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), 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 on the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, Happy Families (which featured a sleeve painting in the style of Louis Wain and of the cover artwork of Enid Blyton’s books), 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. The duo announced they were splitting in June 1986.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 reunited and released their fourth studio album, Blanc Burn, in March 2011. Luscombe then left the band again, though Arthur elected to continue recording and performing as Blancmange, with the assistance of session players.Blancmange performed a UK tour in November 2013, during which they played their 1982 debut album (Happy Families) 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.On 2 December 2014, the official Blancmange website announced details of a new studio album for release on 23 March 2015 on Cherry Red Records. The album, Semi Detached, contains ten tracks. On 9 March 2015, the first single from Semi Detached, “Paddington”, was released as a digital download. The second single from the album, “Useless”, was announced for release on 11 May 2015.On 23 April 2015, Blancmange announced a new album of instrumental music titled Nil by Mouth. This release was initially only available for purchase at the band’s two shows at London’s Red Gallery in May 2015. It subsequently became available as a CD through the official Blancmange website on 25 September 2015.On 29 May 2015, Blancmange announced the release of their cover of Can’s “I Want More” as a limited edition 12″ record for Record Store Day, making it the third single from Semi Detached.Commuter 23, a studio album containing 14 tracks, was released on 11 March 2016.