Before she was your Queen our Josephine, alongside with Nick Goddard, was Queue Dance. A Brighton based band doing their jazzy jaunty thing sounding like a young Tracey Thorn fronting Jim Jiminee or the Man Upstairs. A moment in musical history that kept life sounding fine from 1984 – 1989 ensuring that if you’re were into bands as Marine Girls, The Man Upstairs, Dolly Mixture, Dislocation Dance, Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike, early Everything But The Girl or Strawberry Switchblade you will love Queue Dance. Which is good news because so do the amazing Berlin label Firestation Records, who specialise in releasing British guitar, jangle and indie pop from the 80s and early 90s. Much to Queenie and Nick’s delight they have backed their enthusiasm for obscure 80s indie-pop reggae jazz Brighton sounds by releasing a compilation of all things Queue Dance called Full Stop. Yes Her Majesty Queen Josephine is out in the big wide world and sounding good. Twenty-two Queue Dance tracks saving the world one glorious tune at a time.
Queue Dance’s Full Stop is out now on Firestation Records. Buy your copy here. Yes buy not steal people, remember home taping is killing music.
A word from Queen Josephine about Queue Dance:
Nick Goddard and myself, Jo Bourne met in Brighton in late 1982 in Nick’s brother Simon’s band. Nick played sax and keyboards, whilst I was recruited as backing vocalist. Pretty soon we decided to try our hand at doing our own material – initially as an electronic duo, making music my dad remarked at sounding ‘very tuneful though reminiscent of musical farts’ (he wasn’t aware of Georgio Moroder or Eurythmics at the time). By the long hot summer of 1983 we had virtually ditched the synth in favour of an acoustic guitar and vocals sound, which made busking much easier. This had two purposes as playing out in the streets helped refine the songs and also kept our respective fridges stocked (with food and beer – very important!!!). Occasionally Ian would join us on acoustic bass to liven things up a bit too.
It wasn’t long before we decided to put a band together for ‘proper’ gigs. Initially Clive (percussion) and Andy (bass) joined us for some dates around Brighton. From then on, the Queue Dance live band had many line-up changes over the years (thank you Michele, Jennie, Kia, Andrew B, Andrew C, Andrew D, Martha, Pete, Mary-Julie & Eileen). But more of that later….
Nick had a four track in his bedroom and was very keen to record the songs as soon as they were ‘ready’ – hence the existence of a lot of recorded early material. There’s a smattering of jazz on many of the tracks as this was one of Nick’s passions, along with a definite pop/reggae feel which appealed to both of us. And whilst the live shows supporting mainly local bands kept flowing during the mid-80s and the search for an illusive record deal went on, we got a bit of a boost when asked to play live on BBC 1’s Saturday Superstore on a freezing February morning in 1985. The performance of Pow Pow I’m In For It Now certainly helped with exposure (in fact, after the outside broadcast I actually thought I was suffering from exposure!) and from then on we were slightly more recognisable faces around our hometown. We also secured some higher profile gigs, notably supporting the then rather famous James and the poet Ivor Cutler, along with a season of gigs as part of the renowned Brighton Festival. We also had two tracks – For A Moment and a cover of Cole Porter’s My Heart Belongs To Daddy –featured on the compilation album Paper Boats In Puddles.
Throughout the song-writing and live gigging process, Queue Dance continued busking when & where we could – not only in Brighton but also London, Norfolk and Belgium – and it was whilst performing our musical wares in Thetford that we were spotted by Ann Croft, wife of David (co-writer of Dad’s Army and other numerous successful British TV sitcoms) who went on to finance our first single Not The One For Me in 1987. And whilst this didn’t propel us to international superstardom it DID get Radio One plays including one from the famous Radio One Roadshow when it was broadcast from Brighton.
Our live band had continued to grow featuring drums, percussion, trumpet, cello, sax, bass and backing vocalists. The sound engineer at the Clarendon, Hammersmith certainly looked surprised when seven of us piled out of the van for the gig there when he’d expected a trio at the most! The name Queue Dance was eventually changed to The Crisps and finally to Jack as we sought to freshen things up a bit! As Jack, we toured as part of the 25 Years of Top Of The Pops tour presented by Anthea Turner & Mark Goodier, performing alongside such stars as Aswad, Roy Wood, Lisa Stansfield, Ruby Turner and Maxi Priest. Their single Sssensational on Tosh Records reached the lower reaches of the UK top 100. The songs on this release were all recorded between 1984 – 1989 whilst Queue Dance was still our name.