Thompson Twins

The Thompson Twins are a British band which emerged in the 1980s in the immediate aftermath of New Romanticism, scoring a string of hits and conquering the USA in the process.

They were originally a new-wave act who, after the founding threesome moved south from Sheffield, had so little money that they lived as squatters in London, with the personnel rising to seven members. After a lucky break, they were signed up to Arista records and group leader Tom Bailey (born January 18, 1956) paid off four of the members in return for their instruments.

The remaining trio - singer and main musician Bailey; lyricist and percussionist Alannah Currie (born September 20, 1959); and multi-instrumentalist and stylings guru Joe Leeway (born November 15, 1957) - broke into the UK charts at the beginning of 1983 with "Love On Your Side". Further hits from debut album "Quickstep And Sidekick" followed, with Bailey's flame-red hair and bright ponytail and Currie's wasp-swatting style at the xylophone swiftly becoming endearing images of an exciting new act.

At the end of 1983, a single "Hold me Now" was released. It defied the trends of the electronic pop which was still dominating the charts, relying almost wholly on an emotive piano, some clever percussion from the New Zealand-born Currie and a heartfelt vocal from Bailey. It hit the Top 3 and remains one of the more timeless singles from an era and decade which tends to date a little more easily than others. Three equally as mature singles followed into 1984 - the poppy "Doctor Doctor"; the quirky, accordion-dominated "You Take Me Up" (at No.2, their biggest UK hit); and the haunting "Sister Of Mercy". The corresponding album, "Into The Gap" was one of the best sellers of the year. The trio had peaked.

In 1985, they had three hits which were palpable compared to the previous year's highs, but still made headlines when they performed at the American end of Live Aid and were joined onstage by the fresh-faced Madonna, who was in only her second year of fame. As the most talked about and hippest woman on the planet at the time, her appearance with the Thompson Twins should have helped their cause further, but by the end of the year, by which time they'd enjoyed three US Top 10 hits, they'd plummeted substantially.

Leeway left and the remaining duo soldiered on for another seven years, only occasionally puncturing the singles charts and never again making the Top 40.

Bailey and Currie, despite years of denying romantic inclinations at the height of their fame, got married and now raise their family in New Zealand while still occasionally dabbling in music under the name Babble. The band have, however, declined to follow the examples of many of their contemporaries and reform to tie in with a nostalgic rebirth of the 1980s. The two divorced in 2004.

Much merriment was gained from their name (they took it from the detectives in bowler hats who featured in the Tintin comics) as there were three in the band; none of them were twins; and none of them were called Thompson.


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Much merriment was gained from their name (they took it from the detectives in bowler hats who featured in the Tintin comics) as there were three in the band; none of them were twins; and none of them were called Thompson. By the end of the century, Venice was famous for the splendor of its music, as exemplified in the "colossal style" of Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, which used multiple choruses and instrumental groups. The two divorced in 2004. Venice was the early center of music printing; Ottaviano Petrucci began publishing music almost as soon as this technology was available, and his publishing enterprise helped to attract composers from all over Europe, especially from France and Flanders. The band have, however, declined to follow the examples of many of their contemporaries and reform to tie in with a nostalgic rebirth of the 1980s. During the 16th century, Venice became one of the most important musical centers of Europe, with the development of the Venetian polychoral style under composers such as Adrian Willaert, who worked at San Marco. Bailey and Currie, despite years of denying romantic inclinations at the height of their fame, got married and now raise their family in New Zealand while still occasionally dabbling in music under the name Babble. Dull garments were worn over colorful ones, which then were cut to show the hidden colors -- which resulted in the wide spread of men's "slashed" fashions in the 15th century.

Leeway left and the remaining duo soldiered on for another seven years, only occasionally puncturing the singles charts and never again making the Top 40. The Senate passed sumptuary laws, but these merely resulted in changes in fashion in order to circumvent the law. As the most talked about and hippest woman on the planet at the time, her appearance with the Thompson Twins should have helped their cause further, but by the end of the year, by which time they'd enjoyed three US Top 10 hits, they'd plummeted substantially. In the 14th century, many young Venetian men began wearing tight-fitting multicolored hose, the designs on which indicated the Compagnie della Calza ("Trouser Club") to which they belonged. In 1985, they had three hits which were palpable compared to the previous year's highs, but still made headlines when they performed at the American end of Live Aid and were joined onstage by the fresh-faced Madonna, who was in only her second year of fame. This challenging engineering work is due to be completed by 2011. The trio had peaked. When tides are predicted to rise above 110 centimetres, the pontoons will be filled with air and block the incoming water from the Adriatic sea.

The corresponding album, "Into The Gap" was one of the best sellers of the year. In May 2003, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, inaugurated the "Moses" project, which will lay a series of 79 inflatable pontoons across the sea bed at the three entrances to the lagoon. Three equally as mature singles followed into 1984 - the poppy "Doctor Doctor"; the quirky, accordion-dominated "You Take Me Up" (at No.2, their biggest UK hit); and the haunting "Sister Of Mercy". Some recent studies have suggested that the city is no longer sinking, but this is not yet certain; therefore, a state of alert has not been revoked. It hit the Top 3 and remains one of the more timeless singles from an era and decade which tends to date a little more easily than others. In many old houses the ground floor is unoccupied due to the periodic floods, but people continue to live and work in the upper stories. It defied the trends of the electronic pop which was still dominating the charts, relying almost wholly on an emotive piano, some clever percussion from the New Zealand-born Currie and a heartfelt vocal from Bailey. However, the city is still threatened by more frequent low-level floods (so-called Acqua alta, "high water") that creep to a height of several centimeters over its quays, regularly following certain tides.

At the end of 1983, a single "Hold me Now" was released. This sinking process has slowed markedly since artesian wells were banned in the 1960s. Further hits from debut album "Quickstep And Sidekick" followed, with Bailey's flame-red hair and bright ponytail and Currie's wasp-swatting style at the xylophone swiftly becoming endearing images of an exciting new act. It was realised that extraction of the aquifer was the cause. The remaining trio - singer and main musician Bailey; lyricist and percussionist Alannah Currie (born September 20, 1959); and multi-instrumentalist and stylings guru Joe Leeway (born November 15, 1957) - broke into the UK charts at the beginning of 1983 with "Love On Your Side". During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to sink. After a lucky break, they were signed up to Arista records and group leader Tom Bailey (born January 18, 1956) paid off four of the members in return for their instruments. The buildings are often threatened by flood tides pushing in from the Adriatic between autumn and early spring.

They were originally a new-wave act who, after the founding threesome moved south from Sheffield, had so little money that they lived as squatters in London, with the personnel rising to seven members. The foundations rest on the pilings, and buildings of brick or stone sit above these footings. The Thompson Twins are a British band which emerged in the 1980s in the immediate aftermath of New Romanticism, scoring a string of hits and conquering the USA in the process. Most of these pilings are intact after centuries of submersion. The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced poles (made of a wood specially chosen because it strengthens with age), or pilings, which penetrate alternating layers of clay and sand. The sestieri are the primary traditional divisions of Venice. The city is divided into the six districts of Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca), Santa Croce, San Marco and Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Santa Elena).


. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast so that visitors now need to get a bus to the pier, from which watertaxi or Aliliguna waterbus can be used. Venice is served by the newly rebuilt Marco Polo International Airport, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous citizen. The only unmotorized gondolas still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges.

The city also has many private boats. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses ("vaporetti") which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands. The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies, due to its cost. Beyond these land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains, as it was in centuries past, entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest carfree area, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

In the 19th century a causeway to the mainland brought a railroad station to Venice, and an automobile causeway and parking lot was added in the 20th century. In the old center, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot. It is built on an archipelago of more than 100 islands in a shallow lagoon. Venice is famous for its canals.

The Venetian military tradition also was notably cautious; they were more interested in achieving success with a minimum expense of lives and money than in the pursuit of glory. A civilian commissioner (not unlike a commissar) accompanied each army to keep an eye on things, especially the mercenaries. Not only was efficiency not degraded, this policy saved Venice from the military takeovers that other Italian city states so often experienced. By ancient law, no nobleman could command more than twenty-five men (to prevent against sedition by private armies), and while the position of Captain General was introduced in the mid-14th century, he still had to answer to a civilian panel of twenty "wise men".

The command structure in the army was different from that in the fleet. Later in that century, uniforms were adopted that featured red-and-white stripes, and a system of honors and pensions developed. Throughout the 15th century, Venetian land forces were almost always on the offensive and were regarded as the most effective in Italy, largely because of the tradition of all classes carrying arms in defense of the city and official encouragement of general military training. In its alliance with Florence in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in peacetime. Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of condottieri on contract.

As in other Italian cities, aristocrats and other wealthy men were cavalrymen while the city's conscripts fought as infantry. The register of 1338 estimated that 30,000 Venetian men were capable of bearing arms; many of these were skilled crossbowmen. In times of emergency, all males between seventeen and sixty years were registered and their weapons were surveyed, with those called to actually fight being organized into companies of twelve. In the 13th century, most Italian city states already were hiring mercenaries, but Venetian troops were still recruited from the lagoon, plus feudal levies from Dalmatia and Istria.

Though Venice was famous for its navy, its army was equally effective. The company of "Noble Bowmen" was recruited in the later 14th century from among the younger aristocracy and served aboard both war-galleys and armed merchantmen, with the privilege of sharing the captain's cabin. As weapons became more expensive and complex to operate, professional soldiers were assigned to help work merchant sailing ships and as rowers in galleys. By 1303, crossbow practice had become compulsory in the city, with citizens training in groups.

Rowing skills were encouraged through races and regattas. Debtors generally worked off their obligations rowing the galleys. Those from the city were chosen by lot from each parish, their families being supported by the remainder of the parish while the rowers were away. Galley slaves did not exist in medieval Venice, the oarsmen coming from the city itself or from its possessions, especially Dalmatia.

A reserve of some 25 (later 100) war-galleys was maintained in the Arsenal. The government required each merchant ship to carry a specified number of weapons (mostly crossbows and javelins) and armor; merchant passengers were also expected to be armed and to fight when necessary. By 1450, more than 3,000 Venetian merchant ships were in operation, and most of these could be converted when necessary into either warships or transports. After 1797, the city fell into a serious decline, with many of the old palaces and other buildings abandoned and falling into disrepair, although the Lido became a popular beach resort in the late 19th century.

In 1866, along with the rest of Venetia, Venice became part of Italy. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814. The Austrians took control of the city on January 18, 1798. Venice became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio on October 12 1797.

He removed the gates of the Ghetto and ended the restrictions on when and where Jews could live and travel in the city. Napoleon was seen as something of a liberator by the city's Jewish population. The French conqueror brought to an end the most fascinating century of its history: It was during the "Settecento" that Venice became perhaps the most elegant and refined city in Europe, greatly influencing art, architecture, and literature. After 1070 years, the Republic lost its independence when Napoleon Bonaparte on May 12, 1797, conquered Venice during the First Coalition.

Venetian ambassadors sent home still-extant secret reports of the politics and rumours of European courts, providing fascinating information to modern historians. The second, more famous, occasion was on April 27, 1509, by order of Pope Julius II (see League of Cambrai). Venice was threatened with the interdict on a number of occasions and twice suffered its imposition. This apparent lack of zeal contributed to its frequently coming into conflict with the Papacy.

Though the people of Venice generally remained orthodox Roman Catholics, the state of Venice was notable for its freedom from religious fanaticism and it enacted not a single execution for religious heresy during the Counter-Reformation. In practice, a number of Doges were forced by pressure from their oligarchical peers to resign the office and retire into monastic seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived political failure. The chief executive was the Doge (duke), who, theoretically, held his elective office for life. War was regarded as a continuation of commerce by other means (hence, the city's early production of large numbers of mercenaries for service elsewhere).

Venice remained a republic throughout its independent period and politics and the military were kept completely separate. The Cavalieri di San Marco was the only order of chivalry ever instituted in Venice, and no citizen could accept or join a foreign order without the government’s consent. Church and various private properties were tied to military service, though there was no knight tenure within the city itself. The Venetian governmental structure was a mix of Byzantine and Islamic systems, but the social order was entirely feudal.

Only Venetian ships could efficiently transport the men, supplies, and (especially) war horses. Mark, symbol of Venice. Considerable plunder was brought back to Venice, including the Winged Lion of St. Venice became an imperial power following the Fourth Crusade, which (with Venetian aid) seized Constantinople in 1204 and established the Latin Empire.

By the standards of the time, Venice's stewardship of its mainland territories was relatively enlightened and the citizens of such towns as Bergamo, Brescia, and Verona rallied to the defence of Venetian sovereignty when it was threatened by invaders. In building its maritime commercial empire, the Republic acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean, including Cyprus and Crete, and became a major power-broker in the Near East. Later mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Garda as far west as the River Adda, were known as "Terrafirma", and were acquired partly as a buffer against beligerent neighbors, partly to guarantee Alpine trade routes, and partly to ensure the supply of mainland wheat, on which the city depended. The Doge already carried the titles Duke of Dalmatia and Duke of Istria.

The Republic of Venice seized the eastern shores of the Adriatic before 1200, mostly for commercial reasons, because pirates based there were a menace to trade. In the 12th century the essentials for the power of Venice were laid: the Arsenal was under construction in 1104; Venice wrested control of the Brenner pass from Veronia in 1178, opening a lifeline to silver from Germany; the last autocratic doge, Vitale Michiele, died in 1172. Its strategic position at head of the Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost invulnerable. Venice was a city state (an Italian thalassocracy or Repubblica Marinara, the other three being Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi).

As the community continued to develop and as Byzantine power waned, however, an increasingly anti-Eastern character emerged, leading to the growth of autonomy and eventual independence. In the mid-8th century, the Venetians resisted the empire-building efforts of Pepin III and remained subject to the Byzantine Empire, at least theoretically. The city was founded as a result of the influx of refugees into the marshes of the Po estuary following the invasion of northern Italy by the Lombards in 568. See also Veneti..

The Venetian Republic was a major sea power and a staging area for the Crusades, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially the spice trade) and art in the Renaissance. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The city stretches across numerous small islands in a marshy lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. Venice (Italian Venezia), the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto, population 274,000 (2003).

"Venezuela" means "small Venice". arsenal, ciao, ghetto, gondola, lagoon, lido, Montenegro. Hugo Pratt (1927-1995), cartoonist and creator of Corto Maltese. Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798), legendary womanizer.

Canaletto (1697-1768), painter. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), composer, musician. Titian (1477–1576), painter. Marco Polo (1254-1324), traveller.

Venice and its lagoon are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Venice is also famous world-wide for its unique Carnival. Mark the Evangelist. The city's patron is St.

Nicolas Roeg's 1973 film Don't Look Now, based on a story by Daphne du Maurier. Death in Venice, a 1912 novel by Thomas Mann. William Shakespeare's Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Giudecca.

Lido. Isola Di San Michele. Torcello. Burano.

Murano. Islands:

    . The Venetian Lagoon. The Bridge of Sighs.

    Rialto Bridge. Accademia. La Fenice opera house. The Arsenal.

    Other churches. Basilica di San Marco. Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum. Ca' Rezzonico.

    Ca' d'Oro. Palazzo Grassi. Doge's Palace. Piazza San Marco.

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