citylive - November 1998
Entertainment in Glasgow
1 November - 5 December 1998
The Queen of New Wave - Debbie Harry - returns to Glasgow with her cohorts in Blondie, the greatest band of the era, for their first concert in the city since the early Eighties. Although the band were no doubt helped to world stardom by the stunning looks and platinum blonde mane of the lead singer, they also had the most essential ingredient of the finest pop groups - great songs. World-wide Number Ones like Atomic, The Tide Is High, Rapture, and Call Me ensured Blondie's place in musical history.
I have my doubts about Debbie Harry approving of the much-touted Eighties Revival (more about that next month), but if you want to see one of the best bands ever, get along to the Barrowland on November 19.
music - blondie
barrowland november 19
THEY WERE ONE OF THE BIGGEST BANDS IN MUSIC, WITH NUMBER ONES SUCH AS HEART OF GLASS, CALL ME, RAPTURE AND ATOMIC
BLONDE and beautiful. Many a public figure has made profit and suffered loss because of that status. From Garbo to Monroe, from Bardot to Madonna, the platinum blonde icon has become one of the strongest images in popular culture. We could venture a guess as to the effect on the public perception the fact that Diana had blonde hair, but we'll not go down that road...
The trick to walking the high wire of fame in such a position is to keep a balance - to offset the undeniable glamour of the role with just the right amount of tongue in cheek self-mocking. Deborah Harry is perhaps the classic example of such control. After all, for about five years she was the most famous blonde on the planet, the very public face of the greatest and most successful New Wave band, Blondie. And nobody ever, EVER, called her a bimbo.
Former cocktail waitress and Playboy bunny, Deborah formed Blondie with longtime partner Chris Stein, the name of the band inspired by comments (unsuitable for a family magazine) directed at the singer by passing truck drivers and the like which all seemed to end in the word Blondie.
By the time the band hit the No 2 spot in Britain with Denis in 1977, they were on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands in music, with a string of chart-topping singles including Heart of Glass, Call Me, Rapture, and the mighty Atomic. The band split up in 1984, and while Deborah Harry's solo career has seen some memorable singles such as I Want That Man, French Kissin' In The USA, and (a personal favourite of mine) Brite Side, she unsurprisingly has never quite reached the peaks of Blondie's greatest moments.
All the better, then, to hear that Blondie are coming back to the Barrowland this month for a performance that gives us a chance to salute a great band playing some of the best three-minute pop songs ever.