Soft Cell and Blackpool musician Dave Ball reveals the stories behind the synth pop act's first album in 20 years Happiness Not Included and delight to be back on UK tour this November to celebrate 40 years in music. Here's the dates and tickets details

Soft Cell and Blackpool musician Dave Ball said the group’s new album – scheduled for next year – has proven “life affirming” for the electric synth pop duo – and said he loved working with frontman and friend Marc Almond again.
Soft Cell will be on tour in the north west next month with a date at Manchester ApolloSoft Cell will be on tour in the north west next month with a date at Manchester Apollo
Soft Cell will be on tour in the north west next month with a date at Manchester Apollo

Happiness Not Included will be the fifth Soft Cell studio album in 41 years and the first new record in 20, since Cruelty Without Beauty.

The pop act will also be back on the road from next month for a UK tour celebrating four decades in the industry.

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The 62-year-old former Arnold School pupil said working on the album was a real shift to addressing grown-up issues without being overly pessimistic.

He said: ‘There’s a lot of soul-searching and questioning;. Marc and I are in our 60s so singing a silly teenybop song wouldn’t feel right.

“But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re not ranting as the last thing people want to hear right now is a couple of angry old men. This is a very melodic record. It’s reflective but also life-affirming.”

Dave said the new album’s inventive, varied arrangements are the product of over four decades of recording experience which began as a youngster growing up in the resort. “My technical ability has improved over the years,” he explained.

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“‘I’ve learnt from working with other musicians and you can hear that on this album. The sound is rich but also minimalist. I’ve learnt not to make things too complicated.”

Dave and Marc played a sell-out show before 20,000 fans at The O2 in September 2018. Billed as One Night: One Final Time, it was seen by all and sundry as a grand


The pair originally went their separate ways in 1984 before reuniting for two years in the early 2000s to make Cruelty Without Beauty.

During a rollercoaster career, Soft Cell secured three top 10 albums and six top 10 singles, including 1981’s all-conquering Tainted Love.

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Dave added: “Marc and I might seem like chalk and cheese in terms of our personalities but it’s amazing how much we have in common once we get together.

“There’s an overall sound and feel we both love. It’s a mixture of fantasy and social commentary – a fascination with the darker side.

“We look under the carpet. We find the skeletons in the cupboard.”

When will Soft Cell be on tour?

The synth pop pioneers will perform the classic album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret in full for the first time at the shows, as well as debuting material from their first new album in 20 years, ‘*Happiness Not Included’

They will playing at:

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Glasgow O2 Academy on November 10; Manchester O2 Apollo on November 12; Leeds O2 Academy on Saturday November 13 and London Hammersmith Apollo on Monday November 15 and Tuesday November 16.

"Soft Cell, however electronic, were bred of rainy old England; just as Ziggy Stardust (so Bowie remarked himself) contained more than a drop of Woolworths; and Trojan and Leigh Bowery... will seem to have as much to do with crisps as loving the alien. Which sharpened the edge of these things: a vital coarseness adding muscle and intensity, deepening and validating the weirdness, connecting to the sweat, mechanics and showbiz graft of rock and roll..." Michael Bracewell (in his new book, 'Souvenir')

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