On Board With Radio Cabin

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You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Herne Bay’s Radio Cabin. I was in the studio to talk about my latest book ‘More Eighties’ on the Thursday evening Fishy & Chippy Show. When we came off air, it was suggested that I host a weekly 80’s show for the NoI-fIM5_400x400station, and I am delighted to announce that from Thursday 8th June I will be doing exactly that.

Following hot on the heels of my DJ pals Fishy & Chippy, the My 80s Radio Show will go out every Thursday from 9pm to 11pm. Those in the Herne Bay area can tune in old school style on 94.6 FM, whereas those further afield can listen online via the Radio Cabin website.

I am currently working on the playlist for the first show, and requests can be sent to me in a number of ways. Contact me via the station’s email: studio@radiocabin.co.uk, Facebook and Twitter pages or through my own Twitter account: @MyEighties using the hashtag #My80s. I have also set up a Facebook page for the show @My80sRadioShow, so come and give us a ‘like’ and a track request.

There are no request rules other than songs must be from the Eighties but, even then, if it can be tenuously linked to the decade, a particularly good tune could still get on the show. Yes, that may well be my way of ensuring some of my favourite releases from The Jam and The Specials get played!

Without giving too much away, the show will include a couple of special request features, and there are also interviews planned with some lovely 80’s artists who have agreed to have a chat with me. During the show, I will be on social media so listen in, let me know what you think and let’s have some proper 80’s fun. Roll on 8th June!

 

 

The Week That Was

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It has been quite a week, with the publication of More 20170516_122253Eighties on Tuesday, a radio interview on Thursday, a gig on Friday, and throughout all of that trying to learn the art of vlogging – no mean feat for a Luddite whose technical prowess peaked at the vertically split black and white TV screen, when adjusting the tracking on our Betamax video recorder!

As I mentioned in my last post, I marked the new book’s launch with a celebratory lunch with some fabulous friends. While we were in Dover, I visited Banksy’s latest offering and could not resist a little step up the ladder. I also recorded one of my vlogs there, which you can see below, along with the one I recorded at the gig featuring Jona Lewie and The Blockheads. All my vlog posts are available via my  YouTube channel or my website, which also includes the link to the recording of my radio interview. Enjoy …

 

Ladies That Launch

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Tomorrow sees the launch of the third and final book in my trilogy on 80’s popular culture, More Eighties. Available in paperback or kindle version, the book exCover imageplores how the decade provided a backdrop against which creativity and individuality flourished, the social and political factors which shaped the music of a generation, the changing role and influence of record companies, and why the era remains a golden age for so many of us.

Reflecting the diversity of the UK charts during that time, More Eighties offers recollections, insights and observations from those at the forefront of British music during the most exciting, transitional period in its history, and features interviews with David Ball (Soft Cell), Martyn Ware (Heaven 17), Dave Wakeling (The Beat), Pauline Black (The Selecter), Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction) Rusty Egan (Visage), Jona Lewie, Suzi Quatro, Junior Giscombe, Ian Donaldson (H2O), Karel Fialka, Andy Kyriacou (Modern Romance) and Nathan Moore (Brother Beyond), along with a foreword and commentary by Peter Coyle, former lead singer of the Lotus Eaters, songwriter, and the man responsible for introducing karaoke to the city of Liverpool, completing the eclectic mix. Having recently received and read his copy, Peter remarked that More Eighties “is a gem of a book”. I hope you will think so too.

To mark the book’s release, I will be having a celebratory ‘launch lunch’ tomorrow with friends, whose support has been invaluable during the writing of More Eighties, followed by more radio interviews later in the week. Details and photos to follow on social media.

Books & Bank Holiday Treats

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The final book in my trilogy on Eighties’ popular culture ‘More Eighties’, out on 16th May, is now available for pre-order. See my website for more details. Those of you pre-ordering the Kindle version this weekend may also want to add ‘Your Eighties’ to your basket as it will be FREE for the entire bank holiday weekend (29th April to 1st May). There is no need to miss out if you haven’t got a Kindle. Simply download the Kindle conversion app to read ‘Your Eighties’ on PC, Mac and mobile.

Have a great weekend!

More Eighties

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Few authors will confess to having a favourite amongst their own books. It’s almost an unspoken rule that such an admission is akin to admitting to having a favourite child. (On the off-chance either of my kids are reading this, I love you both the same!) However, with the forthcoming publication of my next book, I can show no such impartiality in my work, as this has been the most interesting, rewarding and fun to research and write.

The final book in my trilogy on Eighties’ popular culture, More Eighties will be published by Fabrian Books on 16th May, 2017. Featuring interviews with Eighties’ artists including Dave Ball, Martyn Ware, Pauline Black, Dave Wakeling, Eddi ReadCoverer, Suzi Quatro, Rusty Egan, Jona Lewie, Junior Giscombe and Nathan Moore, the book explores how the decade provided a backdrop against which creativity and individuality flourished.  The role and influence of the record companies is also examined, along with a look at why music from the era has not only endured but grown in popularity.

In addition to contributing his insights, anecdotes and recollections of the Eighties, former Lotus Eaters lead singer Peter Coyle has written the foreword for More Eighties, perfectly capturing the core of the book’s objective. Another reason this book is top of my list.

I will keep you posted about details such as when it becomes available for pre-order and outlets, but I am happy to be able to reveal the cover for More Eighties today. Look out for it coming your way soon.

 

 

A Heavenly Exclusive!

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Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martyn Ware. With an extensive and impressive career in music, from his early work in The Human League to creating soundscapes via Illustrious, a company he formed with Vince Clarke in 2001, Martyn knows a thing or two about what makes good music. Now, while you will have to wait until April, when More Eighties is published, to discover what it was like for him working with Tina Turner and why he is now warming to Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s output in the Eighties (yep, you really did just read that!), I can reveal a little ‘exclusive’ which came up during our chat.

I had asked the BEF founder member about his inspiration for pushing musical boundaries and continuing to innovate. He told me “We’ve created a new track with Heaven 17, which nobody’s heard yet, which will be coming out soon, called ‘Clouds Or Mountains’. Where we’ve been experimenting with Heaven 17, it sounds amazing. With Glenn Gregory’s voice, it sounds like Scott Walker. That’s an exclusive.” h17

I ask if that have a release date yet.

“No, we’ve got to discuss it. We’ve got a special deal going with Bowers & Wilkins. They’ve got this thing called Society of Sound, where they release high definition audio. They’ve got this subscription thing where you subscribe and every month they send you an album digitally, in the highest possible format. It’s downloadable for a month and then that’s it, it’s gone. This is going to be their February one. It’s like a work in progress version of the new album, so it includes all the existing singles. It’ll be on their service for a month and then it’s gone, until we release the album.”

The concept of providing a limited availability teaser for fans is one which appeals to Martyn, as a remedy to the constant influx of music which now prevails.

“There’s no wait nowadays. You can stream everything everywhere. I read today that Prince’s entire output is going to be available on all the streaming services from February 16th. That’s like about a hundred hours of stuff. It’s just ridiculous.”

However, there’s nothing ridiculous about wanting to hear the latest Heaven 17 material. Society of Sound, here I come!

 

Nu Shooz Have It In The Bag

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Whilst I will always be an 80’s girl (some may say a technology laggard) at heart, there are certain aspects of the 21st century I positively embrace. One of those is Skype or, as I prefer to think of it, the everyday manifestation of the videophones we were promised during my favourite decade. Invaluable when meeting in person is not possible, due to time or geographical constraints, Skype has come to my rescue on a number occasions. Last Thursday was one such time.

As much as I would have loved to hop across the pond to visit Portland, Oregon, home to Valerie Day and John Smith of Nu Shooz, I have still to win the lottery in order to fund such a trip. So, when the opportunity came to interview the husband and wife team, whose 1986 No. 2 hit “I Can’t Wait” spent 11 weeks in the UK Top 40, Skype it was.

Bag Town - Nu Shooz

Back performing live after a 25 year hiatus, and with their album “Bag Town” released earlier this year, there was plenty to discuss. We covered topics from musical influences to 80’s fashion mistakes, creative inspiration to favourite tracks on the album, all of which will appear in my next book, More Eighties. Some of the content from our interview will also appear in another publication on which I have been working. Watch this space…

In the meantime, it really is worth checking out the latest offering from the band. A fusion of R&B, Jazz and Latino influences, “Bag Town” holds a wide appeal, with touches of Shakatak, Janet Janet and Gloria Estefan, yet remaining creatively unique. Anyone in search of  fantastic sax need look no further than “The Real Thing”, the first single from the album, whilst “Way Outside” brings a hint of Hip-Hop to the R&B mix, to give a track straight out of an 80’s disco. For me, the best was saved for last in the track listing with “The Rail I Ride”, a beautiful blend of acoustic guitar, harmonies and the soulful purity of Valerie’s vocal. A truly gorgeous song.

For your copy of Bag Town, visit http://www.nushoozmusic.com/