Synth Pop Pioneer BLANCMANGE Plays Newcastle
Blancmange are set to release a new album of 10 songs written and recorded by Neil Arthur and co-produced by Benge (Wrangler/John Foxx & The Maths and Gazelle Twin co-producer). Blancmange will also embark on a UK tour to coincide with the album’s release. Kicking off in Brighton on October 5th, the ten date tour takes in London and even Darwen and ends in Nottingham on November 4th.
It’s been a fantastically creative period for both Arthur and Benge, releasing their debut album as a new electronic duo – Fader’s First Light – in June 2017 and then the final sessions for Unfurnished Rooms followed immediately in the summer. For the new Blancmange album, all the songs were written by Arthur while Benge added percussion and layers of analogue synth, with the pair then mixing the record together in the latter’s Memetune studios in Cornwall.
The latest cut from Unfurnished Rooms, Anna Dine signals a Cure-like moodiness. Neil remarks, “In between the straight and narrow lines of our lives, there in amongst the particles, in between, is another world. The invisible, the mundane, the innocuous. It’s in these gaps, like moments, that hold us together. That’s what I was trying to evoke with ‘Anna Dine’. And musically it’s all nestling in a veritable poupurée of vintage analogue synthesisers.”
Listen to ‘Anna Dine’ from ‘Unfurnished Rooms’ – Here
Unfurnished Rooms opens with the echoing, playful title track, a search for something that always feels just out of reach and incomplete. Like many tracks on the album there’s a feeling of being lost in a dream – a house where rooms are unfurnished/unfinished, doors lead to private, empty apartments and images flicker. The reality is, as Arthur sings on the opener, ‘no amount of online shopping will cover for the loss.’
Listen to ‘What’s The Time’ from ‘Unfurnished Rooms’ – Here
The album follows the release of the first three Blancmange records – Happy Families (1982), Mange Tout (1984) and Believe You Me (1985) – as deluxe 3CD editions this summer. Despite breaking up in 1986, those records weren’t quite the end for Neil and original Blancmange partner Stephen Luscombe as they came back to great acclaim in 2011 with their fourth studio album, Blanc Burn – ‘new sounds and renewed enthusiasm’ (The Guardian).
Semi Detached (darker but still pop-savvy) followed in 2015, the first of several new albums written and recorded by Neil Arthur without the input of Luscombe due to illness. Blancmange’s first ever instrumental album, Nil By Mouth (ambient, new sense of freedom) came out in 2015 and Commuter 23 (minimalist, brutalist, raw with moments of hazy Krautrock) arrived in 2016.
Unfurnished Rooms is released September 29th via Blanc Check Records.
UK Tour dates are listed below.
Blancmange UK Tour:
October 5th Brighton Concorde 2;
6th London 229;
19th Southend Chinnery’s;
20th Southampton 1865;
25th Darwen Library;
26th Newcastle Boiler Shop;
27th Edinburgh La Belle Angele;
28th Glasgow Audio;
November 2nd Bristol The Fleece;
4th Nottingham Rescue Rooms.