I'm sure it would come as no surprise to any follower of the Isle that I am a huge Bananarama fan. I've loved them as a trio and a duo, and also love ex-Nana Siobhan Fahey's work with Shakespear's Sister and her solo stuff. But I had never properly explored the work of short term Nana (and Siobhan's replacement) Jacquie O'Sullivan. As it was Bananarama's 30th anniversary this year, Jacquie, who has long been MIA, has recently come back into the spotlight in a string of interviews and even has her own Facebook page and website. Through these interviews I discovered that after Bananarama she was in a short-lived duo called Slippry Feet with journalist Paul Simper, and they released an album, mostly comprised of demos, in 2001. Of course I had to buy it immediately. The songs were recorded between 1992 and 1996 and are primarily pop house with funky moments and a lot of camp. I'd compare it most to previous Isle postee Freaky Realistic. Jacquie's music story begins in 1983 when, bored after years of partying and hanging around the punk scene in the 1970s, she and her friend Lyn recruited a few friends and formed the Shillelagh Sisters. The band, who performed rockabilly music and were deemed "cowpunk" by the press, toured and managed to release a couple of singles on CBS. They didn't achieve much success, however, and disbanded. Not much was heard from Jacquie again until 1988, when out of the blue she was asked by Pete Waterman to replace a disgruntled Siobhan Fahey in Bananarama. She had occasionally hung out with remaining members Keren and Sara and accepted immediately. She rerecorded Siobhan's vocals on the single "I Want You Back", and it and her first original song with the group, "Love, Truth & Honesty" appeared on Bananarama's 1988 Greatest Hits Collection. She then toured with them and they recorded and released the amazing album Pop Life (one of my all-time faves) in 1991. The album was not a success, however, likely due in part to the girls' choice to use producers other than Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who were behind so many of their hits. Jacquie left the group soon after, as she felt that she was always in the shadow of Siobhan and was never really accepted by the other two girls in the group, who helped to push her out. She was soon contacted by her old friend Paul Simper, who had met her years earlier when doing a story on the Shillelagh Sisters, about joining together as a duo, which they had previously discussed. The two started making demos and did club gigs in order to get label interest. They were close to signing a deal in 1996 with Sony but, thanks to their A&R guy's troubles, it never happened. Jacquie then took off to Thailand and Paul went back to journalism. In 2001 Jacquie managed to get a three album deal with Almafame Records, who released compilations of rare material from both the Shillelagh Sisters and Slippry Feet (which is the album featured here). A third compilation of Jacquie's solo material was promised but never materialized. Since then Jacquie has traveled extensively and focused on her loves of yoga and belly dancing. While she has no immediate plans to go back to music, the fact that her Facebook page is also dedicated to Slippry Feet is a good sign that we may hear something from them again someday. (BTW, you can get the album in better quality off of iTunes and Amazon, there titled Slippry Feet's Nothing Else On Her Mind, though it does not include the track "Ridiculous".)
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