When David Quantick announced a “Goth Heroes” round at his fiendishly difficult Great Escape pop quiz there were two audible sounds of delight. One “Yes!” came from SOURCE owner Rosie, the other from Simon Price, music journalist for the Independent. The horned critic really knows his alternative 80s – and in fact every other genre you could mention – which explains how the music down at Spellbound is so damn good.
Subtitled “The 80s night for people who hate 80s nights”, it’s the anti-Guilty Pleasures. From the futurism of Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ to The Violent Femmes’ acoustic punk shambles that is ‘Daddy Gone’, from the angular funk of Spandau Ballet’s underrated ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’, to a host of songs we didn’t know, each one of these gems stands up without nostalgia or irony.
The team of Cherry Foxxx and Simon Price know how to work a dancefloor from their legendary Stay Beautiful club in London, but even allowing for that, and the snakebite and black, the reaction is incredible. A girl with a fan – who looks like she’s stepped out of a Strawberry Switchblade/Bow Wow Wow supergroup – dances with such abandon we can’t take our eyes off her. But when we do, the rest of the crowd is singing along to an obscure Blitz Kids classic.
With so many people who loved the music at the time and kids who are passionate about it now, no wonder the place is at capacity 50 minutes after it opens.