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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Mime and Lindsay Kemp...

One of the happiest times in my career was that spent working with internationally renowned mime artiste and cat throttler Lindsay Kemp. Oh what fun we'd have, whiling away the hours pretending to be trapped behind a plate of glass or attempting to stave off being crushed between two sliding doors with only the palms of our hands and a doorstop. I was only dipping my toe in the water though, in a dilletante Chameleon-changing-to-suit-the-needs-of-his-environment type dilly dallying, flibbertygibbety sort of way - Linds was the real Master (or should that be Mistress?? I was never too sure...) I mean, he could do stuff I couldn't even dream of - like that one where you pretend you've cut your thumb off and wiggle it about between two of your fingers. Such deft sleight of hand for a man of eighty!

It was Lindsay who choreographed all the shows on the Mongy Spondulick and the Milliners from Jupiter tour and, if I'm honest, he's the one who deserves most of the credit for the stunning visuals we achieved on stage, taking rock theatre to new heights - and Arbroath, if memory serves. They still talk about it at the Ruislip Community Centre, I'm told. Such fun I'd have, dressing up as Mongy, getting into character by groping a few of the soundcrew, mincing around in a tutu *completely* wrecked on Brass-o before bounding on stage in my trademark lyotard and stack heeled boots. I'd get so nervous before shows, you see, that I'd even forget to put my ruddy trousers on!

Lindsay may be the least well known of the Kemp brothers - most likely because Gary insisted on shunting him off to the side of the stage to play percussion wearing a daft kilt or miming to a session saxophonist's solo on 'True' - but no one could have been more pleased for the lad than I was when he finally reached the audience he deserved in that film about the Krays. He's brilliant as Phil in Eastenders too, isn't he? Face only a mother could love...

Ah the New Romantics! That takes me back. You see, it wasn't all mass unemployment, Thatcherism and Rick Astley in the 1980s. There *was* actually something even worse. Spendo Ballenedo and Utra-Volox were probably my favourites, but even they couldn't match the epic grandeur and austere majesty of Blancminge singing "I'm up the Cocking Tree". Oh for the day when someone will launch a full scale revival of that fabulous, innocent time. Hurry up lads, while I can still squeeze into me leg warmers!!

L.U.V. on y'all,





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