Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Forgotten Pop Stars: Leilani

Obscure and/or forgotten about pop stars are one of my favourite things in the world. THE WORLD. That's why I've decided to add a new regular feature to this blog, where I pick from the huge list I've compiled and feature one of these long-forgotten gems of the music world.

My first pick? LEILANI.
Yep, in 1999, Leilani happened. Clad in fishnets and goggles, for a short time, she would regularly show up on the likes of CD:UK and Top Of The Pops. She was briefly signed to ZTT and released three of the most magnificent pop songs of all time, the first of which was Madness Thing.
I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate the lyrical genius within this song - "When your boyfriend comes home early to find you sucking on a Curly Wurly; don't you just hate the madness of it all?"


"When your baby's just been born, when the nun has just been shorn; don't you just love the madness of it all?"


"When your boobies are too small, and when your boyfriend is too tall; don't you just hate the madness of it all?"

The real madness of it all was that this song entered and peaked at only Number 19, while its follow-up (and my personal favourite Leilani song) Do You Want Me only reached Number 40.
A third single, Flying Elvis, was released, before Leilani seemingly evaporated from the world.
Contain your jealousy, but before disappearing, Leilani toured with Boyzone and I got to witness her magic in the flesh. Tragically, despite recording a full album, no full-length was ever released. I've come across people on forums who have somehow acquired it, but for now, I'm left with a Curly Wurly shaped hole in my life.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Adam Ant + UK Feds - Sage, Gateshead

After last years Dirk Wears White Socks anniversary tour, Adam Ant is touring again, this time in celebration of his Kings of the Wild Frontier album.
Tonight's opening band was The Police tribute band The Clash tribute band UK Feds. They played well and interacted with the crowd, but honestly, I'm just not a fan. Maybe it was what sounded like a forced Jamaican accent from the vocalist, who has clearly fallen victim to White Reggae Voice syndrome (I just made that condition up right now). Maybe it was the way they came across as a middle-class stage production about Teh Punx. Or maybe it was just the uninspired, by-the-numbers formula the band seem to have stuck to religiously when writing their songs.

ANYWAY. Onwards and upwards...
Adam Ant took to the stage with his band, launching straight into KOTWF's opening track Dog Eat Dog. Having two drummers is pivotal to the album's sound, and this was, of course, recreated live by Ant's current drummers, Andy Woodward and Jola.

While last years DWWS was, visually, a no-frills affair fitting of the album's art work, there is no shortage of colour this time around (perhaps reflecting the stark contrast of KOTWF's colourful album cover to its predecessor?). Every song was accompanied by bright lights of varying colours, with Don't Be Square (Be There) being particularly enhanced by this addition.

After playing through KOTWF in full, Ant played a mix of older material, picking from both his solo and Ants back-catalogues. It was a great mix of crowd-pleasing hits, like Goody Two Shoes, Prince Charming and Stand and Deliver, alongside album tracks and b-sides like Zerox, Lady and Car Trouble.

The energy of Ant and his band never faltered throughout the set, despite playing for almost two hours. The night was brought to a close with an encore of T-Rex's Get In On, and Physical. Let's hope for a Prince Charming tour next!