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Bow Wow Wow go wild again

Among the countless 80s bands heading out on tour, a highlight is the surprise reunion of Bow Wow Wow. The group that enjoyed US and UK hits in the early 80s has announced its first UK gigs in 3 decades.

Originally Bow Wow Wow was the pet project of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, who wanted to use the group to promote the early New Romantic fashion that his then-wife Vivienne Westwood was creating.

With a typical eye for controversy he recruited the 14 year-old singer Annabella Lwin from a dry cleaners and stole the musicians from an Adam who suddenly found himself without any Ants.

Under McLaren’s management, provocation was the steady diet, starting with a single, C30, C60, C90 Go! that promoted home taping, and continuing through several songs packed with sexual innuendo.

Despite McLaren’s best efforts to alienate record companies and music fans, Bow Wow Wow’s infectious African-influenced pop enjoyed a cult following and genuine chart hits with Go Wild In The Country and the bubblegum pop hit I Want Candy, which brought the group success in America.

One of their most striking images was the Manet pastiche of Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe which adorned the sleeve of early copies of their debut album, until retailers objected to having a naked Lwin on their shelves.

Guitarist Matthew Ashman died in 1995, and the Svengali McLaren passed away in 2010. Lwin and bassist Lee Gorman have been involved in projects together in recent years, including soundtrack work and live performances. Film director Sofia Coppola is a notable fan of their music.

The UK tour starts on April 19.

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