Tag Archives: Grace Jones

2022 ➤ Out of chaos comes forth Grace Jones

Grace Jones, Meltdown, Royal Festival Hall

Grace Jones’s finale at Meltdown: 20ft above the stage in Keith Haring printed dress

■ WHAT AN O-T-T SPECTACLE Grace Jones made of her finale last night as the annual Meltdown Festival’s curator over ten days at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Backed by an eight-piece band (which includes her son Paolo), plus a magical accordionist during Libertango, Grace’s own set reached back through her entire catalogue of reggae, dub, soul, new wave, pop and disco. As her supporting act, the evening had showcased the black British singer and percussionist Eska (who Radio 6’s Gilles Petersen has called “one of the most important singers in the UK”).

Grace Jones, Meltdown, Royal Festival Hall

Grace as Meltdown logo

Grace was on-stage for 1h45m while she changed costumes for virtually every number and was visibly fortifying herself during the changes with red wine, an apparent spliff and who knows what else. Let’s face it, at 74 years old, this was a helluva lot of stage minutes to cavort through in her uniquely burlesque style without break!

The show opened to reveal her singing the trip-hop This Is, mounted like a mannequin atop a massive 20ft “dress” bearing a Keith Haring print and wafting as if animated within by vigorous dancing feet. The witty chaos that followed didn’t falter, and never overshadowed the music.

Click any pic below to enlarge all in a slideshow

Telling us “I feel like the wicked witch,” Grace proceeded to destroy two sets of side drums, spin her famous hula-hoop throughout Slave to the Rhythm while tweaking her bare nipples, surf her way up through the stalls during Pull Up To the Bumper buoyed by an eager audience, then returning to the stage to fight her own full-on Hurricane from a wind machine, the whole time proffering her sensually painted torso to us, led by a curiously masculine bulge over the crotch of her black corset. All of which exhausted many among the sell-out standing audience across the generations who had to sit down at frequent intervals to recover their wits.

Grace’s legendary creative chaos endured to the end: the band had taken their bows and exited past the scheduled finish time, when Grace lit a cigarette and told us “I can sing a cappella” only to linger alone to give us La Vie En Rose. Then, er, that done, she walked off. Here’s to Grace’s 75th!

Grace Jones, Meltdown, Royal Festival Hall

Grace Jones at Meltdown: backed by her eight-piece band

➢ Read Andy Polaris’s expert review of Grace’s triumphant return to the London stage – at his blog Apolarisview

➢ Previously at Shapers of the 80s:
2011, Mother of all disco divas Grace fans her hurricane


2012 ➤ Grace Jones celebrates the day she met the Queen, two months on

Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert,

Meeting of two queens on June 4. At Facebook Ivan Antunovic adds this caption… The Queen: Tell me your secret, dear… Grace: Nightclubbing, your majesty, nightclubbing. (Photograph: PA)

❚ IT WAS A MEETING OF TWO QUEENS in their own realms… This isn’t a new photo but it was published yesterday on Grace Jones’s Official Facebook page as if the singer is suddenly chuffed to bits with the moment it captures. Just as chuffed seems to be the expression on the face of one’s monarch as HMQ greets Grace backstage following the star-studded Diamond Jubilee Concert on June 4. The official Facebook caption marks the two-month-old occasion: “It was an honour to play a part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with such an incredible band… two months ago this weekend.”

Between the regal pair, the photo captures the terminally unfunny comedian Rob Brydon giving his impersonation of the nation in shock. Other videos record how his gags died the death on the Jubilee stage, but Grace’s video continues to make compulsive viewing as she twirls a hula-hoop (Why?) while singing Slave To The Rhythm, her biggest hit and title track from her triumphant seventh studio album, produced by Trevor Horn in 1985. Priceless cutaway shots of the royal box as Grace performs might have come straight from the Mel Brooks movie satire, The Producers.

The Jamaican-American singer, supermodel and actress Grace made her home in Britain after settling down with music producer Ivor Guest, 4th Viscount Wimborne. Didn’t she do well?

Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert

Grace’s showstopper: This BBC video cutaway to the Royal Box during Grace Jones’s orgasmic act is a dead ringer for the gobsmacked audience watching Springtime for Hitler. How many astonished princesses, archbishops, ex-prime ministers and director-generals can you count?


Grace Jones, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Concert

Grace’s finale: Another cutaway as Grace bids farewell to her audience and becomes confused about the occasion: “We love you! Happy birthday, our Queen.” How many humourless heirs to the throne and bemused princesses royal can you count?

➢ Shapersofthe80s records how this happy breed enjoyed the rainiest Diamond Jubilee Pageant of the year on June 3


2011 ➤ Mother of all disco divas Grace fans her hurricane to new depths of wickedness

double CD, Hurricane Dub,  album, Grace Jones, Ivor Guest ,Philip Treacy,Jean-Paul Goude,

Glamour to the hilt: at the Albert Hall in 2010 Grace Jones changed costumes for almost every number — here she is crowned with her Treacy glitterball hat. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

❚ GRACE JONES’S HURRICANE-DUB went live today with the track This Is Dub free to hear at Soundcloud. On Sept 5 Wall Of Sound releases a double CD Hurricane-Dub. It comprises nine-track disc 1 containing the original version of Hurricane from 2008, which was Grace’s first album since 1989, wittily textured with collaborations from Tricky, Brian Eno, Sly and Robbie, guitarist Leo Ross and percussionist Tony Allan. The 2011 package adds a 10-track disc 2 featuring newly created dubs by producer Ivor Guest with fewer vocals but extra mixes of outtakes and unused riffs. They are said to bring “a new, deep, darker side to the already wicked bass-lines”.

A onetime member of Andy Warhol’s entourage, the 63-year-old Jamaican-born supermodel established herself as the eccentric queen of disco divas with hits throughout the 70s and 80s, her gamechanging album being the sleek and timeless Warm Leatherette which led to a tour performing her bizarre One Man Show and a Grammy nomination. She also invested in a movie career, but returned to music in 2007. Over the past two years her savage and passionate soul has been the elemental force powering the Hurricane stage tour. This renewed a creative partnership with her former lover, Jean-Paul Goude, to establish her new brand image in the spectacular glitterball hat by Philip Treacy, not to mention a galaxy of OTT costumes by Japanese designer Eiko Ishioka. Grace’s visually glamorous show returned for a second visit to fill London’s Royal Albert Hall to its 5,500 capacity in spring last year, and saw her son Paulo Goude in the band playing bongos. In recent years Grace has made her home in England with her producer who is also the fourth Viscount Wimborne.

➢ See coverage of Grace’s London 2010 concert at Shapersofthe80s for links to performance videos


2010 ➤ Grace Jones turns her back on London ;-)

❚ GRACE JONES WAS TRULY IN THE PINK tonight for a one-off concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall as a long-awaited top-up to last year’s Hurricane tour. The video above gives a taste of her finale to the old Piaf song La vie en rose, shot by yours truly. See if you can spot the colour of her… lipstick.

Grace Jones, London, 2010, Hurricane

Hurricane 2010 at the Albert Hall: Grace Jones becomes the title track from her album. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

Grace Jones, London, 2010, © Shapersofthe80s.com

Love is the drug: Grace as a shimmering silver heart imprisoned by lasers

❚ “HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL!” declared Grace Jones over her headset, backstage at the Albert Hall. “WHERE is my mannequin?” Last summer in Hollywood when she sang her opening words to Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango classic, Libertango, “Strange, I’ve seen that face before / Seen him hanging round my door”, ice-cool Ms Jones glided onstage dancing with a lifesize bust – of herself. Instead, sans mannequin, in London she had to embark on a solo tango, pleading for one of her entourage to join her and “drag me across the floor”. This video, again shot by yours truly, catches the improvisation.

Grace Jones, Mark Moore

Awww, look who got to go back stage – photo courtesy of himself © Mark Moore

❏ The Grace Jones Hurricane collection of costumes created by the Japanese designer Eiko Ishioka were all photographed © by shapersofthe80s.com during her London concert, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

➤ For two weeks, Grace goes on dazzling

Grace Jones, 2010, Chris Levine, Vinyl Factory , London

Grace Jones in 3-D: you can play with this lenticular print online © by Chris Levine

❚ FOR TWO WEEKS ONLY, Grace Jones can be viewed in a groundbreaking show of 3-D holographic portraits by light artist Chris Levine, titled Stillness at the Speed of Light. The work is for sale at this free immersive multimedia exhibition which involves lightboxes, lasers, video and a specially commissioned soundscape at The Vinyl Factory in Poland Street, London, from April 30 to May 14. This show also launches Grace’s new video Love You To Life, which Levine directed.