Fans of 80s British pop can rejoice as Boy George and the Culture Club have reunited and are releasing a new album at the start of 2015 and after they have toured in America they will return to their homeland to play their first live dates. The album and tour will be the first time the original line-up has worked together since 1998.
Alongside singer and chief songwriter the original line-up includes Jon Moss on drums and percussion, Roy Hay on guitar and keys and Mikey Craig on bass. It goes without saying, that regardless of whether you were a child of the 70s, 80s or even later, you have probably heard at least one or two Culture Club songs. As well as their catchy hits like Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? and Karma Chameleon (which they performed on Strictly Come Dance recently to a huge round of applause and standing ovation) the band were also famous for breaking down strict social barriers that existed in the country at that time.
Not only was Boy George an openly gay frontman for the group, but the band consisted of a racially—diverse group of people from different walks of life. The interesting thing is though that although it did make people sit up and pay attention, it was the songs, lyrics and music themselves that did the talking for the band and earned them legions of fans not only in the UK but across the pond in America, where their debut album Kissing To Be Clever had 3 Top Ten US chart hits. The last time a British band reached that milestone was when The Beatles released their debut.
Before the 1998 album, the band had split up after the release of their 1986 album From Luxury to Heartache due to growing tensions between the members of the band that weren’t helped by Boy George’s continued behaviour as a result of his drug use and addiction. According to interviews conducted earlier this year, Boy George said that the original members of the band had tried to write some songs together a couple of years ago, but admitted that the timing wasn’t right and his “mojo wasn’t quite in rhythm”
Although known for his flamboyant dress sense, when the band made an appearance as one of the live guests on the Strictly Come Dancing results show, Boy George kept it smart and fairly conservative. Perhaps he will be dressed more colourfully next year when they tour, or perhaps they are dressing more tasteful due to their age. Either way, we will have to wait and see.
The band seems to have fans of all ages, because of their place in musical and cultural history. In the 90s romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer, set in the 1980s for instance, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me was featured heavily and probably served as an introduction to the song and the band for many younger people who don’t remember their numerous appearances on Top of the Pops.
Whether you are an old fan or a new one though, one thing’s for sure, the evening won’t be short of great music. With a back catalogue of memorable and catchy sing-a-songs and a new album of potential classics, there are various reasons to buy some Culture Club tickets.