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Kajagoogoo Early Gigs: ‘The Venue’ London

June 29, 2011

Kajagoogoo Early Gigs – ‘The Venue’, London.

Kajagoogoo played many gigs both prior to, or around the time of their breakthrough with ‘Too Shy’.

On January 21st 1983, the band played ‘The Venue’ at 160-162 Victoria Street, London SW1, just a short distance from Victoria underground station.

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Having previously been a cinema, The Venue became a live music venue in November 1978 and was host to artists as diverse as Iggy Pop, the GoGo’s & The Ramones amongst others.

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Here we have an actual ticket from this event, showing the support band as ‘Verba Verba’.

Many thanks to ‘Denny’ for this photo from his own collection.

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We also have this great photo of Lulu Kyriacou at this very concert, stood just behind Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and his then wife, Julie Anne.

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Below is a press review of that early Kajagoogoo gig, written by Steve Sutherland.  Steve is currently Director of Special Projects at IPC Media, the UK’s biggest magazine publisher.  He worked on weekly music paper Melody Maker (where the below article was first published) and was Editor of the NME in the nineties.  Not content with all of that on his résumé, he went on to launch NME.com and re-launched and reinvigorated the NME Awards, making it one of the most famous annual events in the music calendar.

This guy knows his music!

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What is interesting about this review is that it focuses purely on the band and its music.  It is enthusiastic about Kajagoogoo as a live outfit, and extremely complimentary in its observations.  The fans of 2011 may be unaccustomed to descriptions such as ‘stylish’, ‘refreshing’, & ‘subliminally seductive’ being applied to the band by the music press, but back in 1983, prior to the teen-hype that was yet to come, such were the honours bestowed upon the ‘Goo by Steve Sutherland.

Unfortunately, as the musical elitists began to be turned off by the mania that followed the band, such positivity was not to continue amongst the members of the UK press.

The Venue put on its final gig in August 1984.  Today, it is a Pizza restaurant called ‘Ask’…

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Steve Sutherland currently contributes to both NME and Uncut magazines, as well as overseeing the editorial health of all IPC branded publications.

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Thank you for visiting KajaFax – the number one Kajagoogoo website!

2011 KajaFax

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Denny permalink
    June 29, 2011 11:46 am

    You should have given me shout. I would have sent you the pic of the ticket 😉

  2. lulu permalink
    June 30, 2011 4:37 pm

    I was at the venue gig needless to say. I used to go to the venue all the time. i lived in vauxhall by the bridge so i could walk to this if i had to. I saw loads of bands there before they wwere really famous like depeche mode, and blamange. Nick rhodes came to this, i will send you a pic of me there. what do i remember the most about it? Jez arriving on his feet, just walking along the road and that all the band were surprised at finding fans outside. they were used to us at the studio but they hadnt done a gig for a bit cos they were recording so they were not realy used to adulation! I was surprised how good they were. I didnt really pay much attention when they supported fashion, though i recognised they could play their instruments and were quite tuneful but I used to see two or three bands a week at least then so I was a bit blase. I cant remember if the embassy PA was before or after Fashion but if it was before the Venue was the first london gig the lads did since.
    Too Shy had been released, i dont know if it was quite number one at this point, i just cant remember but it was a really good gig. the venue was a standing gig so we stood a little way off the front and while the plebs (as we called them) shouted for too shy (cos it was the only track they knew) we would holler for Lies and Promises or Ooh To be Ah or Freyo just to show that we were ‘real’ fans! Such show offs!

  3. June 30, 2011 4:56 pm

    Love the picture Lulu, thanks so much for that! I think you’re right that Too Shy was out there but not peaked, think that was kinda mid February (15th?) when it really smashed. I wish I’d been there for this stuff, so very very cool!

  4. Denny permalink
    June 30, 2011 6:46 pm

    What were Verba Verba like?

    The book the ticket comes from also has tickets for Yachts and Roman Holiday at the Venue. It also has a note saying that the day of the above gig was the day Nick Heywood left Haircut 100. 🙂

  5. Paul permalink
    May 28, 2013 1:04 am

    Sad to see whole street demolished as of May 2013.

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