One might think of Limahl in the same bracket as Boy George, Phil Oakey or Margaret Thatcher as having one of the defining bouffants of the era! But, the original duo tone spiky mullet man was, oh, so much more than his legendary hair, the band he fronted so much more than their crazy name and angular posturings. That was the spirit of the time, the manner in which one grabbed attention, the means by which in the wake of the New Romantic movement one expressed oneself. From the smugness of hindsight it is all too easy to write off bands like Kajagoogoo, Visage and A Flock Of Seagulls as fashion victims. They were the tribal leaders of a swathe of optimistic, even futuristic, youth. To understand the look, the feel of that unique time in history one has to have a mind to the can-do culture of that moment. The constraints of class, gender, sexuality were seen not as proscriptive and defining in the manner they had hitherto been, but rather as a rich iconography to be bent and s haped to create image, image, image!!!
Music mattered; it was liberation from one’s immediate surroundings. It was the art form of choice where colour, design, image, attitude and groove coalesced. It was a fantasy of self-transformation accessible to all for the price of a copy of Smash Hits or a 7” Single. It was identity, it was energy, it was integral to to being young. You were a Duranie or into Spandau Ballet, there would be many playground debates about the relative merits of Nik Kershaw or Howard Jones. Limahl was a real contender too, five chart hits over two years and here’s the roll-call :-
Too Shy (no'1) - Ooh To Be Ahh (no'7) - Hang On Now (no'13) - Only For Love (no'16) - Neverending Story (no4) .
Big chart hits too possums, look, all top 20!! A five-hit wonder, but no flash in the pan. For a small time, a big star!!
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