Why I love ...

Bow Wow Wow

Forgive me for coming over all Julie Burchill, but I loved the 1980s. Yes, it was a time of boom-bust economy and nuclear threat, but that hardly mattered to me when there was a more pressing revolution in music and fashion going on.

One of my biggest infatuations was with Bow Wow Wow, the band who first appeared on Top of the Pops in 1982. There was the sound of course, the wild banshee screeches and tribal drums in their song 'Go Wild in the Country'. But even more intoxicating was their look. Who can forget Annabella Lwin - just 16 at the time - jumping and grinding about the stage with her bare feet and revealing Vivienne Westwood dress? Then there was the guitarist, a swaggering pirate with a Mohican haircut who wore more make up than a girl.

I lapped up stories of Lwin's precocious behaviour: how Malcolm McLaren had plucked her, aged 14, from a dry cleaners to front his band; how she had posed naked on the cover of their first record only to have her mother forbid its sale abroad. She was the wild child I aspired to be.

But in 1983 the band split and was soon replaced in my affections. I hadn't thought about them for years until I saw a preview screening of Sophia Coppola's new film Marie Antoinette; suddenly that distinctive drum beat and Lwin's voice brought it all back. 'I Want Candy' is the perfect soundtrack to a Versailles party; with excesses like that, the 1780s, like the 1980s, were always going to end in tears.

Marcus Field

The GuardianTramp

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