I have a confession. Over the years I’ve thought about where my love of the ‘30s and ‘40s came from, and although it’s true that, as a child of the 80s (I was born in ‘74), a decade steeped in nostalgia, there were a number of things it could have been attributed to: Bugsy Malone, Force 10 from Navarone, Raiders of the Lost Ark, even Back to the Future or Stand by Me (although these were more ‘50s). However, I managed to trace it back to one defining moment: that moment was Top of the Pops 14th August 1980, the first appearance of Ultravox, with their new lead singer James ‘Midge’ Ure.
Whilst, in hindsight, it was nothing particularly out of the ordinary, the sight of Mr Ure with his Errol Flynn pencil moustache, white shirt, white linen trousers and green square-ended bow-tie (un-tied and hanging louchly around his neck, naturally) was in stark contrast to the fashions and styles of any other media star I’d seen up until that point (although remember, I was only six). The music was also like nothing I’d ever heard before either and conjured up waves of atmospheric imagery. When they followed this up a few months later with their first promo video for the song ‘Passing Strangers’, this imagery was backed up with visuals – in Film Noir-esque black and white – I was hooked and have been a life-long fan ever since.