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Eighties Overview






'Me looking like Anne of Green Gables with the Afro-Caribbean band,‘The Republic’, performing at Clapham Common in 1982'

1980

Toured Northern clubs with a pianist friend from drama school - learning how to sing!

To Florence with an Italian blues band, Panama, later called Wop Avenue: recordings, concerts, homesickness…

1981

Edinburgh Festival triumph with Mitch Binns in a musical, Hollywood Dreams, based on Kathleen and Kenneth Anger's controversial book Hollywood Babylon. It wins an Edinburgh First and transfers to London's Latchmere Theatre.

Talent spotted by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart – sang backing vocals on their first single Into the Garden.

Dave Stewart helps record the songs from Hollywood Dreams in his studio in a church in Chalk Farm.

1982

Makes and sells clothes in Camden Lock.

Joins Afro-Caribbean-Latin band, The Republic, as their lead singer.

1983

Toured the UK and Switzerland with The Republic.

Decorate the ground floor of The Trocadero at Piccadilly Circus with the boyfriend.

Interior decoration of the restaurant 'Maxims’.

1984


Joins Happy End, a twenty-one-piece big band formed in 1983 by Matt Fox and specialised in the music of Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler.

1985


Co-writes a song called Coal Not Dole with Kay Sutcliffe, a Kent miner's wife and Matt Fox The song becomes the anthem of the miners' strike.

Performs Billy Holliday's Lover Man at a 'Gay's The Word' fundraising concert at the Fridge in Brixton with Richard Coles and Jimmy Somerville.

Flies to New York to record two duets with Jimmy for the first Communards album.


'in the bathroom practising screaming for a ‘Wop Avenue’ publicity shot. The
band's name came because Fifth Avenue in New York was known as Wop Avenue due to all the Gucci shops!'


'Paul (can’t remember his surname, but what a voice!) and me fronting The Happy End at the Albany Empire in Deptford'.

1986

The Red Wedge Tour with The Communards.

Picked up by Madness's management Stirling Artists.

Sings with Test Department on their album A Good Night Out.

The Communards teams up with Labour politician Tony Benn to perform the history of the Labour Party as a rap at London's ICA at a freedom of speech concert along with Salman Rushdie reading his Satanic Verses.

Tours India and Europe with the Annie Whitehead Band.

The Communards revival of the 70’s Gamble and Huff hit Don't Leave Me This Way tops the charts around the World and is number 1 in the UK for 5 weeks.

Sings and models for the first catwalk show by Katherine Hamnett and later opens the designer's first shop in the Fulham Road in London, all orchestrated by PR, Lynne Franks.

1987


Guests on the Dutch singer, Richenel's A Year Has Many Days album for Sony Records.

Gives an acclaimed performance in the play, The Sleep, directed by Pete Brooks with music from Jeremy Peyton Jones for the Glasgow MayFest, the Riverside Studios in London and the Polverigi Festival in Italy.

Plays the role of Samantha Graham in Thin Air.
Antonia Bird’s first TV thriller series for the BBC

1988


Signs a solo record deal with Jive Records

Co-writes her first song, Cry with Alistair Gavin who produced a number of tracks on her first album.



The song, Cry, was written at the end of her relationship with Mike Reddish, the artist of this oil painting: ‘After four years of romance, I wrote it as a way to get myself out of the relationship.’

1989


Debut album, Sarah Jane Morris is released in March, receiving great critical acclaim and selling 100,000 copies. The second single Me And Mrs Jones attained cult status as the BBC banned it for its lesbian implications.

Success in Europe beckons with a tour supporting Simply Red.

Records the voice over of two television advertisements for Marie Claire.

Voted Best Female Vocalist by Italy's Rockstar magazine.

Receives the keys of the city of Verona for her performance at the Verona Arena.

Steve White asks her to appear on The Jazz Renegades album, Freedom Samba, for Polydor. The featured track is Do It The Hard Way. They further collaborate on a track called Mother Of The Future for the album, Acid Jazz and Other Illicit Grooves Vol. 2 for Acid Jazz Records.

Appears at an anti-Poll Tax benefit.