Tag Archives: Interview

➤ Thief duo take a trip into the 90s

Fin Munro, Charlotte Mallory, electronic music, pop, Thief, concert, review, London, Hoxton Bar

Thief in Hoxton: languid romance from vocalist Charlotte Mallery. (Photography Shapersofthe80s)

❚ A DECADE SHIFT HAS MOVED Thief’s sound into another era of Britpop. Wednesday’s live set of half a dozen numbers at the Hoxton Bar and Grill suggests that the electro duo’s early 80s vibe has acquired the garagey feel of the 90s, while still evincing languid romance.

Mesmeric hints of Sade layered with essence of Massive Attack result in laid-back electronic lounge music with kickin’ beats and bleeps. The single Friend Lover becomes a mildly melancholy love song as delivered by its lyricist, drama-studies graduate Charlotte Mallory, yet it is propelled by the optimistic harmonics and percussion of Fin Munro, keyboardist, deejay, producer and London club-host. As they told radio deejay Gary Crowley in an interview last month, their songwriting partnership pursues the themes of soul and emotion, complicated feelings and unrequited love.

An EP is planned for release within the next couple of months. Meanwhile catch Thief again on Thursday Jan 30 at The Notting Hill Arts Club.

Fin Munro, Charlotte Mallory, electronic music, pop, Thief, concert, review, London, Hoxton Bar,

Thief in Hoxton: electronics by Fin Munro, vocals by Charlotte Mallery. (Photography Shapersofthe80s)

➢ Listen to Thief interviewed by 80s pathfinder Gary Crowley – Tuesdays at 7pm on Amazing Radio (not forgetting his Music Machine, Saturdays at 6pm on BBC London)

➢ Fin Munro interviewed at Farah, Feb 6:
We’re a two piece, Charlotte sings and I play the music. We’ve been influenced by bands like Sade, Everything but the Girl, but also more recent acts like SBTRKT, James Blake and Purity Ring. We’re an electronic band but we definitely have influences of soul and R&B in our songs… / Continued online

➢ Charlotte Mallory blogging at Huffington Post, Feb 6:
Fin and I first met at a house party four years ago. He’d just been to see The XX at Maida Vale studios earlier that day, so was feeling musically inspired to start something new. Although we didn’t form Thief that year, we began sending each other music we liked and kept in contact while I was studying at Sussex Uni in Brighton and he was DJing and running club nights in London… / Continued online


Don’t Let Go (En Vogue Cover) AT SOUNDCLOUD

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Fin Munro plunges into love and takes a walk on the wild side

➢ Thief at Facebook


➤ The curious high-pressure timeline of Tom Daley’s coming out

Tom Daley,Plymouth, Zeros, gay club

Saturday night out: the Facebook page of Plymouth’s Zeros gay club pictures Tom Daley with their shot girl

◼ QUIZ QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Which of these statements came first?

1 – “Hello, is that The Sun? Would you be interested in a photo of Tom Daley at our local gay club in Plymouth?”

2 – “Hello Tom, Sun newsdesk here. Do you want to tell us what you were doing in Zeros club Plymouth on Saturday night?”

3 – [via Twitter] “Got something I need to say…not been an easy decision to make, hope you can support me! :) ”

❏ On Monday morning at 11 o’clock Britain’s 19-year-old Olympics diver Tom Daley posted his confessional video on YouTube telling the world he was “dating a guy”. The global media coverage has been massive and the video has clocked 6 million views in two days. In it he said: “In an ideal world I wouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter. But recently I was misquoted in an interview and it made me feel really angry… Now I feel ready to talk about my relationships.” Throughout the brave five-minute video message, recorded on his own phone, he was understandably nervous, and by the end seemed palpably relieved.


The interview that had angered him appeared in the Daily Mirror on September 8 when he was quoted denying the suggestion that he was gay.


At about 2am this Sunday, Dec 1, after the Sunday papers have gone to press, Tom Daley visits the gay club Zeros in his Devon hometown with some friends and is photographed at the club with a shot girl, also described as a “drag artist”. That morning the photograph is published by Zeros nightclub on its Facebook page with the message: “Let’s hope Tom Daley survived meeting our very own J******* last night !!!” (The shot girl later complained about her picture being published and her name was removed).

At 1pm Sunday the first of several Facebookers shares this picture.

At 3pm Sunday Daley tweets “So lucky to have such a supportive mum! I love you!” and – out of the blue – he posts a smashing picture of himself with Debbie Daley at Instagram.

Then at about 5pm Sunday Daley makes a special visit to his grandparents nearby in Devon to break his news to them, which they tell the Daily Mail the next day also came “out of the blue”.

Early on Monday morning he tells the rest of his family. “I can count the number of people I’ve told on my hand,” he says.

At 11am Monday, Daley goes public with his outing video on YouTube. It is immediately reported by BBC News and the rest of the media and Daley is soon trending on Twitter.

At 7pm Monday The Sun, Britain’s biggest selling tabloid newspaper, is going to press with its detailed “exclusive” report for Tuesday’s issue revealing the name of the “Pop hunk pal who helped dive star come out”. The new news here claims that Daley was inspired to do so after “developing a close friendship with gay former S Club Juniors idol Aaron Renfree”. Mike Spencer, the gay TV producer of the Only Way is Essex, is reported to be another of Daley’s “close friends”. And a Zeros barman reports that while in the nightclub Tom was “not surprisingly being quite flirty”. In this cloud of gay innuendo, nowhere does The Sun cite Daley as a source of information.

It would have taken some very nifty footwork to pull that lot together had the Sun’s exclusive research been a same-day response to the video as breaking news! As it is, the so-called exclusive is swamped by coverage in every other newspaper following up Monday’s outing video.

Eight weeks had passed since the Mirror interview angered Tom. Yet suddenly within a single day this weekend our hero decided that he not only felt ready to share his secret with the world, but first had to share it at high speed with his mother, his grandparents, his extended family. Then record and upload. All with immaculate timing. Here was a man with a plan – though it’s hard not to believe pressure was being brought to bear on the teenage sports star to spill the beans. The Sun generously placed an editorial beside its exclusive report hailing Tom for his guts as the “diver who broke the news”.

Tom Daley

Tuesday’s Sun: inside story of his gay connections

Tom Daley

Tuesday’s Sun, Dec 3: photographs from Zeros nightclub where Daley posed with a barman and a shot girl


Tom Daley❏ Wed Dec 4 update: The Sun follows through with a massive second chapter in the Daley outing saga by front-paging the name of Tom’s purported lover “who is almost 20 years his senior”, complete with pictures and quotes from “friends”. These are all the hallmarks of a well-prepared major investigation to steamroller a celeb into making a “He’s so brave” confession in advance of publication. What choice did our hero have at the weekend? What better strategy could his management have endorsed but to out himself first and wrong-foot The Sun?!

Jonathan Ross Show , ITV, Tom Daley, coming out,

Daley tells Wossy: “I’ve never felt anything like it” (on ITV next Saturday)


Tom tells Jonathan Ross: “It was love at first sight. I’ve never felt anything like it – and I made the first move. At the end of the night I wrote in his notes with my number and put ‘call me’ with a wink face and then I had a text in the morning.”

“To be honest, everything is all pretty new and I don’t see any point in putting a label on it – gay, bi or straight.”

Tom Daley, coming out, Los Angeles, Lance Black

Sweatshirt day, T-shirt day: budding boyfies Tom and Lance papped in Los Angeles


❏ Thur Dec 5 update: BRILLIANT! The clockwork spins and the teen star sings – on TV, not in The Sun – confirming suspicions that a very sure-footed strategy to “protect the brand” has been executed by Team Daley. The Olympic Bronze medallist diver is said to be worth £2m and is tipped to double that sum through sponsorship deals in the near future. At 19 Tom faces many more years of earning potential which PSG, his Weybridge-based management company, is committed to capitalising on, not putting at risk.

The complete absence of further Sun exclusives today, plus the choice of an interview with the A-List Jonathan Ross Show where again Tom speaks for himself without misrepresentation, indicate astute Team intelligence at work. To cap it all, last night they leaked contents of the Ross interview exclusively to the Daily Mirror just as it was going to press.

The Team knew the TV cook Nigella Lawson was going into the witness-box mid-week to account for her troubled marriage and would commandeer all newspaper front pages. They knew Daley was booked in soon for Ross’s TV chatshow and got him bumped up the queue onto this week’s recording as a special guest. They have been nudged in recent weeks by The Sun to respond to rumours circulating about the boyfriend’s identity.

So in hindsight the Saturday night visit to a Plymouth gay club – accidentally on purpose lifting the lid on Tom’s private life – can be seen as the Brand Daley start-line for a three-day masterplan. He outs himself on Monday morning and comes out of it a smiling hero, while all The Sun could do in the wake of his statement is to package its unconfirmed rumours for Tuesday’s paper with papped pictures and quotes from unnamed “friends”. Ross’s show wins the trusted follow-up interview because on TV Tom can speak for himself. Inevitably, its content cannot remain secret until the Saturday transmission at 10.45pm on ITV so, as The Sun’s rival tabloid, Wednesday’s Mirror is exclusively gifted advance text of Tom’s Tigger-like romantic revelations on TV, leaving all other papers to rehash them the next day.

Yet a mystery remains. Most curious of all is that in both the UK and the USA neither Tom nor his supposed lover Lance Black have confirmed themselves as partners. Throughout the Ross interview Tom talks emotionally about his new lease of life yet does not mention Lance by name, while going into intimate detail of how he, Tom, made the first flirtatious move. At his home off Sunset Boulevard, Lance unceremoniously rebuffs a Mail reporter.

Why are both men staying schtum on this score when Tom is so out and proud? The LA gay grapevine is convinced the pair are lovers, so might there be personal reasons? Rumour suggests that 39-year-old gay activist Lance Black (nobody calls him Dustin in LA) was in a long-term romance with his heart set on marriage when bushy-tailed Tom bounded into his circle. Tom might well have worked powerful magic and who can guess at the repercussions?

Let’s assume the Brand Daley team will sensibly have reserved still more fire power, to be released under its own terms when the next chapter unfolds.

Tom Daley, Lance Black, Los Angeles,

Transatlantic romance: “I didn’t know if he was gay,” says Tom


❏ FINALLY! Tom and Lance are officially papped together to mark the first time that the guys have stepped out as a couple at a public event. Here below we see them on April 30, 2014, attending the Battersea Power Station Annual Party. A few days later they announce they are setting up home together in London. Congratulations, boys.

➢ 5 May update: Tom Daley and Lance Black move in together near London’s Olympic Park

Tom Daley ,  Lance Black ,papped, Battersea Power Station, London

Officially a couple, April 30, 2014: papped at the Battersea Power Station Annual Party (Getty)


2013 ➤ Canvey Gold Miners polish up their dancing shoes

nightclubbing, Canvey Island, soul scene, Gold Mine

Dressing up on Canvey, 1982: Gold Mine girls maintain the high standards set by the club over the past decade. (Photographed by Shapersofthe80s)

Chris Hill, DJ, soul scene, Gold Mine"

Hill: ushered in Age of the Dance

❚ NOVEMBER 9 SEES maverick deejay Chris Hill front the fourth Official Gold Mine Reunion back this year on Canvey Island at The Monico, a stone’s throw away from the site of the nightspot renowned as the birthplace of British jazz-funk.

Other members enlisted from the South-East’s Funk Mafia who ruled at Caister weekenders and the big soul all-dayers will be Jeff Young and Snowboy and ace record-shopkeeper for the rare groove scene, Gary Dennis. The reunion will be echoing to sounds from Donnie Hathaway to Chick Corea, from BT Express to Mastermind. But first, a taste of the Gold Mine’s tenth year as I reported it 31 years ago…

Ten years of the Canvey Island Gold Mine

[First published in The Face, August 1982]

❏ SOME SAY THE whole of today’s style scene has its roots here… The Gold Mine, Canvey Island, has passed into countless legends for the trends it has set and on August 14 manager Stan Barrett pulls a champagne cork to celebrate his club’s tenth birthday.

Mind you, feet have pounded its original sprung maple dancefloor since 1949. Southend and the towns of the Essex style triangle have reared cults since the word was invented, so when in 1972 the Gold Mine began playing what rivals then called “silly music” – My Guy and all those soul sounds – the local hipsters took their cue. It was that wild man among deejays, Chris Hill, who, as the only one south of Lancashire playing soul, put Canvey Island on the map and ushered in the soulful new Age of the Dance.

Gold Mine, Canvey Island, soul scene, reunion, Chris HillThen in 1975, for a reason no more obscure than a simple father to son legacy, came a Glenn Miller Swing revival, which triggered the then unique clubbing fad of nostalgic dressing-up.

Stan Barrett says: “Chris played Singin’ In The Rain one Saturday and of course even kids who couldn’t remember the original knew the words to it. Everyone started being Gene Kelly on the dancefloor, dressing as Gls and Betty Grable. So he played Moonlight Serenade then the Andrews Sisters’ Boogey Woogey – that’s when they all started to jive and to dress up.”

The Sun, the tabloid daily paper which has a remarkably consistent record for picking up trends first, featured the Gold Mine. “Coaches came from Newcastle, Wales, everywhere,” Barrett remembers. The rest is undisputed history for the influence of Essex stylists on emergent London nightlife scene has been visible from the 60s Mod scene to Chaguaramas and the Vortex to the Blitz and beyond.

Gold Mine, nightclubbing, UK, swing

Swing revival 1975: Glenn Miller tunes inspired jiving and GI uniforms at the Gold Mine (courtesy Brian Longman, CanveyIsland.org.uk)

The key to the Gold Mine’s success? Impossible selectivity at the door, which may sound over familiar today. Barrett says: “Nobody too old. And only people into style which means your own style, not Gary Numan’s. It costs you at first but look how it pays off in the end. People have never come to the Gold Mine for a good drink up, always the music and the scene.”

Right now in summer ’82, Essex is a musical ball of confusion with the electronic camp of Depeche Mode and Talk Talk holding sway. Drinking with Talk Talk drummer Lee Harris at the Gold Mine the other night was clubrunner about Southend, Steven Brown, who sports a £100 PW Forte Sixties suit and reckons that psychedelia is still big there, heaven help us. He has also done time with a non-psychedelic local band of jokers called Doodle Sax: “It’s had about 35 people in it at various times but we’re not very serious.” One of them, synthesiser doodler Andy Norton, says the vibes are already about for much heavier rhythms. “Music has to turn much more macho.”

And if there are any visual indicators at the Gold Mine today, they are less fancy, more free. A regular called Andy “from Stanford No Hope” says: “Make up is so out of date, it’s like watching old crows trying to pull. The Gold Mine is much better now that we don’t get all the arty students down.”

nightclubbing, Essex, Gold Mine, 1980s, Stan Barrett

Guardian of the Gold Mine, 1982: manager Stan Barrett and his wife Jayne. (Photographed by Shapersofthe80s)


Gold Mine Reunion, video,Canvey Island, nightclubbing, jazz-funk,

Saturday night on Canvey, 2013: shonky screengrab from Trizzles Green Trees’ video at Facebook. Click to view

❏ “Banging best night in ages,” reported Essex Funker Trizzles Green Trees the morning after when she posted this video of the Gold Mine Reunion’s dancefloor heaving to Brass Construction’s 1975 classic Movin’. [Click the pic to run the vid at Facebook.] She added: “We opened the door to the main room and you were just knocked away instantly by the vibe and the atmosphere… everyone was smiling and dancing whether you knew them or not.”

One of the hosts deejay Snowboy Mark called it “a road-block event” at The Monico, Canvey Island. “There were so many old faces there, going way back to the original pre-79 days… Andrea Wingrove-Dunn, Laurence Dunn, Steve Brown, Gary Turner, and pre-76 Gold Miner Molly Brown (she was under age of course!) who loved it more than anyone and stayed right to the end dancing, singing her head off and causing a stir in her immaculate 40s clothing.

“I loved playing Shifting Gears, Inside America, Mary Hartman et al – to me, out and out Gold Mine records for those that were there in the early years.”

➢ Read all the reports at the Gold Mine Reunion Canvey Island page at Facebook

❏ Chris Hill interviewed during a live TV visit to the Gold Mine, Canvey Island, broadcast in 1983 on Channel 4’s weekly pop show The Tube. The club closed in 1989.

❏ Northern Soul fans will recall that their legendary venue the Wigan Casino launched its first soul all-nighter in September 1973 (a year after the Gold Mine).


➤ George still in denial over a deed that ‘almost didn’t happen’

Boy George, 2013

Boy George’s current image: “Due process was had”

❚ BOY GEORGE WAS ONCE TOP OF THE POPS. He was, as they say, big in the 80s, when his band Culture Club topped the UK singles chart twice and the albums chart once. He then squandered the next 20 years of his life. Now at age 52 he says he has shed six stone (38kg) in weight and decided to resume being a pop singer again. Today The Sunday Times Magazine publishes an interview with him in which the only real topic of interest remains his refusal to express remorse for his past misdeeds. Yet the reasons why still appear to escape him…

➢ In today’s Sunday Times Magazine Krissi Murison writes:

… After well-documented cocaine and heroin addictions in the 1980s, [George’s] drug problems resurfaced in the noughties. In early 2009 he went to prison to serve four months of a 15-month custodial sentence, for the assault and false imprisonment of a Norwegian male escort. He was accused of shackling the 28-year-old man, Audun Carlsen, to a wall and lashing him with a chain in a drug-fuelled frenzy. There was another accomplice who still hasn’t been identified.

George has never spoken publicly about the incident. “No,” he smiles calmly, “and I’m never going to.”

Why not? “Because it doesn’t benefit anybody. I went to prison, due process was had and that’s the end of it. It’s not part of my life, it’s in the past and I don’t even think about it. It’s almost like it didn’t happen.”

That hasn’t stopped everyone else having their say. The judge sentencing him described the “wholly gratuitous violence” that George inflicted on his victim. In 2011, Carlsen himself gave an interview to The Times in which he described the attack in graphic detail. He said he had first met George through a gay dating website, that the singer had asked him to pose for nude photographs, but then accused Carlsen of stealing the pictures. On the night of the attack, he said, George and a friend had beaten him up, dragged him across the floor and handcuffed him. The friend left, but George came back into the room with a metal chain and started hitting him – it was a purely violent attack, Carlsen said, nothing sexual. Eventually he managed to escape and ran into the street, where he was found in his underwear, bloodied and screaming.

It’s hard to reconcile the brutality of that description with the carefully composed man sitting opposite me today, but without George’s version of events, it’s all we have to go on. Does he feel the need to set the record straight?

“It’s not part of my life, it’s in the past
and I don’t even think about it.
It’s almost like it didn’t happen.”

“No, no. Who for? For titillation? I don’t need to, I’ve made peace with myself, which is the most powerful thing I’ve ever done. It wouldn’t be dignified for me to talk about it now. It wouldn’t help anyone. It would probably hurt him and I’m not prepared to do that. I’m very proud of myself for not talking about it.” He says all this with zen-like control.

One of the problems with not talking about it though, I venture, is that people assume he has no remorse.

“Um… surely that’s something I have to…” he catches himself. “That’s such an attempt to get me to talk about it!” he squeals. “Nice try! All I can really say about all of that period of my life… when I was younger if you’d have said to me ‘Do you regret anything?’ – and I’m not specifically talking about that incident – if you’d said to me 10, 20 years ago, I’d have absolutely said, ‘No, I don’t regret anything’. I would have been so arrogant about it, but as an older man I have so many regrets, and having regrets has allowed me to have boundaries with myself. It’s allowed me to say, ‘This isn’t acceptable, this isn’t acceptable’, and to know myself much more…” / Continued online

Extract © Krissi Murison (The Sunday Times Magazine, October 20, 2013)

❏ All of which suggests no change since 2010 and George’s first cosy breakfast TV chat after being released from jail. No mention of remorse, just an additional layer of psychobabble.

➢ 2010, Ex-jailbird George takes his first trancey steps to sainthood: the rise and fall of an 80s icon – inside Shapersofthe80s

Today’s Tweet from Boy George

Today’s Tweet from Boy George


1983 ➤ A turning point in David Hockney’s vision of the world


Hockney wielding his Pentax in London, July 10, 1983: having devoted two years to photography, in this his second week on a trip to Britain, a further new canvas in the studio confirms a return to painting. Photograph © by Shapersofthe80s

❚ 30 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK the British painter David Hockney made a discovery so monumental that he called it “a truer way of seeing”. I’d gone to interview him about the education cuts Margaret Thatcher was inflicting on British art schools and found myself receiving an exhilarating tutorial while the artist tested his new ideas.

“Have you been to the cubism exhibition at the Tate?” Hockney enthused during a trip to London from his home in Los Angeles. “I’ve been seven times! Suddenly I see cubism differently, more clearly… That’s what I’m only starting to grasp. Cubism is about another way of seeing the world, a truer way. But the moment you grasp it, you can’t give it up.”

Photography had preoccupied Hockney for the previous couple of years and in the week of his 46th birthday, we’d met at a Cork Street gallery during the hanging of his show New Work With A Camera, fresh from its Los Angeles run. Yet on two visits to his Kensington studio that week, fresh canvases on the easel signalled that Hockney had returned to painting. He said: “I had to deal with the ideas that are bubbling away. Cubism is hard enough to grasp, but it’s even harder to do, which actually is why not many people have been able to do anything with it. Starting to paint again is very refreshing.”

Four days later when the resulting interview appeared in the London Evening Standard, he’d been again to the Tate and said on the telephone: “Your article is pretty much the first time I have talked about this – of course I’ve discussed these things with friends but the article does make it clear to people.”


Hockney with fresh paintings in his London studio, July 3, 1983: so keen to deal with his new ideas, he reads aloud from a book about Marcel Proust’s theories of vision. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

He added: “You must go to the Tate retrospective [The Essential Cubism], it’s marvellous. You go from one cubist picture to another and another. In other galleries, like Moma, you might have one cubist room but go to the Tate show because you’ll never see so many cubist paintings together again. I found I began to develop this way of seeing them, it’s very rich. You do have to stand in front of the Picassos and spend time looking. When you’re physically in front of a cubist painting, once you start looking, especially the early analytical ones, it slowly reveals itself. It doesn’t pounce off the wall.”

The next day, when I returned to his studio with a camera, Hockney had begun yet another huge cubistic canvas which seriously took the breath away. It was a privilege to view the unfinished paintings with their images outlined in charcoal and he remarked that few people get to see inside the studio. I made sure to snap the 1,001 mementoes and influences scattered throughout the space suggestive of a restless imagination. The three substantial conversations I was fortunate to enjoy that week remain a turning point in my own appreciation of art. By a stroke of fate, my presence had provided the artist with a sounding board at the very moment when he urgently needed to kick around some bold new thoughts.

➢ Click through to read the full fascinating interview with Hockney, in an elision of two pieces first published in the Evening Standard, July 8, 1983, and The Face, Sept 1983

David Hockney,New Work With A Camera, photography, London, 1983

Fresh from its Los Angeles run: Invitation to Hockney’s latest show of three-dimensional photo collages in London, 1983