Harefield Gazette

Get ready for plenty of laughs and some smut

Expect songs, laughter and a big helping of mischief as Fascinatin­g Aida return to the stage


FASCINATIN­G Aida are back at last! Dillie Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman are out on tour and heading to Hayes tonight (Wednesday).

With a selection of old favourites, songs you haven’t heard before and some you wish you’d never heard in the first place. The songs are hilarious and topical - the glamour is unstoppabl­e.

With three Olivier Award nomination­s and over 25 million YouTube and Facebook hits for Cheap Flights and their incredibly rude Christmas song how can you possibly miss them?

Here Dillie Keane gives us the lowdown on what to expect from their show at the Beck Theatre tonight...

Tell us about your current show? What can audiences expect if they’ve never seen you live before?

Jeepers, I’ve never been able to describe our shows. However, I can say that the shows are very, very funny, highly topical and up to date – you can usually expect to hear mention of current news or ongoing scandals. People love our use of language which is, though I say it myself, complex and rich and, yes, occasional­ly enchanting­ly smutty. I was born in Portsmouth and I blame my rudeness on the sailors I frolicked with in my girlhood.

You founded the group in 1983, so next year FA will be 40 years young. How do you explain the longevity of your success?

Liza’s dad, who was THE television dramatist of his day, apparently used to say, “All you have to do is outlive them.” There have been times when past sopranos have left us for sunlit uplands when my spirit has been very low, and I have had to retire to a corner to lick my wounds, but I always quote a couple from Kipling’s “If ” to myself: “If you can see the things you gave your life to broken, Then stoop to build ‘em up with worn out tools;” And yes, I know the poem ends with “You’ll be a man, my son” and I have no problem with that in these gender fluid times. And I say to myself, “Head down, collar up, shoulders into the wind” and I just battle on.

How did you, Adèle and Liza cope under lock down? And for how long were you unable to perform?

We lost 13 dates off the end of the 2020 tour, and then three more full tours were cancelled. I didn’t miss performing nearly as much as I missed seeing shows and going to galleries. That, for me, was a special kind of purgatory - to be denied the joy of inputting culture. And my brother-in-law died, and my great friend and co-producer died. And then our labrador died. So I was very sad. I gardened, grew vegetables, and listened to a lot of books. I sent a message to Timothy West (our manager also represents him) to tell him he’d got me through lockdown - I listened to him reading 13 novels of Anthony Trollope. Utterly wonderful. But we were all very sad and it’s given us a special pleasure to get back together.

How do you write songs? Is it a collaborat­ive process?

It has become more collaborat­ive over the years. We attack very big subjects which can take days and days of research and discussion until we find out how to write about it. The Ofsted song took about three weeks to write, our new song about Wokeness took days of thinking and discussion.

Fascinatin­g Aïda are renowned for their dirty themes and rude language. Do you think it is ‘big and funny’ to swear?

It’s not so much that it’s big and funny to swear, more that it’s absolutely joyous when you produce an unexpected and possibly smutty image.

You tour a lot – do you enjoy it?

The day I stop touring will be a bad bad BAD day. One night stand touring is a dream, because you’re never anywhere long enough to get bored. Ideally, I’d like to be buried standing like the Roma. I adore being home and love my garden… but I’m fatally restless.

Fascinatin­g Aïda were early adopters of the internet – and now you enjoy global success on YouTube and other social channels – what was the impetus to embrace new technology?

In 1970, a friend said that every home would have a computer in 20 years’ time. I pooh-poohed the idea, but when I got an Amstrad at the age of 30 or so, I realised (a) that he was ten years out and (b) how wrong I had been. After that I embraced every new invention. I currently run a website (not very well, but that’s because of lack of time), I design posters, I use music writing software and when I die, my mac book will have to be wrenched from my cold dead hands. I am VERY proud of our online programme which is FREE and fully downloadab­le from www. fascinatin­gaida.co.uk. No trees were harmed in the making of this programme - result!

Which musical artists do you most admire? Has that changed over time?

I have worshipped Randy Newman for 50 years. I listen to classical music but tragically, I can’t listen to much Schubert lieder because all my songs suddenly turn out to be poor copies. I have finally come round to the greatness of Dylan - his voice annoyed me for ever, and now he sounds like the voice of God. I listen to a lot of country music, French chanson and German stuff. I love Georgette Dee, such a rich voice.

It’s absolutely joyous when you produce an unexpected and possibly smutty image. Dillie Keane

Fascinatin­g Aïda play the Beck Theatre, Hayes, tonight (Wednesday). Bookings at becktheatr­e.org.uk

BUNTING, street parties and punk rock. The Sex Pistols marked the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 1977 with the release of their anti-authority hit God Save The Queen... and the BBC promptly banned it.

Their colourful manager Malcolm McLaren once advised: “Be childish. Be irresponsi­ble. Be disrespect­ful. Be everything this society hates.”

Stores like WH Smith and Woolworths also refused to sell the single which shocked parents nationwide with singer Johnny “Rotten” Lydon screaming out the refrain “No future, no future, no future for you”.

The controvers­ial record still reached number two in the UK singles chart despite the lack of airplay and it is the only time in chart history that a track was listed with a blank title to avoid offence.

The subversive take on the national anthem was kept from the top spot by Rod Stewart’s far more sedate – and in the circumstan­ces somewhat ironic – I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

To combat the media blackout the band promoted the record on their own jubilee boat trip along the Thames which ended in their arrest when theyhey tried to play the track on thee River Thames outsideuts­ide Westminste­r Palace.alace.

The promotiona­ltional stunt by Malcolmlco­lm McLaren was described as an attempt to cir-ircumvent aa “ban” by play-ying on the riverver instead of settinging foot on ground,nd, but the perfor-formance never tooktook place as they were thwarted by the authoritie­s. The furore saw the group dropped by their record label A&M and the band released the single through Virgin after signing a new deal. This prompted the destructio­n of 25,000 unreleased copies of the song. Only a handful of copies of the original A&M pressings remain, with one selling for £13,000 in 2019. The punk rock anthem has now been re-issued 45 years later to mark the Queen’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee with 4,000 copies being re-released through Virgin, and 1,977 copies of the rare A&M version also being made available. The band were described in newspapers as “the group you love to hate” after they swore live on TV during an interview with Bill Grundy. They also tried to pour a bottle of whisky over the headshe of newspaperp­er photograph­ersph at a press conference­con to sign a new recording contract outside

Buckingham Palace in 1977. Sid Vicious was present having replaced Glen Matlock. Sid died at the age of 21 in 1979.

John Lydon has said he is always surprised that people are shocked by what he does. “I just said it as I feel it and see it and understand it, and that is about it really,” he said. “I don’t involve any personal agendas so my motivation would never be to shock.”

When God Save The Queen was released, the monarch was 51. The year 1977 also saw Star Wars breaking cinema box office records, the death of Elvis Presley and Red Rum winning the Grand National for a record third time.

Queen Elizabeth’s first jubilee saw her travel 56,000 miles visiting 36 countries in more than 10 weeks to mark her 25 years on the throne. Street parties were held across the country and beacons were lit in her honour.

The Union Jacks flew, but the Sex Pistols T-shirt was also seen widely across the country as it was snapped up by young punks.

Trainspott­ing and Slumdog Millionair­e director Danny Boyle’s new six-part TV series about the Sex Pistols also starts on Disney+ on May 31. Pistol is based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Lonely

Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol and features Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren and Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams as punk model Jordan.

Steve Jones is played by Toby Wallace, John Lydon by Anson Boon and Louis Partridge is bassist Sid Vicious. Talulah Riley, best known for roles in St Trinian’s and Westworld, portrays punk fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Last year the members of the Sex Pistols were embroiled in a High Court legal battle over the punk band’s songs being used in the television series and ex-drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones successful­ly sued John Lydon to allow their music to be used in the TV drama.

Pistol will explore the rise of the punk band and Danny Boyle says: “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent. This is the moment British society and culture changed forever.

“It is the detonation point for British street culture… where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion, and everyone had to watch and listen, and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols.”


Be irresponsi­ble. Be disrespect­ful. Be everything this society hates.” Malcolm McLaren’s credo

 ?? JOHNNY BOYLAN ?? Fascinatin­g Aida are touring again
JOHNNY BOYLAN Fascinatin­g Aida are touring again
 ?? ?? ANARCHY IN THE UK: Left to right: Glen Matlock, Paul Cook (back row), Steve Jones and, Johnny Rotten (John Lydon)
ANARCHY IN THE UK: Left to right: Glen Matlock, Paul Cook (back row), Steve Jones and, Johnny Rotten (John Lydon)
 ?? ?? A press conference outside Buckingham Palace
A press conference outside Buckingham Palace
 ?? ?? Malcolm McLaren and designer Vivienne Westwood
Malcolm McLaren and designer Vivienne Westwood
 ?? ?? The band were dropped by their record label
The band were dropped by their record label
 ?? ?? Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious

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