Ali­son Moyet

Pride Life Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Now Alf is back with a bril­liantly re­ceived new al­bum, The Min­utes, and a tour about to get un­der way. She talked to Si­mon Gage about why she gets on with les­bians, why she would never be pho­tographed in a bikini, and why she loves a bump­ing grind­ing mid­dle-aged Madonna.

You must have been so pleased with re­ac­tions to your al­bum.

It was bril­liant! It’s al­ways fan­tas­tic but now I’m at that place where I gen­uinely don’t ex­pect any­thing. That’s not a “poor me” be­cause I’ve had a de­cent quota and I feel very for­tu­nate that I can still make a liv­ing at singing but I have no ex­pec­ta­tions so any­thing nice that hap­pens, I’m re­ally de­lighted about it.

You were fa­mously reclu­sive. Are you en­joy­ing the at­ten­tion now?

Well, it’s a dif­fer­ent kind of at­ten­tion now. It’s not based on the fact that peo­ple have seen me on telly. The at­ten­tion I get now is from peo­ple who have con­nected with the piece of work I’ve done. What I don’t get now is that thing of walk­ing down the street and get­ting gangs of kids chas­ing after me, so yes, I like it much bet­ter.

You have a lot of gay fans, don’t you?

They’ve al­ways been bril­liant but one of the things I’ve al­ways re­ally liked about it is that they’ve al­ways been happy to do that jour­ney with me. You get some peo­ple who are very fix­ated on cer­tain pe­ri­ods of your ca­reer, but my hard-core are mostly gay and they’re very open to mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ences.

And you did Brighton Pride… be­cause that’s your new home town!

It’s di­verse and I love that. I would say the majority of my mates are gay and I won­der why that is. There’s some­thing about les­bians that re­minds me more of the women of my grow­ing up. I feel a greater kind of kin­ship, a greater level of un­der­stand­ing than with that very girlie - not that there’s any­thing wrong with girlie - but with that very high-main­te­nance world.

It’s funny how that world has taken over. Can you imag­ine any­one ask­ing you or Bana­narama to go down to bra and pants for a mag­a­zine back in the day?

If any­one had asked me that would have been a funny con­cept but ab­so­lutely! We had come out of this pe­riod where girls were wan and silent and we fought against that. There is an el­e­ment with some women in pop where the an­gle re­cently has been re­ally sex-cen­tric and they’re still us­ing the same tools women were ever al­lowed.

How do you feel about Madonna, who’s just a bit older than you, still do­ing the sex thing?

I’m a girl that came up through the 70s and dur­ing that time women were pulling away from be­ing sex­ual ob­jects. I still have this old hat on. Per­son­ally, I like Madonna more as a mid­dle-aged act than I did as a young­ster. The early stuff I didn’t con­nect with it. I ad­mire the fact that she’s a mid­dle-aged woman hold­ing on to what she wants to do. You can’t knock her for that. We make dif­fer­ent choices but I think I’m a bit too much of a fem­i­nist to ever get too much kit off.

If you hang around with les­bians, have you ever had any les­bian ex­pe­ri­ences?

Have I ever had any les­bian ex­pe­ri­ences? I’m not go­ing there about my sex life be­cause it ends up ev­ery­where but what I would say is that I’ve been with the same per­son for 25 years and that’s who I am. Re­gard­less of what my sex­u­al­ity is, you choose a part­ner and then you make it work. It’s ir­rel­e­vant what sex­u­al­ity you are. It’s about are you on the mar­ket­place. And I’m not on the mar­ket­place.

You’ve been quite vo­cal about gay mar­riage on Twit­ter, haven’t you?

Yes, ab­so­lutely. It just makes per­fect sense for me. For one, why are peo­ple busy­ing them­selves in another per­son’s con­sent­ing re­la­tion­ships, re­gard­less of their sex­u­al­ity? Se­condly, you’re talk­ing about love and you’re talk­ing about com­mit­ment and you’re talk­ing about mak­ing peo­ple feel like they are part of a com­mu­nity and why shouldn’t a gay cou­ple make the same com­mit­ment to each other as a straight cou­ple does? I find it of­fen­sive that any­one feels they have the right to marginalise another sec­tion of so­ci­ety.

So, do you hang around with any­one from back in the day?

I never hung around with any­one even then. I did my set and I’d go home. There were peo­ple you’d say hello to like Tracey Thorne and Boy George but none of them I hung out with. All the peo­ple I hung out with in the 80s were peo­ple from school.

What about Vince (Clarke, her Ya­zoo col­lab­o­ra­tor)?

I saw him at the re­union in 2008 and that was lovely be­cause when we split up it was quite ac­ri­mo­nious. I was re­ally ag­gres­sive and he was re­ally pas­sive-ag­gres­sive and when we met up in 2008 he’d be­come happy and had re­ally light­ened up and I dis­cov­ered that he was a re­ally funny guy and I was far less com­bat­ive and we had a re­ally lovely time to­gether. The fact that he lives in Amer­ica and I live in Eng­land means there’s no op­por­tu­nity to take that any­where but the point is we were able to see each other and ac­knowl­edge that we had been re­ally for­tu­nate to­gether. With­out Vince I wouldn’t be here to­day and I’m re­ally grate­ful for that.

You’re big friends with Dawn French, aren’t you?

Oh, she’s my dar­ling. I met her when I was 21. I was very well known and she was up and com­ing and I met her at one of the very rare par­ties I went to,

“My hard-core fans are mostly gay and they’re very open to mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ences”

stand­ing in the cor­ner and she came up to me and teased me out like a curl and just gave me her time. Con­se­quently, she’s one of my great dar­lings. One of the great loves of my life. Ev­ery­one loves her and for good rea­son: she’s one of the most gen­er­ous, most in­clu­sive peo­ple I know. She treats ev­ery­one the same and I love that about her.

The Min­utes by Ali­son Moyet is out now on Cook­ing Vinyl and Ali­son is cur­rently tour­ing the UK Go to: al­ison­

“Gay mar­riage just makes per­fect sense for me… I find it of­fen­sive that any­one feels they have the right to marginalise another sec­tion of so­ci­ety”

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