorded the Abba song The Day Before You Came.

"Vince Clarke was in the process of leaving Depeche Mode and a few of us went on holiday to The Canary Islands. One of the tapes we took with us was ‘Abba – The Singles’ and it was one of the tracks.

“I have to say that I was a big fan of Abba and we got a letter from them saying how much they liked it. They even let us use their videos with ours.”

Fast forward to 2017 and Neil has just released Unfurnished Rooms.

“It represents my thinking on music and observations of the things around me. I’m hoping that people will enjoy listening to it. I’m not writing pop songs, I’m expressing myself. I’m very pleased with the reviews and I’m looking forward to touring it.”

Blancmange will be appearing at the 1865 in a week's time.

See the1865.com

Martin Hutchinson.