Blancmange are an English synthpop band who came to prominence with a string of hits in the early to mid-1980s.
Blancmange was formed in Harrow, Middlesex in 1979 by singer Neil Arthur (born 15 June 1958, Darwen, Lancashire) and instrumentalists Stephen Luscombe (born 29 October 1954, Hillingdon, Middlesex) and Laurence Stevens. Stevens left shortly after the band was formed, and Arthur and Luscombe continued as a duo. The duo released their first EP, Irene and Mavis, the following year, but their first real exposure came via a track on the seminal Some Bizzare Album, alongside fellow acts Soft Cell and Depeche Mode. This led to them signing a recording contract with London Records.
The duo found minor success with their 1982 double A-sided single, "God's Kitchen"/"I've Seen the Word", which peaked at no. 65 in the UK. This was followed by "Feel Me", which peaked at no. 46. Later that year, they broke through with "Living on the Ceiling", which reached no. 7 in the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, Happy Families (which featured a sleeve painting in the style of Louis Wain), also reached the top 30.
Further hits followed with "Waves" (no. 19), "Blind Vision" (no. 10), "That's Love That It Is" (no. 33) and "Don't Tell Me" (no. 8), while their second album Mange Tout (1984) also reached no. 8 in the UK Albums Chart. The album featured a cover version of ABBA's "The Day Before You Came", which reached no. 22 in the UK (slightly higher than Abba's original less than two years earlier). However, after this, the band's fortunes declined. Their 1985 single "What's Your Problem" only reached no. 40, and the subsequent album Believe You Me spent only two weeks in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at no.
54. Blancmange formally split up in 1987.
Luscombe released an album of Indian-influenced music, New Demons, with Pandit Dinesh, Peter Culshaw, Priya Khajuria and Asha Bhosle under the name West India Company, in 1989. Meanwhile, Arthur released a solo album, Suitcase, in 1994.
Following a gap of a quarter of a century, Blancmange released their fourth studio album, Blanc Burn, in March 2011.
Blancmange performed a UK tour in November 2013, during which they played their debut album in its entirety at each show. They also released a new album, Happy Families Too..., featuring updated recordings of the original tracks from their 1982 debut album. Initially, the new album was only available to buy on the tour but a digital download followed and a physical CD was released on 7 April 2014 which included four brand new remixes.