Cover Reveal!

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As we enter Autumn, I am delighted to reveal the cover for The 80s Annual vol. II. Designed by the incredibly talented Natalie Owen, with photography by Tania Hoser, and featuring the gorgeous Kat Crawley, the cover embraces the bright, fun times of my favourite decade. I love it!

The 80s Annual vol. II will be published in November. Watch this space …

Cover Design

 

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Much Moore Than The Competition

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As I sat at the table on Saturday afternoon, waiting for my cup of tea, I became aware that I was in a situation many ladies of a certain age would envy. The reason for this was that the man doing the honours in the kitchen was former Brother Beyond and Worlds Apart frontman, Nathan Moore. I met the singer ahead of his performance at a 48 Hour Party Weekend at Camber Sands, East Sussex, to discuss his memories of my favourite decade, for my next book ‘More Eighties’.

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Nathan and me after the interview

Looking remarkably youthful for his 51 years,  Nathan recalled his time fronting one of the most popular boy bands of the late Eighties, and talked about being invited to dinner by Madonna, the band’s rivalry with Bros, and the impact Stock, Aitken and Waterman had on Brother Beyond. You’ll be able to read about this and more, when the book is released early next year, as well as Nathan’s thoughts on being part of the increasingly popular 80’s circuit.

I asked Nathan what material he will be performing later that evening.

“I like to give them what they want,” he answers, before surprising me by continuing “I’ll give them ‘Living on A Prayer’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. It’s about having a rocking night. That’s what they’re here for. That’s why I don’t do obscure album tracks from Brother Beyond, because the evening would just go a bit flat.”

I am intrigued by the idea of one of pop’s pin-ups channelling his inner rockstar, and can’t wait to see his performance.

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Nathan about to go on stage

Later that evening, as I make my way through the venue to meet Nathan backstage, I have no doubt that he has read the crowd well. There appears to be an Ancient History theme to the fancy dress being worn, with Centurions and Egyptian Hieroglyphs mingling with crowds of toga-wearing partygoers, all ready for a fun Saturday night. Unfortunately, the act Nathan has to follow is an Elton John tribute, with a penchant for performing tracks such as ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Candle In The Wind’. The subdued set was better suited to a mellow Sunday afternoon. It was going to be no mean feat whipping up this audience into a frenzy. However, whip it Mr. Moore did – and then some!

Opening with ‘Be My Twin’, and performing an eclectic mix of songs which, as well as the rock tracks, included ‘Footloose’, fellow Hit Factory performer Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up and a cheeky rendition of Bros’s ‘I Owe You Nothing’, alongside Brother Beyond hits ‘The Harder I Try’ and ‘He Ain’t No Competition’, the singer delivered a set that not only proved his versatility, but had the crowd going wild.

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Driving ’em wild!

An on-stage remark that people in Camber Sands didn’t appear to be as raucous as those he had encountered the week before in Southport, soon saw Nathan in receipt of a bra, thrown at him with gusto. This was followed by lots of grabbing by the women in the front two rows, whenever he ventured towards the stage barriers, which was often. Like I said before, he knows his audience and just how to please them.

Talking of which, I mustn’t neglect to mention what was, for me, the highlight of his set, a cover of Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’, the perfect showcase for Nathan’s vocal talents, and conclusive proof that he is so much more than a pretty face in a boy band. Oh, and he makes a lovely cuppa too!

PopMaster and Paul Young

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One of the simple pleasures in my life is listening to Popmaster on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show. Having listened to the quiz for a few years, I woke up one Thursday morning last year and thought I would give it a go. I have heard stories of listeners trying for years to get on the show, so you can imagine my surprise when my call was answered first time. Even more amazing was answering the qualifying questions correctly, then receiving a call shortly afterwards, to say that I would be contestant number two!

I was fortunate that the questions fell right for me and, with 27 points, I beat my opponent. Next, I had to face the dreaded “3 in 10”. As anyone who has ever listened to Popmaster knows, naming three hit singles, by a particular artist, in ten seconds is no mean feat. Often, the first two roll off the tongue, but the elusive thir60430_10200443890851413_1250397547_nd title remains unspoken. Luckily, I had to name three hit singles by Paul Young. A fan of his since “Wherever I Lay My Hat” charted in 1983, I named that track, “Love Of The Common People” and my favourite song of his, “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down”. The digital radio was mine!

This post gives me the opportunity to share the montage of photos I took a when Paul Young played at an Eighties’ weekend in 2010, set to my favourite (and winning!) track: