Many times I am asked “Did you ever think you’d be doing what you are doing now when you where 19 years old?” It’s one of those rather tedious repetitive questions that gets thrown at you, that makes you grit your teeth and try to answer in a civil tone, omitting the phrase “look you dumb arse, how the hell would I have known 36 years ago that the world would have a completely different landscape today…….ddduuuuuhhhhhh!”
Yet here I am standing at Butlers Wharf London, where all those years ago I made the film JUBILEE, back then I was as poor as hell. I couldn’t buy food and used to walk home rain sodden because I couldn’t afford the travel fair. And 36 year ago Butlers Wharf was the waste ground Derek Jarman used as the back drop to his punk epic, Jubillee. It was an unwanted part of London but today it is a startlingly vibrant, beautiful and bustling community.
I’ve just found my sister in ST. KATHERINE’S DOCK where she has boarded her sailing yacht for the next 10 months. At the age of 63 she is embarking on the CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT RACE.
This is her dream, what she has worked hard for, for the past 45 years. A dream that entails crossing treacherous seas through unforgiving seasons, only being able to wash once a week and sharing a bunk (or hammock) with 21 other crew on a rota of four hours sleep, six hours crewing for the next 294 days.
In answer to the question “would I have guessed 36 years ago…………?”
NO!. I’d never have guessed what I’d be doing today.
My sister Nicola Besag was the quietest member of the Willcox family. Nicola was the studious one who always played by the rules. She used to wait at the school gates to collect me from detention. She was the one summoned to explain my behaviour when I threw chairs out of the classroom window.
Nicola was shy and lacking in confidence then suddenly around 30 years old the Willcox gene kicked in and she became known for her ferocity, so much so when I was in hospital two weeks ago for a check up one of the nurses came up to me and said is Nicola Besag your sister? “Yes”, “Oh she was terrifying when I sat my exams with her.” NICE.
I told my sister this and she was very happy her reputation still resounds around the NHS. I once witnessed my sister hauling an abusive driver on the A40 out of his car and across his bonnet……so look out high seas you’ve got a challenge coming. I know she will be ok but in a diminishing family she will be missed beyond comparison.
I might have mentioned this before but I was supposed to take the summer off…………I have never been busier!
Every second has been filled with requests, demands, please would you’s and Oh while you are here…….!!!!!
Exaggeration not! This has easily been one of the busiest times of my life. Partly because next year has gone through the roof, the recession is definitely easing as band bookings are coming in every hour for 2014. There won’t be a tour as such next year, but rather we intend to work all year across the UK and parts of Europe too.
In the last two weeks two very nice movie roles have come in, purely low budget British projects, one is a SCI-FI…….I’d say it was my very first sci-fi but back in ‘85 I did a small scene for a sci-fi, Lorca & The Outlaws (skip to 58 mins in) singing in a video sequence, “Lion of Symmetry” which I co-wrote with Genesis member Tony Banks.
Anyway I get a call from the British director asking if I’d consider a small cameo and the answer was YES PLEASE!
The other role is for Tom Lawes who is a great film maker who lives barely 500 yards from my front door. Tom has been a keen supporter of my acting and music for a long time. He owns the Electric Cinema in Birmingham where he wants THE HUMANS to perform asap!
Robert and I are about to start filming for VINTAGE TV. This is a totally new departure for Robert. I’m not totally convinced he knows what to do in front of a camera but I do know he will be fantastic and I am there to guide him. In fact I think he is a talent yet to be discovered on the “talking head to camera” stage. He is a naturally funny raconteur. After this I want to encourage him into acting, I think he could fill Donald Pleasence’s shoes! Hubby has a natural menace about him.
For the festivals this year we were blessed with fantastic weather. I really loved JACK UP THE 80s, the audience where blissed out, super cool and happy. This mood seeped its way onto the stage, it felt like a festival should feel…….total summer bliss. UPTON was the same, I was nervous playing home turf but it was a fantastic show.
The band played so well at all the shows. I love it when the hair stands up on the back of my neck, this is usually when wongy does a blinding solo or Alan Dale does an unexpected drum fill which makes us all smile with surprise, appreciation and acknowledgement.
The backstages at all the festivals where quite an experience this year. Only Tatton Park was calm and collected.
At the ISLE OF WHITE I dressed and put my make up on in the bus with very friendly people roaming in and out for conversations. It felt like the early days when all convention of artist/audience didn’t exist and instead there was a free for all and once you made it to the stage you had more space! If the audience only knew, no point being modest in these conditions, you just have to strip off ☺
In a couple of weeks we start rehearsing for THE LOVE IS THE LAW TOUR. Wongoose has been arranging the songs, I’ve been planning the costume with Sean Chapman and Dean Stockings is planning a new shoot around his commitments to Boy George.
It’s a busy year about to get busier! More news on the tour in the October web letter, but I will say we are all excited!
But now, I need to go because there’s a record label to talk to who wants HUMANS 3. Fingers crossed…………….a Christmas release…………..maybe?