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In Defence of Madonna

Banjo leaps to the defence of the extraordinary career of Madonna.

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Features

Eric’s – a personal journey through Liverpool’s original punk club

Punk has become many things in the 40 years since it went overground.

It has become acceptable, stripped by time and familiarity of the ability to shock.  It has become common place – punk fashion and influence can be seen pretty much everywhere.  It has become an exercise in nostalgia; punk bands still play gigs to the same crowds who saw them decades ago, cosy gigs reliving a collective youth.

And it has become commodified, a trend that in truth started worryingly early.  These days, Ramones and Joy Division t-shirts can be snapped up in Primark, extravagantly dyed hair, ripped jeans and multiple earrings are mainstream and raise not a single eyebrow.

But it was not always like this.  Oh no – once upon a time, Punk was a dangerous, exciting thing to be involved with. Questions were asked about it in the Houses of Parliament and just looking like a punk could get you chased, beaten and worse.

In those far off days, this shocking new phenomenon was news!  Music papers particularly couldn’t get enough of it, devoting almost whole issues to its rise. But, John Peel aside, it was almost impossible for young teens to actually hear the music itself.

Thank God then for Roger Eagle being, not for the first time in his life, in the right place at the right time. And, more importantly, with the right attitude.

Following on from creating successful and influential nights at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and the Stadium in Liverpool, Roger, along with Pete Fulwell and Ken Testi, opened Eric’s in 1976, just in time for punk to spread out from London to Manchester and then to the provinces.

The first band to appear at Eric’s were The Stranglers, followed a week later by The Runaways and then The Sex Pistols. Eric’s had clearly tapped into a rich vein of exciting new music with punk beginning to explode. Not that it was ever a punk club per se, also featuring gigs from such diverse artists as Steve Hillage, Van der Graaf Generator, B.B. King and many reggae artists such as Prince Far I and Inner Circle.

The first run of gigs at Eric's
The first run of gigs at Eric’s

Roger Eagle was one of the rare breed of people who were more interested in the art of what they were doing rather than the finances, so the more popular gigs by the likes of The Clash and The Damned funded gigs by artists less likely to pull in a large number of paying guests, but Roger would rather spend time and money showcasing wonderful music for a smaller audience than have it ignored.

His legendary enthusiasm for music and for turning other people on to bands he loved was undoubtedly one of Eric’s best assets.

This writer’s own calling to Eric’s came whilst still a fresh-out-of -school 16 year old, starting what would be my final summer holiday, marooned between the childish world of school and the more grown-up world of college. 

Towards the end of my school life, a schoolmate had moved away, only about 5 miles down the road, but enough at that age to make it difficult to maintain a friendship where seeing each other every day was normal and effort free.

We have, in fact, remained friends to this day. We got into punk together that year, neither of us knowing the full seismic effect this would have on the rest of our lives.

On the second week of this summer break, this friend phoned with an invitation to join him and some others in going to a punk club in Liverpool to see Magazine play a matinee show. To my eternal regret, after hearing all the shock horror stories in the press, I bottled out and stayed at home, wracked with jealousy.

When I found out the day had passed without major incident, we plans to go the following week to see Rich Kids, the band  Glen Matlock formed after leaving The Sex Pistols. So when the next Saturday came around, I pocketed my £2.50 pocket money and headed off to a brave new world.

Graffiti was quite big with punks at the time, not the arty tags or Banksy murals we see now, but crude Magic Marker scrawlings of band names and slogans. We all set pen to the train shelter while waiting for the train into town.

Terrible really, and the kind of thing I hate to see these days, but it seemed to be somehow important then; part of the Destroy culture that punk embodied, a lack of respect for your elders and surroundings. We thought we had a point to prove; to go against the grain, be disruptive, sign your contempt for the world and your surroundings as boldly as you can.

There was an interview with John Lydon’s wife Nora, many years later, where she recalled in 1976 being advised not to have these punks in her house, not because they would steal or break anything but because they were likely to write on her walls in paint and pen.

Arriving at Eric’s, we found we had to first become members before being allowed entry (something about it being a members only club gave it extra freedoms within the law, such as staying open late).

At first this extra expense was dismaying, taking my last 50p as it did, but looking back, 50p for a year’s membership of Eric’s must be classed as something of a bargain.

I paid this and the £1.00 entry fee and went down the Eric’s staircase for the first time. Memories of this portentous event are scarce, but it was like nothing we’d seen before.

Previous experiences of music played at anything above front room levels of volume had been local discos, and Eric’s was nothing like that. Dark, damp and with dirty red walls, walking down those stairs was walking into another world.

Proper bands played here, proper punks came here and we were entering their world. This was a big deal, although how big a deal was not immediately apparent.

As this was a matinee gig for under 18s the bar served only soft drinks, so we bought Cokes. This was a masterstroke of Eric’s – adding a matinee show meant that bands could be booked for two shows in Liverpool and then another night at Manchester’s Factory venue which in turn, made it more financially viable for bands  to make the trip North.

Away from those practical considerations, it meant that a generation of kids, ideally aged in 1977 for the shockwaves and upheaval of punk, could be part of things in a way that otherwise would have been beyond our means, schemes and wildest dreams.

It is impossible to overemphasise the impact this had on a bunch of 16 year olds from the sticks. Being a punk in a small town was to be in a small minority and made walking its streets and corridors a dangerous prospect, but Eric’s gave young outsiders a place to belong, maybe for the first time.

In return, the Eric’s owners, movers and shakers seemed genuinely fond of the young crowd and what they brought to the club.  Big in Japan dedicated their only proper release to “the Eric’s matinee crowd” and their singer, Jayne Casey, still tells the tale of when Iggy Pop played Eric’s on his birthday.

The matinee crowd, myself included, burst into a spontaneous version of Happy Birthday to You in a way that a grown-up crowd would most definitely not have done. Not expecting this reaction, Iggy grinned from ear to ear, his rock star persona punctured by this young gesture.

Iggy Pop at Liverpool Eric’s: Shock was part of the currency of the early punks and, in Iggy, they had inspiration of sorts

Memory is not perhaps 100% reliable here, but there were a plethora soon-to-be famous faces working on the bar or on the door.  Ian Broudie certainly used to be on the door a fair bit, and there are blurry recollections of Mac, Julian Cope and Pete Wylie’s talents being employed in some capacity or other.

I seem to remember Pete Burns DJing occasionally. I always strongly suspected that he brought records down from his day job at Probe Records, played them in the club and then took them back and sold them, along with a nice crackly coating of sweat and beer.

The bar area was the first room you walked in to as you came down the stairs, with a dark seated area with the legendary Eric’s jukebox to the right and the stage area through a doorway in front.

After collecting our Cokes, we took our place stage left, me marvelling at the fact that I was in a punk club for the first time in my life.

Everyone looked punkier than us, so mental notes were made to make a few changes to wardrobe in future. The long hair had already gone, chopped off a few days after hearing God Save The Queen for the first time.

After standing around for a while, the support band came on. I had no idea who they were and had never heard them before; few people had then. The lead singer walked to the mic and said, “Hello. we’re Joy Division.”

So the first live punk band we saw at Eric’s turned out to be Joy Division!  Sometimes fate just seems to treat you well. Obviously this gig was now a long time ago and we had no idea just how immense Joy Division would turn out to be, but I can clearly remember the bass lines of Transmission and She’s Lost Control and can recall them playing Ice Age and They Walked in Line.

We were instantly hooked. From now on Joy Division were our band and we saw them every time they played a matinee show, as well as gigs in Preston and Leeds. We saw them go from support band to headline act, although the first headline show I saw them play was to less than 20 people.

After they finished their set, we waited for Rich Kids to take to the stage. We were about to see a Sex Pistol and were beside ourselves with excitement. Again, time has dimmed my memory of the gig somewhat, but loud punk music (or Power Pop as the Rich Kids were briefly classed) had well and truly got us and this was without question the most exciting day of our young lives.

Following the gig, the band came out of the dressing room and hung around the bar, chatting and signing autographs.

At the tender age of 16 and in one single afternoon, we had been to a punk club, seen Joy Division and got an autograph from a Sex Pistol. How could we not fall in love with this wonderful place?!

My second trip to Eric’s was to see The Clash on their Tommy Gun tour, ably supported by The Specials, in one of the best and most overcrowded gigs we ever attended. Eric’s had delivered again and our fate had been sealed.

For the next two years or so we would be back every Saturday. I even once, through a special mixture of sulking and badgering,  forced my poor suffering parents to cut a holiday in London short so I could be back in my beloved Eric’s to watch Joy Division again.

It doesn’t happen often in life that we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, but when it happened  I am eternally glad that I made the most of it and have so many memories of my time at this legendary club.

Banjo

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Features

Iggy Pop at Liverpool Eric’s: Shock was part of the currency of the early punks and, in Iggy, they had inspiration of sorts

Iggy Pop is a survivor. Not many people who were aware of him in the 60s would have bet money on him surviving the 60s, much less his 60s.

But, in the year zero declarations that accompanied the early days of punk, Iggy was one of the few members of the old guard to be given any form of credibility or kudos, along with Patti Smith and Can.

Iggy’s exertions and his attitude with The Stooges had some common ground with the new breed who were decrying what had gone before as boring and irrelevant.

Iggy and the Stooges were far from being boring and the noise they made was similarly far from irrelevance in the brave new world that was being created in 1976 and beyond.

Punk’s early dalliance with self harm was echoed in the antics of Iggy, an act that carried with it much shock value. Shock was part of the currency of the punks and, in Iggy, they had inspiration of sorts.

As a result he was adopted by the punks. This admiration was a two way street, as he had often struggled to find an audience and now a new appreciative crowd was opening up for him. It seemed the times had finally caught up with Iggy Pop.

On a personal note, my initial reaction to seeing Iggy on the cover of my brother’s Raw Power album was to think that he couldn’t be a punk as he had long hair. This was enough at the time for us to decry him as being part of the older generation and that the likes of Johnny Rotten had got this one wrong.

We played the album lifting the needle off the opening Search and Destroy, thinking it plain old Heavy Rock. Second track Gimme Danger had acoustic guitars on it for god’s sake, and so the experiment was quickly abandoned.

We hated Iggy Pop.

A few weeks later, John Peel played Sick of You and we fell in love with it, rushing to see each other in the playground the next day to tell each other about this incredible ‘new’ song.

We decided to give my brother’s record another go, and this time we’d listen to the whole thing, rather than the opening few seconds of the opening few tracks.

Raw Power blew us away. Yes, the production was dreadful, but here was the attitude and power of punk writ large in an album recorded way back in 1973. We got it.

We loved Iggy Pop.

His legend preceded him, and we discovered that his life was already the stuff of legend. The drugs, women and self-mutilation, the stage diving, the silver hair, the peanut butter!

We started buying his other records, notably the first two Stooges albums. Live album Metallic KO made the hairs on the back of our neck stand up as we listened to Iggy bait the Hells Angels in the audience, who in turn responded by showering the stage with bottles.

In June of 1978, we started going to matinee shows at Eric’s and getting hands on with the whole punk thing. It was an incredibly exciting time and, looking back, we can appreciate just how spoiled we were.

My first Eric’s gig was Joy Division and Rich Kids, my second was The Clash and The Specials. Further shows included Gang of Four, Ultravox!, The Cure and a memorable afternoon that gave us Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes for 50p.

Like I say, spoiled.

Then, a year or so later, we got the news that Iggy was coming to Eric’s. and, incredibly, that gig was 41 years ago at the time of writing, April 21 1979.

Now, when we went to Eric’s there were always flyers available on the door and, once a month we got the new schedule and we could check who were going to be seeing for the next few weeks.

This time though there was something different. A second flyer. This one didn’t have a list of bands on it, it was for one particular show, it was for Iggy Pop.

Adding to the unusual nature of this show, we could buy tickets in advance rather than just paying on the door.

Our excitement was tempered by the price of the tickets, which were a shocking two pounds! Most gigs at Eric’s were only a quid, so this was a 100% price increase. By foregoing records for a couple of weeks we managed to save enough for this extravagance and bought tickets.

In 1977, Iggy had played at the Manchester Apollo, a famous gig that was filmed for Granada TV, who played a clip of him singing Lust for Life, wearing leather trousers and a horse tail. And yet, just 18 months later he was playing Eric’s, with a capacity of around 300 people.

One reason for this, according to Doreen Allen, who worked at the club and was given the job of sorting out Iggy’s rider, is that he wanted to play in Liverpool and no other venue would book him.

The blow was surely softened by the fact that they were able to book him for two shows, a matinee in the afternoon and an evening show later on, thereby doubling the attendance.

Come showtime of course, the venue was rammed. I had seen the place packed out before, notably The Clash gig I mentioned earlier and when The Skids played after appearing on Top of the Pops just a couple of days earlier with their breakthrough hit Into the Valley, but this was smoothing else.

Although this was ostensibly a matinee show for under 18s, such was the demand to see Iggy that there was a real mix of ages at the show. Demand far outstripped supply, so fans took whichever Iggy show they could get tickets for, with some lucky punters going to both shows.

Iggy walked on to the stage and launched straight into Kill City. My first thoughts, after months of seeing him only in the pages on the NME and Sounds, was amazement that he was actually in colour, not just black and white like in the photos! And he was also 3D – wow!

As an added treat for us young punks, ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock was playing bass in Iggy’s band.

Somehow, and this used to happen fairly regularly, I managed to squeeze my way to the front of the crowd and had a view of the gig from about three rows back. This also happened with The Clash although I am at a complete loss as to how I managed it.

The audience were aware that this particular day was Iggy’s birthday. Whether he actually announced it from the stage or not I can’t remember but, seeing as the majority of the audience were young kids, we burst into a spontaneous singalong of Happy Birthday.

There was always a part of the Eric’s crowd who were too cool to clap, but we were 15 and 16 years old and cool was a problem for another age. Such issues weren’t going to stop us wishing Iggy Pop a happy birthday in song. Of course they weren’t!

At first he seemed unsure how to react to this and it is easy to imagine that this kind of thing had never happened at an Iggy Pop gig previously.

But as it became cleat that yes, we were going to sing the whole song to him, he relaxed into it. Towards the end, after the “happy birthday dear Iggeeeee” he ran around the front of the stage with the biggest smile I think I had ever witnessed plastered across his face.

Once we had finished, I stuck my hand out when he was within striking distance. He grabbed my and shook it and my teenage life was complete. I swore there and then that I would never wash it again.

Glen Matlock has his own, kind of strange memories of this: “We did it this matinee at Eric’s in Liverpool and it was all these Boy Scouts and Cubs. Just after the music Iggy would come on. All these kids started singing ‘Happy birthday to you…. happy birthday Iggy Pop, happy birthday to you!’

Iggy was really taken aback (it was his birthday obviously!). He looked at me, looked around, looked at the crowd, and went ‘Well fuck you’ and went straight in to ‘Kill City’! There was all these 13 year-old kids! That was quite funny.”

I’m not sure where he got the Boy Scouts thing from, but it’s good to know that it still sticks in his memory all these years later.

The rousing version of Happy Birthday we were able top provide him with can be heard below.

We were all treated to a full Iggy show, taking in 17 songs including the likes of Sister Midnight, Shake Appeal and finishing with a storming I Wanna Be Your Dog.

Iggy Pop at Eric’s is a gig that tends to stick in people’s minds. Author Frank Cottrell Boyce mentioned it when he appeared on Desert Island Discs, the Liverpool Echo included in their top ten punk gigs in Liverpool and it gets mentions in Liverpool Museum, The Independent and… well, you get the picture.

At last year’s Sound City, I somehow found myself on stage sat next to Andy McClusky from OMD on a panel discussing the importance of Eric’s to Liverpool’s music scene.

I was asked what was the best gig I had seen at Eric’s. I replied that, as we saw so many incredible bands there it wasn’t possible to say which was the best, but the one that stuck in my mind the most was this one.

It was a genuine anyone-who-was-anyone-was -there-where-were-you-sucker type of gigs, one of those incredible moments that, even as you were watching it you knew it was never going to truly leave you.

And here we are, 41 years later, still talking about it, still recounting those shock waves that rocked our teenage years.

Banjo

1 Intro
2 Kill City
3 Sister Midnight
4 I`m Bored
5 Happy Birthday To Iggy
6 Fortune Teller
7 Loose
8 Five Foot One
9 Little Doll
10 Endless Sea
11 Cock In My Pocket
12 Shake Appeal
13 New Values
14 Girls
15 Dirt
16 Don’t Look Down
17 I Wanna Be Your Dog

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Interviews

Zee Davine Interview: “Pop music now, I feel, can be anything”

With Queen Zee having split up, Sun 13’s’ Banjo spoke to Zee Davine about creating art, subculture and what the future holds.

Zee Davine, ex-singer, guitarist and focal point of the wonderful Queen Zee, is many things. A musician, a spokesman and a role model, definitely. But the first thing that strikes you when you see Zee live is a certain undeniable star quality.

Star quality is a difficult thing to define, but an easy thing to recognise. Some people just have that something extra, something more that means you can’t take your eyes off them. They command, even demand, your attention and you, in turn, are happy to give it.

With Davine at their head, Queen Zee were, however briefly, the best band in the world.

But then, just when things were going well and their rise seemed unstoppable, Queen Zee announced their split, saying ‘It has been an honour to be a voice for the freaks, weirdos and queers for the last three years.

This band has taken us on the greatest personal journeys of our lives so far We are not mourning a loss, we are celebrating our time together.’

Those of us in the know, who had been affected and infected by their sense of purpose, their sense of fun and the sheer exhilaration of seeing them live fell to mourning.

But before too long came notice that Zee Davine was again ready to take to the stage, this time under a new, more personal name.

But what would this new stage show be? What would Zee’s new music sound like? What could we expect from this news?

In Zee’s first interview since Queen Zee split up, we were able to ask these questions, to find out what is going on in Zee’s world and to hopefully have something to look forward to.

We started by looking back and finished by looking forward. Obviously, the first thing we wanted to know about was what happened to Queen Zee.

Why did Queen Zee split up just as it seemed you were about to take over the world?

 “That’s kind of been the reaction I’ve had. I think to everyone outside of the band it felt like a weird time, but I think inside the band it made total sense to us. We never really had any intention to do any of the things we did, [Queen Zee] was a DIY local punk band that just seemed to get out of hand.

It was such an amazing and beautiful experience for our last run of shows, playing Brixton Academy and Reading Festival, being backstage with Dave Grohl, it was surreal!

So with all the joy that brought us we didn’t feel there was any more to achieve. To view the industry as this game of milestones, to tick them all off and get to the stage where you’re headlining Glastonbury or Coachella or becoming a multi-platinum Adele type artist just feels really bizarre to me.

With Queen Zee we always had a message that we wanted to put out there, we had some songs that we wanted to do and we did that.

We never even wanted to do an album, we only did the album because we got PRS funding for 500 vinyl copies. I feel like there was always a timespan for Queen Zee, it was five individuals who all had very different tastes and different views on how we should be artists, how we should conduct ourselves.

We were just enjoying each other’s company, enjoying making music and creating and I think everyone just wanted to go and fulfill themselves in some creative way and Queen Zee just wasn’t that way.

It’s nice that the reaction has been that everyone felt we could have done more. I’d rather people had that reaction than ‘about time!’“

Go out on a peak.

Yeah, how else could you top a great year than go ‘right, that’s it’.”

Have you got a band together for your upcoming shows?

Yes and no. It’s not so much as band orientated as Queen Zee was, people come and go, it’s more of a collective feel. But yeah, all seven of us on stage.“

That’s a big band for The Stockroom.

It is, the band are bigger than the stages we’re playing on this tour, but we’ll make it work.

Dave from Queen Zee is still playing drums, we’ve got bass, guitar, keys, saxophone, there’s a lot of electronic elements, it’s a bit more diverse than Queen Zee. A punk bite remains, but I’ve been able to delve into my other loves a bit more.

So what’s influencing your new music?

Probably the same stuff, but I’m taking it to a different place. Instead of looking at the energy of a song being created through the distortion and the noise of it, creating the energy through its tempo or its arrangement, clashing keys or creating a dissonance in the song.

I’m getting a lot more into the songwriting of it in this project, getting into creating something that challenges the ideas we have around Pop and what a Pop song should be.

That’s something that’s always fascinated me, how far can we push what it popular, how can we get the weirdest thing ever to be Pop music, get the masses singing along to something that’s really bizarre. That’s what I’m trying to achieve.”

So that’s the plan, to go to Pop music, whatever version of Pop music it might be?

Yeah. I’ve always had that love of Pop, I think Pop has always driven everything I’ve done. I’ve always tried to make my music quite concise and to the point. It’s just where I come from, its my background. It’s such a bizarre time for Pop, what was Pop in the 70s was very different from what was Pop in the 80s.

But now, there are no subcultures. You can like Billie Eilish and you can like Black Metal or Ska Punk, and that subculture vibe of ‘I’m a mod’ or ‘I’m a goth’, that is so gone. Pop music now, I feel, can be anything.

So it’s Pop in the sense of popular, but Pop in the sense of Kylie, maybe not so.”

I know you’re an Iggy Pop fan, it sounds like you’ve perhaps moved from Raw Power to The Idiot.

The Idiot is my favourite Iggy record, so probably there’ll be a bit of that in there.”

Do you still have the same message or manifesto as when you were in Queen Zee?

I think it’s a little more intense this time. The liberating thing about picking up again and creating your own stuff, which I never really intended to do, I intended to not do music but I think it was the message that has motivated me to keep creating, to keep going. “

You’ve been doing this for a while now, you’ve been a mouthpiece for the LGBT scene for a number of years, have you noticed any changes in that time? Do you think Queen Zee made a difference, do you think you’ve made a difference?

I’m not sure how much I made a difference, but I’m always amazed when I see the reaction to Queen Zee. I’m not sure how much of it was Queen Zee or how much was down to a general movement in music around 2016/2017. There was a lot of queer artists, it was almost like another wave of Riot Grrl and Queercore.

I’m not sure who spearheaded that, I don’t know why that happened, but it did. I think you can feel an undercurrent in the Punk scene at least and that is very much a part of it again.

In terms of the world, the world is in a state of psychedelic flux. Of course we’ve seen great changes, when I first started Queen Zee I didn’t come out, even though it was very much there in the material and the songs, I wouldn’t talk about it personally, about my queerness or my identity.

Non-binary wasn’t a popular term, gender fluid wasn’t really a term and even though I’d grown up with icons like Pete Burns to help me formulate this into some kind of language, people wouldn’t really get it. They would get the reference, you could say ‘gender bender’ and people would get it.

But now non-binary is used on certain passports in the world and can be used for legal documentation and that’s over such a small span of a couple of years, so it’s really gaining public momentum.

And then on the other hand, hate crime has increased, the murder rate has increased, Trump’s attacks on trans people, the Tories have a very minimalist view on the funding that goes into trans help services. We know the rhetoric that Boris Johnson has used before to describe us LGBT people, so I don’t think the climate has changed but I think the undercurrent has.

But that could, if I’m completely honest, have always been there and it was just a different generation taking over.”

You mentioned how there are no subcultures anymore, no one is a goth or anything anymore, but when I would see Queen Zee live, it was like there was a new audience, a new movement. Is all this a grassroots movement that is flourishing despite the authorities and the political climate? Is this where the rebellion is coming from?

Yeah, totally. I feel that by destroying subculture we’ve almost created a new subculture, one that’s like a youth movement in general. It’s a disenfranchised youth that’s very aware. It’s the most aware young audience there’s been since the 70s.

It’s so politically turned on, it’s living through Brexit, it was raised in austerity and there’s just this mass of young people who want more, that has this aspiration for more vibrancy in their lives, for more colour, just more than the mundane Brexit doom based scenario that they’ve had to live through.

And that’s what Queen Zee wanted to do, we just wanted to inject some colour for 35 minutes and the fact that people responded to that, there’s definitely a hunger for it.

I’m not sure where people are getting it from, or where they’re going to get it from, but if I was going to bet money on the next Beatles or the next band that really, really explodes, I would say it’s going to be the kind of band that can really become the pinnacle of that and become the anti-everything.”

Can we also expect a non-musical direction from you as well?

Totally. The idea of Zee Davine is not just my musical output, I’m creating as an artist and song is part of it. The shows are just as rooted in performance and rooted in art as they are in music.

That’s something I’m developing more as an artist and exploring more and I fell that’s where the hunger is, that’s where the appetite is, that’s what’s connecting when I see the eyes of the audience at a show. “

How far is this non-music career going to go? Could it be TV, could you become a celebrity?

It’s everything. I really just view myself as an artist, I create on every platform and in every format, music is just something I’m inherently drawn to.

As a kid, playing around in your big box of toys, music was the one that I grabbed first. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to play with the other toys. It means that that’s maybe my favourite one.

I’m writing a short film at the moment, with a friend, that will come out next year. The album that’s coming out is a series of videos that interlink. There’s 20 minutes in the show that has no music.

So I’d really like to show how far I can push things, because that’s why I do it. I enjoy creating things, seeing what I can do and being that sort of vessel for it. It will be interesting to see where it does go, I honestly don’t know.”

When can we expect the new album?

I’m being kind of a perfectionist on it, so not really soon, but fairly soon. Definitely 100% this year and probably sooner rather than later but there’s no single locked in, there’s nothing yet.”

So it would seem that, far from Queen Zee’s ardent audience having to console themselves following the split, we are about to experience an amazing burst of multimedia creativity.

Zee’s passion about art and message is as strong as it ever was. What we are seeing is an artist who refuses to let boundaries or pigeonholing define them or what they do.

What we are seeing is a brave and bold move from someone for whom staying true to your vision is more important than being successful.

Despite the highs that Queen Zee scaled and the impact that they had, it would seem that the best is yet to come.

Banjo

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/63Rggji5w5RZEJjT262Spr