Bananarama? You seem bemused. You shouldn’t be. There’s a myriad of reasons why they are more than worthy of an ICA:-

– Formed in 1981 and still going strong today

Terry Hall loved ‘em

Siobhan Fahey

– Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the all-female group with most chart entries in the world

– Wrote a seemingly fun-filled song about an Oscar-winning actor which turned out had a really dark meaning

– Have championed the LGBT community from the outset

Keren Woodward

– Along with Pete Burns/Dead or Alive, they made Stock, Aitken and Waterman bearable for a short time

John Peel loved at least one of their songs

– Said song was sung in Swahili and did more for raising the profile of world music than any po-faced festival organised by Peter Gabriel

– the other one

– They got The Bluebells a #1 hit

– There’s enough songs to merit a first-class ICA

A few things worth remembering before launching into the ICA on a song-by-song basis. The trio of Keren Woodward, Siobhan Fahey and Sara Dallin had befriended one another as fashion students in the late 70s and their preferred listening and hang-outs centred around the post-punk scene in London where they were friendly with the likes of The Monochrome Set, Department S, Shane McGowan, Paul Weller and a couple of ex-Sex Pistols.

Malcolm McLaren was also an admirer and indeed, hatched a plan to alter their image and make much more of their looks and femininity, which was a complete no-no as far as the girls, two of whom were still in their teens, weree concerned. They wanted to get success the old fashioned way through gigs and good song writing….and they did.

One of their biggest fans is DJ MLC – a dear friend of mine and Jacques (indeed it was MLC who first coined the name ‘Those Charming Men’ for us).  I asked him to do the blog the honour of a Bananarama ICA.  He said yes, but only on the conditions that it was a remix effort and that I wouldn’t alter a word of his prose.  I haven’t…… without any further delay, I’m putting you in the very capable hands of DJ MLC.

I was delighted to be asked by Those Charming Men to provide a remixed version of the Banarama compilation. Writing I’m not so good at, but ask me to twiddle knobs and whip out a 12” then I’ve plenty experience.

I was big in the 80s and the Bananas come from the era when I was in giving it proper large. Sure, weddings was really my thing, but I could often be seen doing the odd gay club back in the day. Boy, the things I saw on those nights. I’ve turned a few moustaches I can tell you. As a straight hunk of manhood it was hard to know what they wanted, how to satisfy at times, but I worked up a sweat to keep them happy and more often than not was relieved by the end of the night.

Balance these girls on my decks, turn them on, give them a scratch now and then, sometimes rub them up the wrong way, sandwich them between Donna and Divine – then those lads would give me their all on the floor. I’m not ashamed to say that I could keep them up all night. They couldn’t get enough and neither could I.

One awkward night I saw Barry from my work. Topless and wearing baby oil – he’d never seen me like that before. He was pretty discreet about the whole affair, especially after I gave him some Tainted Love near the end of the night. Sadly I don’t DJ now, except in my head. Dorothy in Accounts saw to that. The only baby oil I see now is that left over from when Dom and Deb were kids. These days when I’m “in the house” I’m actually in the house. I’m happy, sure. But I do miss my late nights with the boys.

So, boys AND girls, hands in the air like you just don’t care, poppers up your nose, fit a couple of coloured bulbs in the living room lights and get your kids to flick them on and off, put some leather around your loins if you must. But, most importantly, dance motherfunkers dance…

Side A

Shy Boy (US Extended Version)
Nathan Jones (Psycho Mix)
Don’t Step on My Groove
Love In The First Degree (Jailers Mix)
Aie a Mwana (Extended Version)

Side B

Really Saying Something (Solasso Mix Version)
I Heard A Rumour (Miami Remix)
Robert De Niro’s Waiting (Remix 2000)
Cruel Summer (89 Swingbeat Dub)
Venus (Marc Almond HiNRG Showgirl Remix)

Oh and in case you were thinking that it’s an urban myth about the #1 hit, this song was composed by Bobby Bluebell and Siobhan Fahey.

mp3 : The Bluebells – Young At Heart

Hopefully today’s posting has brought a bit of fun back into the blog.