Any regulars at PPM might have remembered the post that I made last year outlining my hyper-deluxe “Showpeople – Footlights edition” BSOG® that I had made years ago in 2008. As a sop to several readers clamoring for their own copy [but certainly not in my power to bestow], I included the 74 page PDF detailed discography that I included on one of the discs as a bonus. In this thrill-a-minute, crazy, connected world, word of this managed to filter back to Mari Wilson central. Mari was preparing her new website to launch her new album “Pop Deluxe” and… lo and behold, I was asked if the new website could use the discography I had made years ago.
Of course, I was delighted to comply. It’s not every day that a project that I had poured my passion into (some years ago at that) got to be used by the subject of my interest. However, there was a lot of water under the bridge since 2008. Since then, Mari had started releasing her albums on her own Beehive Records imprint, and this at a rate that had easily eclipsed the stately two albums in the eleven year period of 1980-1991 that my discography covered.
Given that I often revisit my projects to update them [not unlike real labels] I proposed to Ms. Wilson that I should bring it right up to date, so her site now hosts an update to the discography that I had begun eight years ago viewable here. Now the albums “Dolled Up,” “Emotional Glamour” and “Cover Stories” and their respective singles [as well as the odd non-LP single] are all accounted for with the full Monastic detail you have come to know and expect. Cover scans are fully zoomable to view all of the detail inherent in their design, of course! Anyone who wants to have a look can give Mari’s site a visit and explore. Her new album is released on May 13th, but can still be pre-purchased at her Pledge Music campaign until release day.
That’s all super-fab, but this year brings two great tastes that taste great together in my world – for the first time The British Electric Foundation has Mari Wilson in its ranks! In a move that corrects several omissions of tragic proportions, B.E.F. mastermind Martyn Ware has wisely chosen Mari Wilson to sing in the 2016 B.E.F. tour as well as their summer festival dates. Anyone familiar with the 1982 B.E.F. debut album, “Music Of Quality + Distinction” might remember how Martyn Ware roped their friend Paula Yates to sing “These Boots Are Made For Walking” while Midge Ure and Glenn Gregory sang the backing vocals under the nom-du-disque The Nancy Boys? Imagine how much better the track could have been if they had instead asked Mari Wilson instead? Mari was no stranger to camp in 1982 but coupled with her ability to sing, she could have really taken the song places where Ms. Yates could not even begin to venture. Well, in 2016, she may be the voice to finally give that song some justice.
B.E.F. will be on all three lineups of the UK Rewind Festival this summer and in the Fall, Heaven 17 are setting out on the “Penthouse + Pavement 35th Anniversary Tour with the evening split between H17 and B.E.F. Here are all of those dates:
B.E.F. | Summer Festival Schedule
Rewind Scotland | Scone Palace, Perth | July 22-24
Guests: Mari Wilson, Thomas Dolby, Peter Coyle [Lotus Eaters], Shingai Shoniwa [Noisettes], Peter Hooten [The Farm] + Glenn Gregory
Rewind North | Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire | Aug. 5-7
Guests: Mari Wilson, Thomas Dolby, Peter Coyle [Lotus Eaters], Shingai Shoniwa [Noisettes], Peter Hook [New Order] + Glenn Gregory
Rewind South | Temple Island Meadows, Henley-On-Thames | Aug. 19-21
Guests: Mari Wilson, Jaki Graham, Peter Coyle [Lotus Eaters], Richard James Burgess [Landscape], Peter Hooten [The Farm] + Glenn Gregory
Heaven 17/B.E.F. | “Penthouse + Pavement” 35th Anniversary Tour
Liverpool O2 Academy | Oct. 20
Birmingham Town Hall | Oct. 21
Glasgow O2 ABC | Oct. 23
Gateshead Sage | Oct. 24
Sheffield City Hall | Oct. 25
Manchester O2 Ritz | Oct. 26
Bury St Edmunds Apex | Oct. 28
Basingstoke Anvil | Oct. 29
London Shepherd’s Bush Empire | Oct. 30
If I had an airline voucher and a pocketful of spending cash, I’d opt for any of the H17/B.E.F. gigs [their live band is on fire right now] and the Rewind South gig since Richard James Burgess of Landscape [!] will be making a rare live performance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ll wager that there were no Landscape live performances back in the day! That gear was simply not up to the travel.
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