Alannah Currie in Classic Pop
I was very happy to be able to write this Classic Pop profile of Alannah Currie: artist, activist, ex-pop star. Her childhood in New Zealand with an illegal bookie father sounds like a scene from The Grifters. Upon moving to London, she got stuck into the squat scene and formed nuisance-makers The Unfuckables. When Thompson Twins moved in opposite, she eyed up their PA but wound up falling in love with singer Tom Bailey. She joined the band, which became so ridiculously huge that she was made cultural ambassador of NZ and at one point counted Madonna as a backing singer.
Currie and Bailey were living in a Victorian asylum in Wandsworth when they decided to “go feral” and up sticks to wild and woolly bush land in Tawharanui Peninsula, New Zealand.
“We thought we could operate the band by internet, so we built this crazy wedding cake of a house in the side of a cliff. The rain came down. Picture scenes from The Piano.”
Currie didn’t change out of her Vivienne Westwood boots for the first year, despite the constant deluge of mud. “We had Polaroids of our London place. I used to look at them and think, ‘Ooh, I used to be a pop star. What have we done to ourselves?’ Tom got depressed, hid under the stairs and meditated for three hours a day.”
In Classic Pop, out in the UK now.