It’s always a pleasure to find out that big-sound band you’re listening to is actually an uber-talented duo. Another happy surprise is when the duo’s name is out-shined by the actual ability of the musicians. Such is the case with the British duo Blancmange. Fabulous music from an extraordinary pair, far and away nothing like their name, which translates into the rather bland-sounding “white dish.”
Vocalist Neil Arthur and instrumentalist Stephen Luscombe formed Blancmange in Harrow, Middlesex UK in 1979. Prior to releasing their first EP Irene and Mavis, they released a track on the Some Bizzare Album, leading to a recording contract with London Records. Their debut album, Happy Families charted in the top 30 and produced a well-known single, “Living On The Ceiling.”
Blancmange’s other most noted singles, “Blind Vision” and “Don’t Tell Me” charted at number 10 and 8 respectively and were a product of their second album Mange Tout. This proved to be the pinnacle of the duo’s short lifespan, with a surprising downturn in sales and popularity shortly following. The 1985 album Believe You Me didn’t fare very well and Blancmange decided to call it quits in 1987.
Luscombe released an album of Indian-influenced music under the name The West India Company in 1989, and Arthur released a solo album Suitcase, in 1994. Good news has it that Blancmange has recently reformed and the duo is busy writing material for a new album. This is definitely great news because this is a talented pair who deserved a much better and long-lived shot at stardom the first time around. We can only hope that the second time will be the charm.
Purchase Blancmange music here.
The band’s official MySpace page.
“Blind Vision” via YouTube user trmnmk:
“Game Above My Head (12 inch mix)” via YouTube user Hcres79:
“Living On The Ceiling” via YouTube user JimEAPG:
“Don’t Tell Me” via YouTube user flemwad: