1981

Overview . Events . Releases . Sessions

Notable Events

 

Jan 11: Joy Division come second (after The Jam) in the NME reader's poll for 1980. Siouxsie wins Best Female Singer and The Jam win just about everything else.

Feb 18: In an interview with Steve Keaton from Sounds, Abbo from UK Decay inadvertently names the goth movement: "he said 'it's gonna be a movement' and we're going nah, we'll be gone in six months. He said you've got to get a name for it, it's not dance or alternative or New Pop or mod... and I remember saying 'we're into the whole Gothic thing'... and we sat there laughing about how we should have gargoyle shaped records and only play churches. Course he put it all in the interview.. for six months everything went quiet then when the album came out everyone was asking 'what's this Gothic tihng you're into?' And it's a total joke!"

Apr 5: The NME do a 3-page spread on the California punk scene where they mention a new phenomenon, "slamming in the pit" at the front of the stage: "You hurtle from side to side, elbows out, fists flailing and collide with the people around..."

Apr 20: Play Dead play the Rock Garden in London

Apr 26: Culture Club are currently rehearsing under the name Sex Gang Children

May 1: Theatre of Hate, Modern English and The Birthday Party play the University of London Union.

May 3: 999/UK Decay/Department S/Meteors play at the Lyceum

May 4: The Sisters of Mercy make their live debut opening for the Thompson Twins at York University.

May 19: UK Decay/The Dark/Play Dead play the London Venue

Jun 19: A Sounds review by Betty Page of Siouxsie And The Banshees' fourth album, "Ju Ju", says: "this is the soundtrack of the unknown, hinting darkly at black magic, witchery, murder and death... the Banshees are wailing again, doom is at the door, creating... something intriguing, intense, brooding and powerfully atmospheric".

Jun 26: Bauhaus/Subway Sect/Birthday Party play the Lyceum in London. Johnny Waller reviews the gig for Sounds, and said Pete Murphy was "...a parasitic ghoul, robbing wardrobe and record collections rather than graves, but always with grace and style. This particular Rocky Horror Show is brash and trash, ludicrous and camp... Bauhaus' time is nigh"

Jul 20: Mick Sinclair reviews Danse Society's debut single, "Clock"/"Continent" in Sounds: "Weird looking quads from Barnsley, veering towards Bauhaus-ian mock horror but held on course by pinpoint drumming and funkish bassing."

Aug 30: The Chameleons get a half-page write-up in the NME.

Sep 26: The Lemon Kittens are reviewed live in Sounds by Johnny Waller: "Visually the band are equally bizarre. All four of them being covered head to toe in psychedelic body paint, though out moded laws of propriety meant that only vocalist Danielle was wholly naked on stage. Danielle Dax, in fact (even forgetting her obvious charms) has a remarkably compelling style."

Nov 22: In a two-page interview with Paul Morley in the NME, Robert Smith says: "I know we've failed because The Cure haven't built up something as powerful as Joy Division that is strong enough to resist the narrow attacks of grayness and introversion... it hasn't proved that bad... we're still here".

Dec 14: Southern Death Cult get their first review in the major music press, by Steve Keaton of Sounds: "Supporting were a remarkable new band from darkest Bradford called Sudden Death Cult [sic]"... The singer is weird, really weird. His face.. is hidden beneath ana avalanche of red and black hair and rabbit skin pom-poms and he wardances around the stage in authentic B-movie Western stykle.. The music reflects the heavy Indian motifs.. it's dense, dark and vaguely primitive. Sort of Bow Wow Wow without the frills.. They lope with confidence through numbers like "Apache" and "Moya" whilst the audience stand bemused."

Dec 30 : Gene Loves Jezebel play their first ever gig under that name, at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, having previously played a few dates as Slav Arian.

Dec 31: In the NME Reader's Polls, Siouxsie wins "Best Female Singer", The Jam win "Best Group", "Heaven Up Here" wins album of the year, "Ghost Town wins "Single of the Year", Paul Weller wins "Most Wonderful Person" and Adam Ant wins "Creep of the Year"