ASHLAND — It’s time to break out the hairspray and shoulder pads in anticipation of A Flock of Seagulls’ performance at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland on Friday night.
The early 1980s were an interesting time in the music world. After an amazing 25 or so years of diverse musical creativity beginning in the 1950s with rock ‘n’ roll, new wave music took hold after other genres faded away.
A combination of the blues, rockabilly and old school country music, rock ‘n’ roll appeared around 1955 and struck a nerve. By the mid-1970s, however, classic rock emerged from the underground and gave way to FM radio station playlists.
Then, by the mid-1970s, disco music began to take over. Even some well-established rock bands made disco-influenced records to try to stay relevant, eventually causing a backlash.
A big part of the recoil to the reign of disco music was the creation of punk music. By the early 1980s, however, with disco finally waning, punk music fueled a fresh way of playing rock music called new wave. With a different-yet-still-edgy attitude and the creation of the MTV video channel in 1981 influencing the commercial side of the business, a unique scene had finally put disco in the rear-view mirror.
One of the top bands of the new wave period, A Flock of Seagulls, will recreate that era on Friday, Oct. 8, when it performs at the historic and beautiful Paramount Arts Center in Ashland.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with tickets ranging from $20 to $50. Opening the show will be Robot Charlie. More information can be found at paramountartscenter.com.
A Flock of Seagulls formed in the UK in 1979 and was one of the first to get attention for members’ jarring look as well as tongue-in-cheek jams. The band’s songs had folks dancing in a novel, non-disco way. Powered by synthesizers and electronic drums as much as guitars, the group broke into the charts with their first hit song, “I Ran (So far Away).”
Even now, almost 40 years after the “I Ran” video hit the airwaves in 1982, the YouTube replay of the original version has had over 110 million views.
A Flock of Seagulls would go on to have other top hits including “Space Age Love Song,” “Wishing (I had A Photograph of You),” and “The More You Live, The More You Love.” For fans of the band’s initial run, that first video would stay in their memory as it marked a time when pop music evolved in a fun way. Younger fans have discovered their music as well, so the audience at the Paramount tomorrow night should be diverse in age and experience, yet ready for the opening notes of “I Ran” to blast out of the speakers.