Poptastic Confessions

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Friday, August 26, 2011

An Interview with Jacquie O', formerly of Bananarama, in 2006


In 1988 when Siobhan Fahey quit Bananarama to form Shakespear's Sister, Keren and Sara asked Jacquie to join the group. They knew Jacquie from the clubs, and they knew she could sing, as she had been in a rockabilly band in the early 80s called The Shillelagh Sisters. Jacquie was with Bananarama until 1991. 

Keren, Sara and Jacquie as Bananarama

After Bananarama, Jacquie formed a group with her friend Paul Simper called Slippry Feet. Unfortunately, they never got a record deal, but years later they were able to release an album of songs they had recorded from 1993 to 1996. Since then, Jacquie has been out of the spotlight. 

In November of 2006, I interviewed Jacquie O'Sullivan for the Pop Life fanzine. She was very nice to answer all of the questions I had for her. Here is the interview …

The first single from Jacquie's first band. Jacquie is in front.

Let's start off at the beginning: The Shillelagh Sisters. It wasn't until "Sham Rock & Roll" that a lot of Bananarama fans heard the Shillelagh Sisters. It was fun to hear you sing rockabilly. What are your favorite memories from the Shillelagh Sisters and did you have a favorite song? (Mine is "Give Me My Freedom"!)

Well I’m glad that someone got to hear the Shillelagh Sisters, that’s  all thanks to Kurt. Me and Lyn the bass player were bored and were sick of our boyfriends who were both in a band called the Polecats being away so we wanted something to do for a laugh,  we started going through ideas about stuff we'd like to do and basically chose a lot of really obscure female rockabilly songs like Black Cadillac (my favorite) which is all about a women telling her cheating boyfriend that she is going to get a great big 45, kill him and ride to his funeral in a Black Cadillac....sweet.

I mean we were more of a gigging underground band who were well known for their shambolic post punk gigs often supported by The Pogues. We were branded Cow Punk by the press who seemed to love us from our very first gig. The NME was at our very first show and said that we were what live music was all about. We just constantly gigged and had such a laugh and were well known for getting the audience up on stage to play percussion and generally cause as much chaos as possible. It was hard going gigging all the time we had a little white van and 5 big ladies and sometimes Lyn's boyfriend Boz  (now Morrisey's guitarist) all squeezed very tightly into the back of the van with all the drums, double bass etc, but in retrospect they were my happiest gigging days bar none. Yes much better than the touring with the Nanas, even though the Nanas was on a much grander scale.


The Shillelagh Sisters performing "These Boots Are Made For Walking"
Jacquie is on lead vocals.

I was able to track down the super-rare "Tyrannical Mex" CD. Can you tell us why it was named that? And what's behind that picture on the cover?

The Tyrannical Mex was basically a play on T-Rex because Boz who produced it is a massive fan....the artwork....just having a giraffe! That Cockney Rhyming slang to you skeptics.

The whole concept was by Mark Addams he did the sleeve and concocted the title he's a friend of Pete Barrett that made up the original logo and mark does Bowie's web site now he knew I was a big Bolan fan hence the title and the picture he found was of a regular kid but he made it look very sinister by super imposing that mask on the kid's face. That's it really!

The cover of their live album

When you joined Bananarama, it was such an exciting time. Can you describe what it was like for you during those first few months?

I really don't remember too much (misspent youth to mid 30s to blame!) I do remember being so excited by everything in the first few months and a little dazed by it all. It was full on into the fame machine as soon as I joined and I didn't have time to think.

Jacquie, Keren and Sara as Bananarama

Can you tell us anything about the demos recorded with Stock, Aitken, Waterman in the late 80s? The songs were ... "Nothing Lasts Forever", "Love Generation", "I Don't Care", "Wake Up And Love Me", "Don't Throw It All Away", "One In A Million."

Nope.

Bananarama perform "One In A Million" this one time only. It is never released!

In The Greatest Hits Collection, you are the first person thanked. And the nickname "The Cavewoman" is mentioned. Can you share with us how this nickname came about?

I had the nickname cavewomen from my friend Paul Rutherford from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and this was because I was not a delicate little flower when it came to getting my men. You know a big club over the head and home!

Keren, Sara and Jacquie as Bananarama

The World Tour. Can you share some of your favourite memories or some funny stories from the tour?

That was so long ago! My favourite times were mainly when my friends came out to join me on tour, and we used to get a few days off to go partying together, although it was quite a laugh my first time in Japan (Nippon) and doing some of the radio idents having to say Radio Nippon over and over used to crack us up (not so funny when you write it down).


A performance of "Love, Truth & Honesty" 
with a quick interview with Jacquie.

"Pop Life" remains many fans’ favourite Bananarama album. How does that make you feel? And do you have a favourite song or favourite memory from making the album.

Is it many fans favourite? That’s nice. It was great to work with 
Youth, I'd known him since I was about 18 and he's such a nice man. 
Although no great memories from that time....sorry. Love, Truth and 
Honesty was my favourite.

The fabulous 1991 album Pop Life

Which is your favourite Bananarama video you were apart of? And why?

I Want You Back will always have a special place, it was my first video with the Nanas and I will never ever forget the blacking up bit. What were they thinking?!

The video for "I Want You Back"

Do you have a favourite Bananarama song?

Venus was their finest hour.

How about those dance routines? Did you have a favourite one?

Venus routine was also their finest.

A performance of "Love In The First Degree", "Nathan Jones" 
and "Venus" at the Diamond Awards

The Slippry Feet recordings are incredible. Your voice is so beautiful. For a lot of fans, getting the album was like finding a missing piece of the puzzle. Can you tell us about Slippry Feet? And will you ever get back together for more shows?

Slippry Feet were such a fab group and years ahead of the Scissor 
Sisters! Our shows were such extravaganzas and everyone came to see us our gigs were chock a block with record companies and stars. Me and my bestest friend ever Paul Simper formed the group, and were nearly signed to Sony but our A&R guy had to go into rehab and our deal was lost forever....and then I ran off to Thailand. But we are currently thinking about doing some more stuff.

The video for "Slippry Feet Theme"

The pictures from the Slippry Feet CD, you have blonde hair. Was it your real hair or a wig?

It’s a wig! It’s a wig!


A Slippry Feet promo photo

Sadly, your last CD with Almafame never came out. Can you tell us what it would have been like? Any Bananarama covers? And where did the name "Archivedeximer" come from?

Can't really say anything about that........

A lot of fans were surprised to see that you and Siobhan are friends. Does that surprise you? And would you ever consider doing a duet with Siobhan?

Why does that surprise them? I knew Siobhan more than I knew Sara or Keren. Me and Siobhan have friends in common, and occasionally our paths cross, I went to see her show last year and she was fab. I don't think we have ever discussed singing together but never say never.

Will you ever return to singing professionally? And how will Bananarama fans find out and support you?

I still have a hankering to perform live and have plans to do something with The Shillelagh Sisters and also another little project up my sleeve. I’ll keep you posted, I am on myspace but not for any music project just for me and my friends. Right now I’m off to Thailand again and I’m concentrating on becoming a full time Yoga teacher.

Did you know that there is an online Yahoo! group that is dedicated to you?

No! How sweet.

Do fans still recognize you on the street?

On occasions I get someone but you know it is 20 years ago!

You made some news a couple of years ago when it came out that you had escaped a fire in Thailand. Can you tell us about situation? Or how it felt to make the news again?

I woke up at 3 in the morning to a lot of shouting and screaming thought a woman was getting attacked outside my bungalow and run out in just my knickers to help, the place was on fire. We all had minutes to get ourselves and our belongings out of the bungalows. The fire was as high as the palm trees and you could see it from all over the island.  My friends whole business and home was gone in about 15 minutes all 20 bungalows her home and restaurant. It was honestly one of the most scary situations I had ever been in in my life, luckily no-one was hurt, but it made me feel so humble, fire is such a powerful thing. No candles in straw houses! Especially in dry season!

Thank you again for answering these questions. I just want you to know that many, many fans look back fondly on your time with Bananarama. And I am one of them.

Thanks for your support and I’m amazed that you haven't given up the chase with me … keep up the good work. Much love, Jacquie O'

The interview with Jacquie was originally published in the November, 2006 issue of Pop Life.


9 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Jacquie was my fav 'Nana while she was with the group.

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  3. I miss Jacquie. I'm seeing the Bananarama Sydney show tomorrow night with Sara and Keren but I don't think the Nanas have ever been as good as when they had Siobhann and then Jacquie. Love, Truth & Honesty is probably my all-time fave Bananarama song. I loved seeing the video of The Shillelagh Sisters performing "These Boots Are Made For Walking".

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  4. I miss Jacquie. I'm seeing the Bananarama Sydney show tomorrow night with Sara and Keren but I don't think the Nanas have ever been as good as when they had Siobhann and then Jacquie. Love, Truth & Honesty is probably my all-time fave Bananarama song. I loved seeing the video of The Shillelagh Sisters performing "These Boots Are Made For Walking".

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  5. Siobhan doveva rimanere nel gruppo e no andare via,e' stata una scelta assurda.
    Jacquie mi piace,qualcuno di voi sanno perche' tutte e 2 hanno lasciato il gruppo?

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  6. Siobhan had to remain in the group, and n go away, 'was an absurd choice.
    Jacquie I like, some of you know 'cause all and 2 have left the group?

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  7. Siobhan had to remain in the group, and n go away, 'was an absurd choice.
    Jacquie I like, some of you know 'cause all and 2 have left the group?

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  8. Siobhan had to remain in the group, and n go away, 'was an absurd choice.
    Jacquie I like, some of you know 'cause all and 2 have left the group?

    ReplyDelete