A TAUNTON synthpop club that was created to bring fans of 80s electronic music together after lockdown will host a live China Crisis concert next month.

Vocalist and keyboard player Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon will be performing a full set at Computer World, which hosts monthly club nights, on Saturday, July 30.

Computer World – which is named after Kraftwerk’s eighth studio album – has hosted local fans of the genre at The Lawns Social Club (Mary Street, Taunton) since August.

It was founded by Jeremy and Sharon Damsell, who had the idea to launch Computer World after creating a Facebook group for global fans of the decade’s synthpop sound.

The group, called The 1980s Synth World Cup, pits popular tracks against each other in a knockout-style tournament based on its members’ votes.

It now has around 7,300 members (including from as far away as Brazil and the United States) and established a sense of community Jeremy and Sharon felt could be recreated through in-person events in Taunton.  

Somerset County Gazette: Sharon and Jeremy Damsell founded Computer World after successfully launching an online community for synthpop fans.Sharon and Jeremy Damsell founded Computer World after successfully launching an online community for synthpop fans.

Jeremy said: “Computer World evolved out of a Facebook group I created during the first lockdown in 2020 – a pretty grim time for everyone. My thoughts began to turn to life post-pandemic and how we could bring people together.

“I’d managed to do that quite successfully via the Facebook group and I wanted to try and translate that into real life with the core focus being the genre of music that is perennially popular even now with so many classic bands and tracks.

“I thought, ‘I’ll be desperate for a night out, that’s for sure’, but I didn’t want to go all the way to Bristol or Exeter every once in a blue moon. Having chatted about it with Sharon, we decided to give a once-a-month club night a go locally.

“We were lucky enough to have access to The Lawns because Sharon used to live above it. It’s a great space with just the right capacity.”

Since holding their first club night, Computer World has built “a very loyal core group of regular attendees” and seen new members continue to join.

Jeremy and Sharon are even looking at expanding it into Devon.

Part of Computer World's charm is its ‘social tables’ for people looking to spark conversations or build new friendships at its club nights.

The tables have been used by people attending alone, couples who are new to the area, and clubgoers trying to increase their social circles.

The China Crisis gig marks Computer World’s first foray into hosting and promoting a live concert, made possible because one of the band's representatives was familiar with the 80s Synth World Cup community.

Somerset County Gazette: Computer World will host its monthly club night on June 25 before the China Crisis concert on July 30.Computer World will host its monthly club night on June 25 before the China Crisis concert on July 30.

“It’s a huge coup,” said Sharon, who recently watched the band perform in the north west with Jeremy.

“They were so engaging and they were so funny.

“It was an intimate gig in a pub in Chester and they had their core followers from Liverpool there.

“If they replicate that in Taunton, it won’t just be someone on a stage singing. For an hour-and-a-half, they chatted, they entertained and engaged, and they were really nice folk.”

Computer World could host more live acts in the future if the China Crisis gig is successful.

“We like to think that Taunton can get behind what we’re doing because, let’s face it, Taunton’s been off the touring maps for nationally known artists for a very long time,” said Jeremy.

“This is part of a drive to bring ‘legacy artists’ from the 80s and newer artists that have synth-based music at the heart of what they do into the town.”

Sharon added: “We love Taunton, we’ve always loved Taunton. We’re passionate about this town and if we can do something to bring people here, we will.”

China Crisis were founded in 1979 in Kirkby, Merseyside, are are currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut single ‘African and White’. 

Ahead of the Taunton concert, guitarist Eddie said: “There’s not many bands who can say that they have been together for over 40 years, and who are still gigging.

“After all this time we still get a kick from performing to a live audience and our fans are just the best!”

Singer Gary added: “There really is nothing like performing live. From April 2022 until the end of the year, we still have 109 gigs on the books, which includes a tour of the US and Canada.

“We’re also excited one of these will be in Taunton for a very special intimate gig.”

Somerset County Gazette: Computer World hosts its events at The Lawns in Taunton.Computer World hosts its events at The Lawns in Taunton.

China Crisis will perform for 200 people at The Lawns on Saturday, July 30.

The band’s set will be followed by the club’s synth disco, which is included in the ticket price (£25 plus Eventbrite fees of £2.54) and will run until 1am.

Before that, Computer World will host its next monthly club night at the same venue on Saturday, June 25, with first timers invited to attend for free.

For more information and to buy tickets for the China Crisis concert, click HERE.

To learn more about the June 25 club night, click HERE.