March 1984 -
Zig Zag (UK)
and finally... The Glove
and finally... The Glove
Mistily, through a haze and vodka and orange I seem to remember a meeting with a girl. A girl involved in something called The Glove. Steady hands, twenty twenty vision...I have none of these things but I'll do my best to recollect the vague outlines of this far-off meeting.
Onto The Glove which as you know by now is the project designed to house the fevered imaginations of Steve Severin and Robert Smith, a collection of ideas deemed for posterity the instigating pair involved a guest vocalist, Jeanette Landray who featured on the album 'Blue Sunshine' and stole the show on the Gloves Riverside spot.
Although she's not known that well yet
as a musician, Jeanette's face is already familiar with millions through her
regular appearances as one of Top Of The Pop's regular dancers added a welcome
inventiveness to their stale cavortings. However, before she graduated to these
heights she already had a musical pedigree of sorts courtesy of Eric's,
launching pad for so many scouse success stories...
"I used to go down their a lot with friends when Big In Japan or someone were playing and once in a while we'd just join in one way or another, Budgie was always around, either in one of his bands or as a regular DJ and eventually it was through him that I met Steve and Robert."
Steve Severin had been nurturing intentions of working with Robert for a few years since Mr. Smiths first stint as a part-time Banshee back in 79 on the Join Hands tour but his schemes didn't come to fruitition until early last year. The duo laid some backing tracks and then began auditioning hopefuls for the role of guest vocalist, the point at which our Miss Landray entered the picture. Amid fierce competition, Jeanette landed the job and as they started work so the position became a bit clearer and a few illusions were shattered.
"Basically because it was so clearly Robert and Steve's project I had a strange role, involved but not with any real say in the way things turned out, almost like a session musician really. I don't know what I'd actually expected but if I was offered something similar again I'd have a much clearer idea of the problems involved. I'm not bitter about it, but I have had to fight to get this far and it did get me some very useful exposure but I just underestimated how little expression I'd have in the promotion of the album. I still feel like a faceless voice to some extent. It's very mush Steve and Robert's baby though but that was always clear so I can't really complain."
Is it something you'd do again?
"Yeah, I would but I'd be much clearer about everything a second time around and that's valuable experience, the sort I wouldn't have got without having done this. Anyway we had some great times while we were making the album and some of the things that happened were just ludicrous... too much vodka!"
By this point I was suffering from the same complaint but through the cobwebs of my memory I recall we discussed the contorted nature of some of the cover photos, carry on Jeanette I'm feeling a bit weak...
"That photo for the sleeve of 'Punish Me With Kisses' was murder! We had this old foreign photo of this woman in that sort of crab position but it was done by cut-ups so of course I set out to do it for real. I had to sort of handcuff my legs to the table and just contort myself but being a dancer I managed to do it somehow. I've got the scars to prove it!"
By this point in the proceedings your humble reporter was feeling less than 100%, having been drunk under the table by both the interviewee and her press officer Claudine. Just before becoming totally incoherent Jeanette filled me in on her future plans.
"The Glove as a project is now virtually over, there might be odd bits and pieces here and there but I'm really concentrating on my own plans now. I'm working with a guitarist friend and by the time this comes out we'll have some great demos ready and then we'll go about getting a deal. It's light years away from what we've done with The Glove but I think I've still got a fairly clean slate as far as that goes. I've also just started choreographing videos for people and that's something to fall back on but I'm really determined that I'm going to be known for my choice and singing rather than just a beautiful arse on Top Of The Pops."
Amen to that. Despite having been disillusioned by The Glove I think Jeanette has definitely got a real future ahead of her. She's a real all-rounder and that's a welcome change from the hordes of dilletantes currently tempting to be multi media men. 'Blue Sunshine' is not this woman's epitaph, it's an introduction and you'd do well to keep the name in mind.