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 65)
OriginAuckland, New Zealand
GenresPop, rock, dance, new wave, synth-pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, artist, designer
Instrument(s)Marimba, saxophone, keyboards, drums, percussion, vocals
Years active1979–1997
LabelsArista Records, Warner Bros. Records

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

Career[edit]

Born in New Zealand and trained as a journalist, Currie emigrated to the UK in 1977. Currie squatted in South London. She formed a band The Unfuckables that performed a single gig.[2][3]

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 for 15 years.

She 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". 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.[3][4][5] Her songwriting credits also include "I Want That Man", an international hit for Deborah Harry in 1989.[6]

In 1984 the band participated in the "first international satellite installation" by Nam June Paik, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell.[7]

By 1992, Currie and her then 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. In 1994 Babble released their first album. Currie later returned to New Zealand working primarily as a glass artist and environmental activist. She was the founder of the women's anti-genetic engineering movement Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment (MAdGE).[8] In 2003 she designed a series of protest billboards that caused controversy in New Zealand and won several international art/science awards.[9]

In 2004 she returned to London where she works under the name Miss Pokeno and makes 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.[10][11] She has a studio in London called Doyce Street Studios Projects.[3]

In 2022, her artwork was shown in London in a group show, 'Five Needle Five Wire', curated by Roxana Halls and Wendy Elia. Other artists included Sarah Maple, Adelaide Damoah, Wendy Elia, Roxana Halls, Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, Marie-Anne Mancio, Annie Attridge, Carmen and Luisa, Vicki DaSilva, Farrah Riley Gray, Fiona Robinson, Tina True, Julie Umerle, Jessica Voorsanger and Chloe Wing. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "September 28 Events in History at BrainyHistory.com". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ Rocca, Jane (24 November 2017). "Tom Bailey: I was never a great believer in institutions validating my relationship". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Alannah Currie - Miss Pokeno - Sisters of Perpetual Resistance". Miss Pokeno. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Alannah Currie – Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. ^ Fulton, Rick (10 April 2015). "80s pop legends Thomson Twins on playing Live Aid with Madonna on backing vocals". Daily Record. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Debbie Harry - I Want That Man". Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd. 22 July 2019. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  7. ^ Good Morning Mr Nam June Paik, frieze, Issue 116 June–August 2008, [1] Archived 1 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Moms Battle Genetic Engineering". Wired. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Why Not Just Genetically Engineer Women For Milk? – Scoop News". www.scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  10. ^ Currie, singer in the 80s band the Thompson Twins, on her new incarnation as an artist-upholsterer, The Guardian, 26 April 2008, [2]
  11. ^ Pilger, Zoe, Miss Pokeno and the Sisters of Perpetual Resistance: Review – 'militant feminist art', The Independent, 5 December 2013, [3]
  12. ^ Five Needle Five Wire, Thamesside Studios Gallery

External links[edit]