Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey

Bow Wow Wow

The Plimsouls

DJ Gregarious

6:30 pm doors, 8 pm show

$42.50 advance, $47 day of show, $55 reserved Balcony, $60 day of show reserved Balcony

21 and over

Share this event

Add to Calendar

Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey

Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey

The classic ‘artist biog' traditionally takes a strictly linear path. Year by year, album after album. But that wouldn't do Tom Bailey justice. Bailey's creative past, present and future can't be plotted along a straight line. It's a prism, with dub, pop and world influences at each corner.

The pop element is his most well-known and comes back into play in 2018 with a brand new album, Science Fiction. It arrives just over 25 years after Play With Me, the last single by the Thompson Twins, which sat alongside tracks by Bowie, Eno and Moby on the soundtrack to 1992's Cool World. The previous decade of course, had seen the Thompson Twins rise from squat-based free-form indie anarchy - with 1981's Set and '82's A Product Of... - to world domination, with a set at Live Aid backed by Nile Rodgers and Madonna. They had 7 top 40 hits in the US and 10 in the UK with another 4 top 40 hits in the US Dance Chart including 2 No1's with ‘Lies' and ‘Hold Me Now' and over 10 million album sales worldwide.

Those singles tell a unique story: Tom accessing early synths; being so taken aback by the possibilities they offered; the Twins shifting from band to project as a result; where as much creativity - thanks to his two accomplices in the classic trio line-up, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway - was poured into design, video and production as it was into everything else. It was that ethos that meant no group other than the Thompson Twins could possibly have released an anti-ballad as captivating as Hold Me Now, or an anti-drugs song as danceable as Don't Mess with Doctor Dream.

"People accuse the Thompson Twins of being saccharine because we were so poppy," Tom recalls. "But we headed in that direction consciously - we turned ourselves into cartoon characters for God's sake! - so it doesn't get more superficial on the surface. But we were doing things for real, for sure. Everything we did, we did because we felt seriously about it."

It was on the B-sides of those classic singles that Tom Bailey explored his love of dub music, although it's a love that stretches back to The Blankets, one of his earliest groups and Weather Station, a 1982 film soundtrack and his first solo release. Then came the A Product of...'s off-shoot, A Dub Product and, when the Twins' hit the big time, Tom would regularly, surreptitiously slip dub into the mainstream with tracks like Doctor! Doctor!'s B-side Nurse Shark and the flip of Lay Your Hands on Me, The Lewis Carol.

"B-sides were a great opportunity to experiment. Sometimes, because so little time was spent on them, they carried a carefree freshness, which is a rare thing. The remix/version was a big thing back then, and coming up with a radical, sometimes unrecognisable dub of an existing track was part of the creative fun."

Further, deeper explorations into dub territory have been the main focus of Tom's journey over the past two decades. As International Observer, he's released almost ten albums, the core works being 2001's Seen, 2009's Felt, 2014's Touched and the Dungeons of Dub series. But again, prism-like, Tom's pop sensibilities are audible even in some of his deepest dub cuts. Like his reimagining of The Animals in House of the Rising Dub, or a fusion of the mid-70s reggae of Burning Spear (Slavery Days) with late 70s synthpop of Jean-Michel Jarre for Popcorn Slavery.

With recent International Observer collaborators including Banco De Gaia and the Bombay Dub Orchestra, a certain worldbeat feel has filtered into Tom's work. But this is nothing new. This third corner of his musical prism has been there since the beginning. The fourth Thompson Twins single, Oumma Aularesso was Tom's rearrangement of a traditional chant from Sierra Leone. Its follow-up, Make Believe (Lama Sabach Tani) threw tablas into the mix. And as soon as the Thompson Twins became a three-piece, Tom followed trips to India with a trip to Egypt, and then worked with Alex Sadkin - following his production of Grace Jones' Nightclubbing - at Island Records' Compass Point studios in the Bahamas, to forge the sound of the Twins' most influential albums, 1983's Quick Step and Side Kick and 1984's Into the Gap.

The worldbeat element came further to the fore after the Thompson Twins officially disbanded with the formation of Babble with Alannah Currie, and two albums - 1994's The Stone and 1996's Ether. Then, in the mid-00s, Tom travelled up the River Ganges writing and recording - and performing at festivals to thousands at a time - as part of the ambitious Holiwater project. It spawned two albums: 2012's Holiwater and 2014's Maya, both of which were produced by Tom and written in collaboration with Sarod virtuoso Pandit Vikash Maharaj.

Right now, the pop edge of the prism is shining brightest, spurred on by Tom's return to live work in 2014.

"It's exciting," he says, "because rediscovering the ability to play live and write pop music has been part of a personal transformation. I started off full of fear and all sorts of ‘oh no I can't do that, and I can't do that'. But, little by little, I've rediscovered that it's OK. It's fun and it's really interesting."

Playing the Thompson Twins' hits live around the world for the past few years has also forced Tom to reassess the group's music, which paved the way for Science Fiction, his new album.

"One thing I've discovered - that I never really consciously understood back in the day - is that, although the Thompson Twins' songs nearly always have this bright punchy positive chorus, often evoking love and togetherness, there's actually a dark heart in most of the verses. There's all sorts of weird complications and confusions going on. They're not just boy-meets-girl love songs. I found myself relating very strongly to that, and what it means about what we all did 30 years ago, and what's happened to us all ever since then."

As a result, Tom has hand-crafted 10 songs that are instantly accessible not only to fans of classic Thompson Twins but also to a new generation who have been alerted to his quintessential sound and style after hip-hop producer Metro Boomin' remixed Hold Me Now for GAP's SZA-starring commercial that debuted at this year's Grammies.

Hard to imagine given the illustrious career covered here but Science Fiction is Tom's first ever solo album. It's also, to get the stats down on paper, his first pop album since Babble's Ether in 1996, and his first solo output since Industry and Seduction was used as the finale of Cool World.

"I so much enjoyed playing concerts around the world over the last couple of years, that I began working behind the scenes on writing, recording and mixing the songs in this collection. I have concentrated on other areas of music for the past couple of decades - but I find it incredibly rewarding to be making pop music again. There's something so special about the way this kind of music works and, for me, it's like finding a long-lost friend."

The tracks on Science Fiction spin the musical compass - from Synthpop-meets-soca on What Kind of World? to the stadium pop of Bring Back Yesterday to If You Need Someone, a track that's so radio-friendly every copy should come with a free pocket transistor.

While the Thompson Twins may have recorded in some of the world's most famous recordings studios, from Sarm West in Notting Hill to Compass Point in the Bahamas, nowadays Tom is free to record and write wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. "I recorded Science Fiction all over," he explains, France, New Zealand, London... These days, my studio is a laptop and a pair of headphones! I'm a real wanderer. I don't stay in one place for very long."

"I produced the album myself but worked with Hal Ritson (whose credits range from the Chemical Brothers to David Guetta) to produce the vocals. That's the one thing I can't do myself is be my own vocal producer, because I need to wear the performer's hat totally, so I get someone else to record my vocals and try and get the best out of me. But Hal had an idea to 'Latinize' What Kind of World? and to get a Cuban backing vocalist in to give it a real Cuban feel."

Worldly-wise, musically and spiritually, 2018 will see Tom take Science Fiction out on the road. And with good reason, this is the man who, after all, won Classic Pop magazine's award for Best Live Show in 2015 for revisiting the hits of the Twins in such a creative, retro-futurist way: highlights ranging from a wistful reworking of King For a Day to the steampunk opening of We Are Detective, adding all their visual trappings (right down the to the techno tambourine from the front cover of You Take Me Up) but with a modern twist.

As well as a handful of UK open air festival dates in his own right, Tom will join a-ha for the UK stadium leg of their Electric Summer world tour. Then it's off to the USA to join both Boy George & Culture Club and The B-52's, stopping off at 40 cities from June through to October. Following that, back to the UK with Boy George & Culture Club - but this time joined by Belinda Carlisle - for an 11-date UK arena tour in November.

An immense undertaking, this is by far the most intensive live schedule Tom Bailey has even taken on, including the headlining stadium whirlwinds of the Thompson Twins' heyday. Testament indeed to the power of perfect pop music and an artist who remains on a perpetual (prismatic) artistic journey.

Ian Peel, May 2018


DJ Gregarious

DJ Gregarious

DJ Gregarious: Portland's song monger since the turn of the century. 

Whether you prefer hair of the dog or salt in your wound, DJ's Gregarious & Disorder have you got you tuned.

Facebook page:


The Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside
Portland OR 97209

(503) 225-0047
Contact us

Where On Any Night, Anything Can Happen!!

In these walls...

The historic Crystal Ballroom -- now over a century old -- is one of those rare concert halls that can point to a proud, diverse history while also laying claim to an ongoing musical legacy. Every time you enter this majestic ballroom, let your imagination sense the tremors resonating from a century's worth of gatherings, and realize that you are joining a thriving, generations-long procession of show-goers. Welcome!


Tech Specs

Floor and stage plan
PDF download

Lighting diagram 
PDF download

Sound manifest
PDF download
Lola's Room: 
PDF download

Technical and logistical packet
For Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room
PDF download

Ballroom height and beam-to-beam dimensions
16' 11" from beam to floor
19' 11" from floor to ceiling
14' 6" in between beams

Promoter Info

Rental Expenses To Outside Promoters

$365  PRODUCTION MANAGER ($54.75/hr OT)
$255  STAGE MANAGER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  FOH TECHNICIAN ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  MONITOR ENGINEER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  LIGHTING DIRECTOR ($38.32/hr OT)
$150  HOSPITALITY ($20/hr OT) [mileage is 33 cents per mile]
$1,000*  SECURITY ($100/hr OT)
$100  BOX OFFICE STAFF ($20/hr OT)
$ ----  CHAIR RENTAL ($2 per chair)
$ ----  BOX OFFICE CREDIT CARD FEE (3% of Box Credit Card Sales)

* Security cost is an estimate. Additional security may be required depending on the nature of the event. 

Overtime: All expenses incurred by the Crystal Ballroom for Catering, Advertising, requested stagehands, overtime (anything over 10 hours), backline, barricade, risers, etc. will be added to total rental rate.

Deposits: A non-refundable 50% room deposit and a $2,500 'untenured promoter fee' (UPF) is due immediately in order to secure the room. If ticket sales exceed 500 the 'UPF' will be refunded; if ticket sales are below 500 the room keeps the entire $2,500 to make up for less than 1/3 capacity and corresponding lack of sales. The 'UPF' will not be refunded if the event cancels within 60 days of the event.

Settlement: Venue will pay renter with a company check at the immediate conclusion of door sales. Venue will not provide any cash at settlement.

Late Night Fee: There is a $1,000/hour additional fee for any events after 3 a.m. We may also require additional security for events of that nature.

Merchandise: Merch rate is 20% they sell. We can provide a seller with advance notice and will keep 30% of sales. The outside promoter will receive no revenue from the merchandise as that is the prerogative of the house. House keeps a percentage of all transactions.

Tickets: All tickets must be placed through the venue onto the Cascade Tickets system. All comps, label buys, and holds must be approved by the venue. There is a $2/ticket venue fee at the Box Office.

Refunds: All refunds will be directed to the outside promoter. In the absence of an outside promoter representative, the venue shall use its own discretion regarding refunds and all refunds shall be deducted from settlement.

Insurance and Licenses: Renter must provide liability insurance not less than $1,000,000 for any single occurrence naming McMenamins Inc. d.b.a. Crystal Ballroom as additionally insured. Tickets will not be placed on sale until binder is received. Promoter is responsible for all ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC fees.

Production Advance: Performers or their representative must contact venue's production manager 5 days prior to the event in order to advance production needs, otherwise runner will arrive at 6 p.m. and all rider items/requests will be greatly limited if provided at all.

Layout: The Crystal Ballroom is located on the 3rd floor. The first floor is Ringlers Restaurant and the 2nd floor is Lola's Room, both of which may have a public or private event simultaneously with the Crystal.

Cancellation/Postponement: The contract covers the specified event for the specified date. No substitution will be accepted for a cancellation. If the event is postponed the room deposit will be transferred to the date of the new event but the $2,500 'UPF' will be applied toward the date of the originally scheduled show and an additional $2,500 will be required in order to reschedule.

Capacity: The venue's capacity is 1500*. All artist and promoter guests and comps will be deducted from sellable. Comp and guest space must be reserved in advance. House is entitled to 20 guests. House guests will not effect sellable. Promoter must have guest list to house no later than 2 hours prior to doors. VIP cap is 25.

* Seated capacity is 850. Seated shows must be 21 and over. There is a $2/chair rental fee.

Venue and corporate sponsor banners may be present during event.

Marketing your event at the Crystal Ballroom

Please contact Mike Walker for information about marketing your event through McMenamins resources.

Box Office

Please note! Both the Crystal Ballroom and Lola's Room specialize in open-floor shows with a very limited amount of seats. The rare seated events will be clearly denoted as such, within the event description on our schedule page.

Box Office Information

Tickets for all McMenamins shows are ticketed by Cascade Tickets, and may be purchased at the Crystal box office (located under the Crystal's awning) and McMenamins Edgefield, by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX, or by clicking the "Buy Tickets" link located at the event listing on our schedules.

Tickets bought directly at the Crystal box office or any of our four ticket outlets will only incur a $1 facility charge. (Please note! Tickets to Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn will incur additional service fees.)

Crystal Ballroom Box Office Hours 
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The box office is open later on nights when there is a performance.

The box office accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard.

Will Call

Will call is located at the box office.


All ticket purchases are non-refundable.


There are three pay lots nearby, and street parking is available.


Those with disabilities may call (503 225 0047) or email in advance to arrange early admittance.

There is an elevator located in the lobby.

Hold your Private Event at Crystal Ballroom

Weddings  Meetings  Social Events

The Crystal Ballroom is a truly awe-inspiring venue with its vaulted ceilings, grand chandeliers, giant wallscapes and famous "floating" dance floor. Accommodating groups from 100 to 1000 people, this 7,500-square-foot space includes access to the Ballroom's classic corner stage, floor-to-ceiling windows, swooping balcony, and full bar service.

Tucked in the Crystal’s second story is Lola’s Room accommodating events of up to 200 guests.  Lola’s comes with a handsome fully stocked bar, original artwork, and a floating dance floor all it’s own.

For overnight accommodations, our Crystal Hotel is just a block away!

Contact our sales team to inquire or book your event.
Get Started Here


Artwork plays an important role in the character of McMenamins locations throughout Oregon and Washington. We believe art makes life richer and more enjoyable. So, you'll often find paintings covering our walls, ceilings doors, overhead pipes, and equipment -- works as diverse and entertaining as our places for family and friends. Many artists have contributed to this vast variety of delightful eye candy. Jump in and enjoy some now!




Explore the Crystal Blocks

Our Crystal Hotel and legendary Crystal Ballroom are just across the street from each other, each offering their own unique spaces for live music, Northwest style fare and McMenamins hand crafted beverages.  Explore these properties and all they have to offer. 

*Get 15% off room rates at Crystal Hotel, Sunday through Thursday with a ticket purchase. (Must mention at time of booking, must verify ticket at check in for discount) *restrictions apply. 

Crystal Ballroom Property

Crystal Ballroom  Lola's Room  Ringlers Pub  Crystal Brewery

Crystal Hotel Property

Crystal Hotel  Al's Den  Ringlers Annex  Zeus Cafe

Contact Us  |  Join Our List  |  Passport Program  |  Music Booking Inquiry  |  Employment  |  Privacy Policy  |  Accessibility  |  Gift Cards  |  Donations  |  COVID

Site handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A

Daily Fresh Sheet

Copyright © 2017-2024 McMenamins Inc. All rights reserved.