Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Soft Cell "To Show You I've Been There" - Details on The New Book & Report From The Launch Party by Ian Pile

Renegade Music will release a limited edition photobook on Soft Cell. It's another impressive addition to Ritchie Franklin's catalogue, as he has previously been involved with books on Felt, which featured some rare early photos of the band by my Blog colleague Paul Slattery, Ramones and Sheila Rock's Punk photography. "To Show You I've Been There" has been officially endorsed by Dave Ball and Marc Almond and features over 150 images from the archives of some of the best-known music photographers, many previously unseen, all fully restored from original negatives. This book will be the ultimate photographic record spanning the whole of Soft Cell's electric career, here's a few more details.
  • Limited edition of 1300 copies only
  • Commentary from new interviews by acclaimed music journalist Mark Paytress
  • Each copy comes with an exclusive free bonus 4-track vinyl 'Magick Mutants' EP with artwork by Dave Ball
  • Free bonus MP3 downloads of the 4 tracks plus edits (see email sent separately including zip file of the 8 tracks)
  • Hardback, quarter-bound glossy and linen cover - 21 x 28 x 3 cm
  • 176 pages - over 200 rare and previously unpublished images
  • Full UK discography
Ian Pile from Podrophenia was at the launch party and kindly submitted the following report.

Photo by Ian Pile
With the start time set at a ludicrously early 6.30, we thought it was a pretty safe bet to nip round the corner for a couple in the Groucho before heading to the event. However on arriving at the Phoenix Arts Club around 7.45, we find it’s in full swing. Marc Almond and Dave Ball were both already in attendance and the dancefloor was heaving. Classic Soft Cell neon lighting throughout the venue ensures a seedy vibe to the evening. The pints are served in Soft Cell glasses, there’s Pink Flamingo cocktails on the menu and even Soft Cell beermats on the tables! There’s no getting away from what we are here for! Tonight was all about the release of the deluxe Soft Cell coffee table book ‘To Show You I’ve Been There’. Tantalisingly, the book is on sale right there in front of me but unfortunately, as a committed fan, I pre-ordered months ago and was still awaiting delivery on the day of the launch. Whereas an impulse buy on the night meant you got it on release day (without P&P fees!) and the chance to get it signed too.  

Photo by Ian Pile
The book is a glorious journey through 40 years of the band's history and how these two working class northern lads were suddenly swept up and deposited in the 1980’s mainstream. They kept the ‘Pop’ hits coming yet were subversive throughout – living a double life of clean cut and perverse. As an ardent fan, I was delighted to find the book wasn’t full of the usual shots I’ve seen thousands of times before. Some real gems have been unearthed, and it’s a book I will come back to time and time again. The cherry on top of the cake must be the exclusive 4 track EP ‘Magick Mutants’. A genius moment that completes the full 40 year cycle – as it’s clearly an accompaniment (and nod) to their very first release ‘Mutant Moments’ (which I have with me tonight and manage to get signed!). Three songs from the early set re-recorded plus a Fad Gadget cover and we are transported back to where we began. If this really is it for Soft Cell then it’s the perfect way to bow out. Marc slips away from the event not much after 8pm, but it’s not anything to do with sour grapes as the night is very much Dave’s, as tonight is also his 60th birthday. He’s still there enjoying himself at 10pm when we make our way out. He’s had people coming up to him all evening and he’s been happy to chat to everyone. We leave to the sounds of 70’s New York punk, electronica and camp HiNRG. How very Soft Cell! - Ian Pile, Podrophenia May 2019 

With thanks to Ian for the report and photographs. Podrophenia will be broadcasting a special 10th anniversary episode on July 4th so be sure to check out more details at their site here. Podrophenia was one of the influences on our very own Retrosonic Podcast and Ian and his colleague Dave Collins, or Mondo & Piley as they are more commonly known, have DJ'd at some of our Retro Man Blog Nights for The Len Price 3 and TV Smith at the superb Railway Hotel in Southend-on-Sea. 

Photo by Ian Pile
Thanks also to Ritche Franklin and Stuart Kirkham. For more details on the book and where to order your copy, please check out the official Soft Cell web-site here

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