Madonna Performs At Camden Palace In London
October 13, 1983
Madonna hits the stage of London's Camden Palace.
This could be the way pop promotion is going – new artists launched not with a full concert, but with the live equivalent of a video clip.
The scene at the Camden Palace in the early hours was like something from a British version of Flashdance. The place was packed with the usual exotically dressed clientele – there to see and be seen rather than just listen to the music – when the dancing was interrupted by what's known on the American disco scene as a "track date."
Pioneered by the likes of Grace Jones, this is a cut-price promotion device in which a disco artist suddenly appears for half an hour, singing live to backing tapes.
This demonstration was by a white girl in her early twenties, known simply as Madonna, a dancer who moved to New York from the Mid-West as an ambitious teenager and is currently the most important new figure in the American dance scene.
She succeeded partly because she makes great records and partly because she has turned the boring idea of a track date into an exotic event.
Dressed in holocaust chic – black top, black skirt and leggings, lots of bare midriff, and hair in ringlets – she sang well, with a husky, black-sounding voice, and danced even better. She hurtled around the stage, mostly swivelling her hips like a belly-dancer while performing her songs like Lucky Star and the stirring Holiday.
Given a full set and a live band behind her, Madonna would seem to have the makings of a major star, so it's no wonder she is now being managed by the man who guided Michael Jackson's recent career. (TheGuardian: Originally published on 15 October 1983)
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