WANG CHUNG PLAYS SELLERSVILLE THEATRE TO PROMOTE “ABDUCTED BY THE 80’s”

Aug 4, 2010

By Rob Nagy

Wang+ChungThe eighties music scene was a sea of one hit wonders dominated by the newly created MTV and the simultaneous birth of the infamous music video. One of the more talented artists to surface was London’s Wang Chung. Initially gaining notoriety with their unusual name, the band would ultimately release a handful of hits that included “Dance Hall Days”, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”, “Let’s Go” and “To Live and Die in LA”. Achieving the majority of their success on American soil, the band quickly established a cult following. Three decades later Wang Chung has reemerged, hitting the concert trail to promote their latest release, “Abducted By The ‘80’s”, and hoping to win over a new generation of fans.

Originally called Huang Chung, the band – consisting of Jack Hues (guitar & vocals), Nick Feldman (bass) and Darren Costin (drums) – released its first single, “Isn’t It About Time We Were on Television?” in 1980. That song earned them a recording contract with Arista Records. Two years later, after changing their name to Wang Chung, the band released “Points on a Curve”, which yielded the hit single “Dance Hall Days”. A moderate success in Britain, the song hit the top forty two times in America, and the follow-up single “Don’t Let Go” also reached the top forty. The simplistic appeal of “Dance Hall Days” catapulted the song into America’s top twenty, putting the band very much in demand. “I found it all to be a bit of a strain”, recalls Hues. “I wanted to be a pop-star from when I was a young lad and saw the Beatles on TV, but I didn’t realize what it entailed, and when it actually started happening the demands were a bit of a strain. You have the pressures of the business trying to make you conform to certain standards of what was considered a hit song at the time. You must be really compliant on that front. There was a certain amount of craziness to it all.”

Having secured a solid foundation in America, Wang Chung’s “To Live and Die in L.A.” was used as the theme song for the 1985 cult classic thriller film by the same name and also rose on the pop charts. That same year, Costin left the band and Hues and Feldman moved forward as a duo. The band soon released the album “Mosaic”, containing the hit singles “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” and “Let’s Go!” which reached the top ten and marked a new high point for Hues and Feldman. As the decade came to a close Wang Chung’s fifth album, “The Warmer Side of Cool”, spent a disappointing six weeks on the charts. “Praying to a New God”, from that fifth record, was a modest hit for the band.

By 1990 Wang Chung’s time had come and gone and the group officially disbanded. “I felt I had gone as far as I could go in my own world”, recalls Hues. “I started work on a variety of solo projects, which included a new appreciation and subsequent exploration into the world of jazz. I also did some producing, which was a great thing for me because it forced me to listen to other artists. I had gotten into a way of thinking that ‘only I knew how to do it’, which is a terrible delusion that you can get yourself into. “

Seven years after breaking up, the band briefly reunited in 1997 to promote their greatest hits package. It wasn’t until 2005 that a renewed interest in Wang Chung surfaced. “A publishing deal came up for our back catalog and we did that TV show ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’”, says Hues. “I think that was the catalyst that got us back in the States working together. We realized there was a really lovely kind of warm feeling about Wang Chung in the States and real opportunities to do some more work. It came together in a very ‘time felt right’ way in terms of the way our lives were going, and we could do something that we were going to feel proud of.”

In an effort to preserve the legacy of Wang Chung, the band is on the verge of releasing a series of new albums of their hits as well as new material. “We’ve recorded all the music, and we’re releasing it as a set of three EP’s”, says Hues. “The first EP is out now and has four re-recorded tracks of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”, “Dance Hall Days”, Let’s Go” and an acoustic version of “To Live and Die in L.A.”. The second album has four brand new songs on it. We’re trying to reconnect with the old fans while showing them the new stuff we are doing. A third one will be out around Christmas. Possibly next year we’ll release a proper album. The idea at the moment”, added Hues, “is to create this collectible package and see how it is received.”

On July 10, 2010 Wang Chung played the Sellersville Theatre in Sellersville, PA, showcasing their new release “Abducted By The 80’s”. Their ninety minute set featured all the band’s hits including “To Live and Die In L.A.”, “Let’s Go”, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” and “Dance Hall Days”, as well as new material off their latest album. While attendance was moderate, the Wang Chung faithful that came to the show were not disappointed as the band put on really fun show. Following their final encore, Wang Chung exited the stage to a standing ovation before adjourning to the lobby to meet fans. To stay up to date with Wang Chung go to www.wangchung.com. For all future shows at the Sellersville Theatre go to www.st94.com.

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