I’m Buzzing Off To Mad Wasp Radio!

Standard

For the past eleven weeks, I have been broadcasting My 80s  Radio Show on Thursday nights between 9 and 11pm on Radio Cabin. I will continue to 1016;677;66a3b2980a8616f1bb7365a7c383d0ec858367dbdo so for the next fortnight and then the show is moving to Mad Wasp Radio, where I shall be rubbing headphones with the likes of Steve Blacknell and Garry Bushell.

The show will retain its Thursday evening time slot, as well as regular features Monster Mash Up, Back On Track and Word Up. I also have an array of special guests lined up to choose their Favourite Five 80’s tracks, I will continue to tweet throughout the show on #My80s, and all shows will be uploaded to Mixcloud once they have aired. The only real difference is where you will listen to the show, i.e. the station with a sting in its tail!

Mad Wasp Radio officially launches on 8th September, and the first My 80s will air on Thursday 14th September at 9pm. My final show for Radio Cabin goes out on Thursday 31st August, and will be a farewell to the station party, so get those requests for cheesy, fun tunes coming in. Email me: my80s@radiocabin.co.uk, post on the show’s Facebook page or tweet me @MyEighties using #My80s. You can also use Facebook and Twitter to send me your requests for the show’s launch on Mad Wasp. It’s going to be buzzing!

 

Advertisements

The Only Way Is Nub

Standard

Tonight sees the launch of Nub TV, an hour long show “aimed at the 40 plus audience who are being starved of the music they love”. Hosted by TV veteran Steve Blacknell, it airs at 10pm on Sky 212, Freesat 161, Freeview 254 and globally online at Showcase TV. Joining Steve in the Millbank studios over the next few weeks will be an array of familiar faces from the Seventies and Eighties, including Joan Armatrading,  Leee John, Rick Buckler and the first show’s special guests John Otway and John Altman. Add to that the lovably eccentric house band The Pocket Gods, a selection of the latest video releases and a small but perfectly formed studio audience, and you have the ideal way to round off your weekend’s television viewing.

I was invited to appear as a guest on the programme, alongside Eighties’ favourites Owen Paul and Junior Giscombe. Our show, which airs on 27th November, was fantastic fun to record as you can see from the photos below. Knowing the music, chat and laughs that are in our show, I can’t wait to see tonight’s debut broadcast.

Photos: cjansenphotography.com

 

 

 

 

Launch Time

Standard

A London launch party at the Vinyl Bar, hosted by TV presenter Steve Blacknell, celebrated the release of The 80’s Annual on 1st November. Guests including Jona Lewie, John Otway, Owen Paul, Modern Romance’s Andy Kyriacou and Department S joined me in an evening of nostalgia, as features from the annual were shared against a backdrop of some of the decade’s best music videos.

Huge thanks to everyone who came to the event and made it such a success.

 

Buy your copy of The 80’s Annual from the Book Depository, Amazon, Waterstones and independent book stores.

Announcing The 80’s Annual

Standard

After months of researching and writing, today I can finally reveal the project on which I have been working. The 80’s Annual is a fun mix of everything we loved back in the day, combined with news and views from 80’s artists on 2016 and beyond. As a huge fan of the decade, I have endeavoured to put together something I would want to read, so I’m hoping it will appeal to all you 80’s fans too.

Here’s the publis1980s annual cover (2)her’s blurb to tell you a bit more about it:

A full-colour retrospective of the year, with more than a nod to the teenage magazines of the era, The 80’s Annual embodies the excitement felt by the generation who grew up receiving an annual at Christmas. Featuring celebrity commentary on 80’s popular culture, 20 Question interviews, Top Tens, with contributions from Bruce Foxton, The Selecter, Johnny Hates Jazz, Musical Youth, Londonbeat, Then Jerico, Phil Fearon, Brother Beyond, Modern Romance, John Parr, Paul Hardcastle, Hazell Dean, Steve Blacknell, Garry Bushell, Matthew Rudd and more. Not forgetting the obligatory cheesy photo story, 80’s fiction, crosswords, puzzles, and quizzes including Lyrically Challenged, Pop Quiz and Which 80’s Group Are You? The 80’s Annual offers the perfect combination of nostalgia and new. A great read for every adult 80’s child. Going back to the 80s has never been so much fun!

The 80’s Annual will be published by New Haven Publishing on 1st November, and is currently available for pre-order from Waterstones.

 

 

The Live Aid Legacy

Standard

As a teenager in the mid-Eighties, I kept a diary from 1984 to 1986, recording in great detail the minutiae of daily life. Having recently stumbled across these journals, I have taken great delight in reliving the past of my youth. From watching “Morons From Outer Space” at the cinema on a Good Friday, to the changing shape of my favourite magazine: “Got my copy of Smash Hits, which was smaller than usual”; from drinking Martini and lemonade on a school trip to Germany, to the weather: “It’s very, very hot today, and I’m absolutely sweating buckets!”, every aspect of my teenage life had been documented in scrawly blue ink.

A self-confessed obsessive of Eighties’ culture, particularly the music of the decade, I was intrigued to see what I had scribbled as my entry for Saturday 13th July, 1985, when the “show that rocked the world” took place. Thirty years on, I can still remember the excitement I felt when I woke up the morning of Live Aid. This was going to be a show unlike any other, and I happily gave up the opportunity to top up my tan (unheard of for my teenage self), to sit in front of the TV in a darkened room. Excitedly turning the diary pages, in expectation of the lists of artists and their performances I had undoubtedly noted, along with long-forgotten titbits such as what colour over-sized bow Paula Yates had worn in her hair, I arrived at the relevant page. This is what I had written:

“I’ve been watching Live Aid all day. It’s 9.07 at the moment and I’ve seen all of it apart from 1½ hours which I taped [using our Betamax top-loading video recorder] and it’s all been really good. I aim to stay up until 4 o’clock tomorrow morning to watch the end of it.”

I cannot convey the disappointment I felt at my lacklustre description of a day that has held such a special place in my heart for the past three decades. Why hadn’t I written about the incongruity of seeing Charles and Diana’s stilted participation, as Status Quo opened the concert? Where was my rave review of Freddie Mercury’s fantastic performance with Queen, and reminiscences of how he had played up to the cameraman? What about the bit when Bob Geldof swore and told us to “give me your money!”? Surely I had noted that somewhere. Then, I realised that I had. The memories may not have made it to paper but, in my head, they were as fresh as the day they were made. Unlike those who make the mistake today of viewing a gig through their mobile ‘phones, and fail to enjoy the moment because they are too busy recording the event for posterity, I had mentally absorbed every last note and nuance of that day. This became even more apparent to me a few weeks ago.

I had interviewed 80’s TV presenter Steve Blacknell for my next book, “Your Eighties”. Some of you will remember Steve for his interview of Phil Collins during their transatlantic trip on Concorde, which enabled the Genesis frontman to make music history, by becoming the only musician to play at both Live Aid venues (Wembley Stadium in London, then JFK Stadium in Philadelphia). Whilst transcribing my interview with Steve, I tried in vain to find video footage of his ground-breaking Live Aid interview. I couldn’t understand why all I was able to find was the audio recording, set to video footage of Concorde flying through the clouds. After all, the image of Steve wearing one of his trademark gaudy shirts, whilst chatting away to Mr. Collins, was so vivid in my mind. Then, it suddenly hit me. My mind was the only place I would find that image. The technology for live, televised broadcasts from Concorde did not exist in 1985. The little video tape I was replaying was solely in my mind’s eye.

So, whilst it may be that celebrations of Live Aid’s 30th anniversary are somewhat more subdued than I believe such an event deserves, it lives on in the hearts and minds of a generation. Alongside the preceding Band Aid single in November 1984, Live Aid created a worldwide consciousness and responsibility for matters further afield than your own doorstep. It brought awareness to the masses, and made people believe that they could make a difference. Live Aid’s legacy lives on in ongoing charity fundraisers such as Comic Relief and Sports Aid, which have become a familiar and instantly recognisable means of raising money. So much so, that those too young to remember Live Aid may wonder just what all the fuss is about. Today, charity and entertainment form a reciprocal partnership, in which many are keen and happy to participate. A partnership that has its foundations in Live Aid, and the incredible performances it produced.

There was the battle of the big voices in Paul Young and Alison Moyet’s duet of the Marvin Gaye classic “That’s The Way Love Is”, not to mention the strut-off between Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, during their performance of “State of Shock”. Then we had Hollywood legends like Jack Nicholson, taking on cameo roles to introduce rock royalty, The Who. Not forgetting the all-star line up on stage at the Wembley finale, with David Bowie, George Michael, Sting and Paul Weller just a few of the Eighties’ finest singers joining Midge Ure and Bob Geldof to perform “Feed The World”. Just thinking about the day has made me want to see those performances again. Now, there’s an idea for a fundraising compilation DVD…

Back To Blacknell

Standard

Some memories remain as clear as the day they were made. One such recollection I have dates back to 13th July, 1985. A blistering hot, sunny day, one which I would have normally spent topping up my tan, was spent sat in front  of the television, watching the musical extravaganza that was Live Aid. You can imagine my excitement last week, when I got to interview someone who had been an integral part of that historical occasion.

Steve Blacknell, TV presenter of the BBC’s “Riverside” and  “Breakfast Time” during the Eighties, was the man who got to interview Phil Collins during his transatlantic flight on Concorde. The flight enabled CollinsMusicBoxSteveBlacknell to perform on both Live Aid stages, Wembley Stadium in London, and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Although the live radio broadcast of the interview was barely audible in parts, as a 14 year old girl, obsessed with the music industry, I was mesmerised by the apparent glamour of the event. Steve recalls the reality of his trip across the pond as being in stark contrast to my imaginings. You will have to wait until the full interview is published in my next book, “Your Eighties”, for the details. However, with a view on everything from Mike Score’s haircut (Steve was responsible for signing A Flock of Seagulls to Jive Records in 1981) to Bruce Springsteen: “a pub singer”, I can assure you that Steve’s candour in all his responses, means the wait will be well worth it.

Steve is currently working on his autobiography which, from the snippets I gleaned during our interview, promises to be a revelation in more ways than one. Having enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle in the Eighties, alongside some of the biggest names in entertainment, the expectation will be for some celebrity gossip. What most may not expect is the vulnerability of the man who, despite being surrounded by excess, won his battle with bulimia, and now uses his own experiences to help fellow sufferers. If the book offers only a fraction of Steve’s roller coaster life, I want a ticket to ride!

In the meantime, I will leave you with this little gem I found of Steve and Phil, as the pair are about to board the plane. Click Here to watch.