Always touched by your presence, dear

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SHE was an icon of New York punk in the 70s and also the ideal woman of many a young man’s dreams.

The name Debbie Harry conjured up images of bottle-blonde hair and decadence.

With her band, Blondie, she topped the charts for many years on both sides of the Atlantic and counted among her friends pop artist and experimental film-maker Andy Warhol.

Bursting onto the British music scene with hit single Denis in 1978, the UK public immediately took the five-piece band to their hearts.

The next single, (I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear, confirmed the band as a firm favourite with music lovers on both sides of the pond.

But it was not until 1979’s Heart of Glass that Blondie truly went global.

The unashamed disco pop nature of the single put some of the die-hards off and brought accusations of selling out, but when you have a worldwide hit on your hands, it can sure dull the pain of criticism.

Unfortunately, it was short-lived.

Pressures on the band, poor reviews for 1982’s album The Hunter, and jealousy over the press’s obsession with Debbie to the exclusion of the rest of the band was bad enough, but the diagnosis of fellow band founder and Harry’s partner Chris Stein with a life-threatening illness pushed Blondie too far and they split.

But, after a lukewarm solo career (her biggest hit being French Kissing in the USA), Harry and the chaps got back together in the mid 1990s.

Worth the price of admission just for the back catalogue alone, Blondie is set to play the SECC this coming Monday.

It’s an early set, 6.30pm, so be sure to get there sharpish.

Tickets cost between £30 and £35 from 0844 395 4000.