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KajaFax SuperFan #3

January 31, 2011

KajaFax SuperFan Series #3

Our third super fan in the series is Lulu Kyriacou from the UK.

Lulu.  Photograph taken by Cymon Taylor

If you haven’t already read the Fan Stories #1 piece from Lulu, it would make sense to read that first and then come back!

Hi Lulu, many thanks for agreeing to be part of our SuperFan series.You are most welcome.

I’d like to start off talking about those early days, it must have felt very exciting to be there right at the start?

Well we didn’t really realise that while we were there, it got much more exciting when there were other fans, security and Paul Ryan to dodge!

Were the Kajagang happy when everything exploded or was there an element of you that wanted to keep it all to yourselves!?

I don’t know about the others but I was bloody furious when Linda turned up at the studio with Gill and Julie (who did turn out to be dedicated) after Too Shy was a hit! But it didn’t make that much difference in the end!

You were all very young and you did a lot of travelling and hanging around, how were your parents about that situation?

They had no choice and to be honest the band were so clean cut (in public) they were probably quite happy. We could have been chasing round after some real mean rock and rollers!

In those early days, did you appreciate the music or was it all about the image?

Personally I had a better image than them (I thought!!) so if they hadn’t been able to play their instruments and make a decent tune, I wouldn’t have bothered once Nick Rhodes had gone.

The foyer of the Royal Gardens Hotel, the first night Lulu met Limahl

How did it feel to be part at the last night of the tour? With such a huge show as the Hammersmith one, being there must have been quite something.

It was amazing. We were all posing in the front row, we made sure we made a mass entrance when everyone was looking about 15 minutes before the band appeared so all the ‘normal’ fans could see us come in!!

When ‘Ooh to be Ah’ came out and subsequently reached No7 in the charts, was there any feeling of a decline in the band support or did this have no relevance to the fans at that time?

I dont think it made any difference at that time and I loved the track myself.

When the news came out that Limahl was parting company from the band, how did this news affect you?

The cracks had been showing, we were not surprised. Only one of us ‘Nicki’ abandoned ship to follow Limahl, the rest of us sort of let him get on with it.

We’re you excited about the four piece band continuing or was there quite a dramatic drop in the fans feeling of the band at that point?

Probably outside our group there might have been but we thought Nick would be an able replacement and so not to us.

Did you follow Limahl as a solo artist at all?

Oh yes, but we didnt trail round everywhere behind him. You have to be single minded as being a superfan takes up enough of your free time and money as it is.

Limahl at The Stables 2009.  Photograph by Lulu.

What was your impression of the Islands album when you bought it initially and what are your thoughts about that album now? Did you see this album as progression or just too much of a change from White Feathers?

I think it is fair to say that if the band had just released Islands, it might have been a bigger hit than it was as the tracks were mostly good on it, but Nick particularly had got quite spiritual and there was a little too much of that and I did notice fans drifting away. I think you could say the surrounding attitude was not ‘rock and roll’ enough, there was nothing wrong with the music.

At the point of Crazy People’s Right to Speak coming out, what level would you say your fan loyalty was at that point, we’re you still an avid fan and what did you make of that album?

Well by then the band were calling themselves Kaja by then and we were sorry to see Jez leave but the others were trying out lots of different stuff and I liked it much better on the whole than Islands. The hardcore were still pretty dedicated, though we didn’t need to sit outside recording studios. We knew where the office was and just dropped in if we had time. Myself and Donna were pretty buddy with Steve and Anna by this point and went round for dinner or whatever but I was just about to leave London. I dont think avid is the best term for me, I am far too objective but on the other hand I still turned up every night when they did a residency week in a Watford venue!

When the band finally parted company and concentrated on their own projects, did you think that was the last time the band would ever come together?

Yes I did. I figured they would end up playing for other bands as they were all so able. I did go and see Nick when he was in Ellis Beggs and Howard (big Bubbles was a great track) although I didn’t wait to see him afterwards (my boyfriend at the time would have been horrified) and I kept in touch with Donna (still do) who kept in touch with Anna for a long while, but then I moved to the USA and that was sort of that for me being a superfan in person!

When the band were reunited by VH1 in 2003, were you at that show or aware that show was going ahead? What was your reaction to knowing the full band would come together again?

You are giving me too much credit! In 2003 the internet was still a baby thing (broadband had not arrived) and I was barely not in the country, I totally missed it all until I saw something about it on tv in holland or somewhere, I was astonished! I tried to get hold of the girls but only Donna was still in touch but she was living in County Durham and we didn’t have contact details for any of the band and we figured they wouldn’t remember us anyway. Although I did used to see Limahl about at various clubs when I was in London which was quite amusing, but I didn’t know how to get hold of any of them.

Did you attend any of the Retrofest shows that featured the band?

No I was out of the country and the fact they were playing barely registered! I think it was when I was home in 2008 I turned on the tv pretty much the day I got back and some some chat programme was on and I looked up and thought “gosh, that guy looks just like Nick Beggs but it can’t be cos that other one looks exactly like Limahl” but as you know already it was indeed them so I got on the internet and found the forum just in time to get to the Stables in 2008. The only member of the band I saw to speak to was Stuart on that occasion. Although I had a message from Steve via the website and had a reunion with Anna at the gig.

Steve Askew at The Stables 2009.  Photograph by Lulu.

When the band released Gone to the Moon, did you download the album and spend some time listening to that? What were your thoughts on the direction of the music?

I thought it was very like them just grown up if you see what I mean. Better lyrics, more depth.

Very shortly after that album, the reunion announcement was made and the concert at the Stables in 2008 felt like a very special evening, were you at that concert and if so, what was your interpretation of that show? Did you feel the magic of seeing the band together again like that?

Well as I said above I managed to get there, with one of the old gang and and it was great. I loved having Limahl back and his Swing Band were fab. It was hysterically funny that aside from a new track or two they pretty much played the same songs in the same order! 25 years and the set list hadn’t changed! As I said I did meet Stuart who did remember me by name (I was amazed) but I was firmly not going to hang about stage doors at my age in the damn freezing cold!

When the tour was announced and the EP released in 2009, did you attend any of those shows and did it take you back to 1983 in any way at all?

I was away for most of the tour and flew back from a job in Rio the morning of the London gig but with the best will in the world, I couldn’t do a drive from Salisbury to Kings Cross after an 11 hour flight with jet lag. But there was a gig in Southampton a couple of days later and I trotted down on my own, I figured it wouldn’t be a proper reunion tour if one of us didn’t turn up at least once! And it was a tiny place and I was standing at the back and before the gig was talking to one of the roadies. After the gig the roadie asked me what I thought and I said I was gratified to see they could still play their instruments after 25 years. He asked what my connection was and my exact words were “I am Lulu, not the most dedicated but certainly the first ‘superfan’” and I said goodbye and went to wait in the queue for my coat. While I was there waiting the roadie came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said would I follow him. Have to say I was a bit dubious about following strange roadies about dark clubs at midnight but he took me backstage and said wait here for a minute. Then he came back opened a door and all the band were there and I was speechless when they all jumped up and said ‘OMG its Lulu’ or words to that effect! We had a massive group hug (Nick called it a Lulu sandwich!) and I was amazed (again!) about how much they all remembered not only about me, but all the other girls. It was really emotional for me, I was so fond of all of them.

With the band making only two appearances last year and both at festivals, do you see a future for KajaGooGoo as a band in their own right or only making appearances at 80s type events?

I think they themselves have moved on a bit from Kaja. Reforming the band is fun but they make their living doing other stuff. If they wanted to really go back to the studio and touring circuit I am sure they would come up with some fantastic stuff but I think they would be more cult than mainstream, they were already going that way in the 80s.

We’re lucky enough to have some of your KajaGooGoo photographs in this feature and they are absolutely fantastic, is this something you do professionally?

Thank you and sort of! I take some pictures of horses!! You can find me easily if you google me on the web, but I am not a pro. Except for the second Stables concert (Steve: kinda horse related!!), a friend had lent me a large posh camera which I could hardly sneak in (officially no photos) but I saw Anna in the foyer and she suggested I pounce on the tour manager who was passing. The poor man who had seen me at Southampton probably didnt have a clue about my past history but I said just go and tell the band Lulu is here and wants to do posh pictures and bless him, he actually did cos he came back and said ‘Jez said you can do what you like’, I will fix it with the venue and the next minute I was being interviewed by the theatre manager and announced as the official photographer!! So just as well the shots came out ok to be honest!!

Nick Beggs at The Stables 2009.  Photograph by Lulu.

You were there in 1982 before it started and you’re still here in 2011, what keeps you such a loyal fan to the band? What would you like to see from the band in 2011 and beyond?

I went to see Haircut 100 last night and funnily enough someone asked me that there. The answer is simple enough, they could play their instruments and made good pop songs. And they were all decent guys, there was never any worries that unscrupulous rock and rollers might take advantage of a bunch of young fans, on the whole the band and their connections looked after us in a way. Even if they never play together again and I really hope they do, it has been great seeing them all again and finding out they are in good form with lovely families (and more children than you can shake a stick at!!).

Okay now onto the quick fire three!

What is your favourite KajaGooGoo song? Lies and Promises or Monochromatic.  I love the guitar riff on that track, it was Steve’s big moment!

What is your favourite KajaGooGoo album? All of them have really some really excellent tracks, it would be easier to say that Islands is my least favourite.

Who is your favourite KajaGooGoo band member? To be fair I have never had a particular favourite there either, unlike most of the girls, I adored them all for different qualities, but I probably got on best with Steve-I-Know-Nothing-Askew and Jez.

Stuart Croxford Neale at The Stables 2009.  Photograph by Lulu.

Is there any message you’d like to send out to the band and the fans?

I suppose to thank the band for their indulgence, we had the best time following them about and I have been so happy to have seen them all again in such good form. And to the fans, as long as you are not sitting on their doorsteps (which for the true fan was a massive no no, we figured they were entitled to some privacy) enjoy yourselves, they might deny it but deep down I think they all still LOVE the attention!

We really do hope to hear much more from you in 2011, Lulu thank you for talking with KajaFax.

Related Posts:

2011 KajaFax

6 Comments leave one →
  1. TheRaggedTiger permalink
    January 31, 2011 4:31 pm

    Great interview!

  2. Denny permalink
    January 31, 2011 6:37 pm

    Thanks again Lulu for the great stories 🙂

  3. January 31, 2011 8:09 pm

    you are welcome, it never occured to me before that anyone else would be interested! x


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