Alannah Currie

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Alannah Currie
Alannah Currie, Bristol, February 1984
Alannah Currie, Bristol, February 1984
Background information
Birth nameAlannah Joy Currie
Born (1957-09-20) 20 September 1957 (age 63)
OriginAuckland, New Zealand
GenresPop, rock, dance, new wave, synthpop
InstrumentsMarimba, saxophone, drums, percussion, vocals
Years active1979–1997
LabelsArista Records, Warner Bros. Records
Associated actsThompson Twins, Babble

Alannah Joy Currie (born 20 September 1957, in Auckland, New Zealand[1]) is a London-based artist and musician, best known as a former member of the 80s UK pop group Thompson Twins.


Born in New Zealand and trained as a journalist, Currie immigrated to the UK in 1977. Currie squatted in various places in South West London, ending up in Lillieshall Road, Clapham Old Town. In 1979, with her across-the-road neighbour, Trace Newton-Ingham (Traci Newton), she co-founded the dread-punk-improvising group, The Unfuckables. The Unfuckables performed one "gig" at an anti-psychiatry conference in early 1980, held in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.[citation needed] For this particular gig the group comprised the two co-founders, plus an array of musicians from London's "underground" music scene — Viv Albertine (The Slits), Gareth Sager (The Pop Group), Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward (This Heat), Tom Bailey (of Thompson Twins, whom she would later marry), Jimmy Cauty (later of The KLF, and her current husband) and improviser Steve Beresford, amongst others.

In 1981, Currie joined Tom Bailey, Joe Leeway, and others to form part of the Thompson Twins, the line-up of which included up to seven members in its early days. The Thompson Twins became a trio in 1982 and signed two major record contracts with Arista Records before signing with Warner Bros. Records. Currie was a lyricist, percussionist, visual stylist and singer in the band and co-wrote and recorded 6 albums which included gold and platinum records and the hits "Doctor! Doctor!", "Hold Me Now", and "You Take Me Up".[2] The band performed at the JFK Stadium, Philadelphia for the 1985 Live Aid concert and worked with artists including Nile Rodgers, Madonna, Grace Jones, Alex Sadkin and Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads amongst others.

In 1984 the band participated in the "first international satellite installation" by Nam June Paik, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell.[3]

Her songwriting credits also include "I Want That Man", an international hit for Deborah Harry in 1989.

By 1992, Currie and her husband, fellow Thompson Twins band member Tom Bailey, elected to form Babble, featuring Currie as lyricist, percussionist and visual artist, as a means of creating music without the commercial expectations that were placed on the Thompson Twins. By 1994 Babble had released their first album. Currie later returned to New Zealand working primarily as a glass artist and environmental activist. She was founder of the women's anti-genetic engineering movement Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment (MAdGE).[4] In 2004 she designed a series of protest billboards that caused controversy in New Zealand but won several international art/science awards.[5]

In 2004 she returned to London where she now works under the name Miss Pokeno and continues to make art that fuses ″joyful dissent″ with disruptive/uncomfortable narratives. Her practice plays on the boundary between the humorous and threatening, as with the (semi-) mythological militant feminists The Sisters of Perpetual Resistance and the Armchair Destructivists.[6][7]


  1. ^ "September 28 Events in History at". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Alannah Currie – Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  3. ^ Good Morning Mr Nam June Paik, frieze, Issue 116 June–August 2008, [1] Archived 1 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Moms Battle Genetic Engineering". Wired. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Why Not Just Genetically Engineer Women For Milk? – Scoop News". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  6. ^ Currie, singer in the 80s band the Thompson Twins, on her new incarnation as an artist-upholsterer, The Guardian, 26 April 2008, [2]
  7. ^ Pilger, Zoe, Miss Pokeno and the Sisters of Perpetual Resistance: Review – 'militant feminist art', The Independent, 5 December 2013, [3]

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