Last Friday saw me on my annual pilgrimage to Butlins, Bognor for a weekend of 80’s music, fun and frolics. I had arranged to interview Clive Jackson, lead singer of Dr. & The Medics, later that evening, but it was by pure chance that I became aware of his arrival on site.
The balcony of our hotel room (I once made the mistake of staying in the “cheap seats” – never again!) overlooked the vehicle entrance to the park, offering a great vantage point for people watching. I was on the balcony, bemoaning the fact that the 2 hour spa session we’d just finished (it’s a hard life, I know) had made my hair return to its natural, huge, wild 80’s style state, when a car pulled up to the entrance barrier. The driver had hair bigger and wilder than my own and, even without his make-up, was instantly recognisable as the Doctor. Can you see where one oversized hairdo ends and the other begins in this photo???
We met after the band came off stage, which gave me chance to see their performance first. I hadn’t known what to expect. It was a safe bet that “Spirit In The Sky” would be played at the end, but what about the rest of the set? A fabulous diversity of songs was the answer.Fronting a line up of the Angelow brothers (Dan and Matt) on guitar, Jon Randle (bass), Ade Hill (drums), Melissa Weekes (vocals) and Wenda-Kate Randle (band dancer – think of a Gothic, corset-wearing version of Bez!), Dr. Jackson delivered an impressive performance on a variety of tracks, including “Proud Mary”, “The Ace of Spades” and their current single, a cover of Dead Or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”. Not only was every song musically and vocally superb, the band looked like they were having a great time too. The fun continued backstage…
As I entered the band’s dressing room, I could hear a strange noise. “What’s up?” asked Clive. “Haven’t you ever seen a Dalek being deflated before?” I then noticed the stage prop slowly shrivelling in one corner of the room. It was a bizarre start to what has to have been one of the funniest, and definitely funnest, interviews I’ve undertaken. It became a real group effort, with contributions from all band members, especially when I asked what had been Clive’s worst fashion mistake of the 80s. The answer will appear in “Your Eighties”, to be published later this year, and will leave you with an inerasable image in your mind!
Until then, I shall leave you with the band’s latest video. Enjoy.