Culture Club Support Acts – Wembley Arena


Tom Bailey and Belinda Carlisle

A review by Tanya Howard

The first support act on the tour was Tom Bailey, the lead vocalist from the new wave band Thompson Twins, who released his debut solo album ‘Science Fiction’ in July. The Thompson Twins were widely regarded as one of the iconic electronic bands of the 1980s and one of a select group of British artists who ‘broke’ America with hits such as ‘Hold Me Now’, ‘You Take Me Up’ and ‘Doctor Doctor’.

Bailey’s post-Thompson Twins career has seen him work in several different genres, from the experimental electronic music of Babble and Kolab, to the Indo-fusion of the Holiwater Band, the visual astronomy project BSP and the sound-system dub of International Observer, however this album is his first true pop record in over 20 years.

For nearly three decades fans of the Thompson Twins have been waiting for more live performances from one of the UK’s much-loved bands of that era. Now the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, with a new all-female band featuring Charlotte Raven on vocals and keyboards, Amanda Kramer (The Psychedelic Furs/Information Society) on vocals and keyboards and Paulina Szczepaniak on electronic drums.

Following Tom Bailey’s performance was another 80’s superstar, Belinda Carlisle, known worldwide as the lead singer of the Go-Gos and for her prolific solo career. The Go-Gos were one of the most successful all-female bands in history and their 1981 debut album “Beauty and the Beat” went double platinum, stayed No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart for six weeks and is still the only US chart-topper to be written and play women.

Belinda’s solo career launched her into even higher stardom with her first three albums all holding solid hits, including Circle in the Sand, Leave a Light On and Mad About You. Her final No. 1 hit single was “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” which is what I personally know her best for, and is one of those songs that you can’t not sing along to when it comes on the radio or in a bar.

One of the first things I noticed when watching both the support acts was how full up Wembley Arena was, there seems to be a new trend where people only show up for the main act and a lot of support acts are playing to a half empty stadium. Alongside a full venue they had some die-hard fans that were all at the front dancing away and singing every word of their songs. Both put on an incredible show and have amazing voices and bands, and although I didn’t know many of their songs I really enjoyed both performances.