“Everybody wang chung tonight.”
That line from the chorus to Wang Chung’s big hit '80s party anthem “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” has become ingrained in the collective consciousness over the intervening decades.
It has been featured in multiple films and television shows alongside the pop/rock band’s other major charter, “Dance Hall Days.”
During the Eighties, the British duo of singer/guitarist Jack Hues and bassist Nick Feldman put out four eclectic studio albums and a soundtrack that frequently veered past standard New Wave strains into more sophisticated fare. The most successful one was 1986’s Mosaic, which went gold in America.
They also notched several other hits that placed high on the modern rock, dance and mainstream rock charts, including “Let’s Go,” “Don’t Be My Enemy,” “Wait,” “Don’t Let Go,” “Hypnotize Me” and the moody theme song to William Friedkin thriller “To Live and Die in LA.”
After a seven-year hiatus, the guys emerged with a retrospective CD and toured the U.S. in 1997. Feldman bowed out for a later round of concert dates. He returned for good in 2005 as Wang Chung appeared on short-lived NBC music reality series Hit Me Baby One More Time and some popular retro package tours.
Around the same time Hues (real name: Jeremy Ryder) started teaching songwriting/music composition part time at Canterbury Christ Church University in England
Since then, Wang Chung tunes have been featured prominently in TV shows like The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, Breaking Bad, Psych and others.
A series of new EPs came in 2010. Tazer Up! arrived in late 2012, compiling some of that material (plus the Psychemagik remix of "Dance Hall Days" as a bonus track) and marked the band’s first new full-length studio album in 23 years.
The solid self-produced effort finds the veteran musicians ably singing and playing all the instruments except one song. Spacey, tongue-in-cheek “Abducted by the ‘80s” incorporates a poem of the same name by British performance artist Rob Gee; “Why” could be a lost Daft Punk track; “Let’s Get Along,” revolves around a slinky acoustic guitar groove; the hypnotic “Stargazing” casually envelopes over 7 minutes. Highlights include the catchy racing rocker “City of Light” and the lush electronic “London Orbital.”
Wang Chung performs Saturday, May 9 at Romano’s Concert Lounge, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 day of show. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. DJ Richard Blade (ex-KROQ/106.7 FM) of SiriusXM’s 1st Wave and JACK FM Los Angeles’ Flashback Lunch, serves as guest emcee.
For more information, go to www.theconcertlounge.com
Future California tour dates:
July 30 - Canyon Club, Agoura Hills
July 31 - Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
Aug. 1 - Totally 80s Bar & Grille, Fullerton
Oct. 2 - M15, Corona