Regarded by many as one of one of our country’s best pop singers and interpreters of songs, Mari Wilson (aka The Neasden Queen Of Soul) will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of her hit single Just What I’ve Always Wanted with a celebratory concert at London’s Bush Hall featuring her full band. Some exceptional special guests are to be announced nearer the time. Mari will be performing the hits and the wonderful interpretations featured on her latest critically acclaimed album, Pop Deluxe. Together with duets and regular costume changes, this evening is one not to be missed.
It was in 1982 that Mari Wilson, to put it mildly, arrived. Her live show was talked about as an event, pure entertainment. She had six hit singles and a hit album, Showpeople and became a regular on Top of the Pops with her twelve-piece band, The Wilsations. ‘Just What I’ve Always Wanted’ reached the top ten in the charts and remains a song she is proudly known for and still performs to this day.
Last year was busy for Mari, both releasing a new album Pop Deluxe and touring with Heaven 17 as part of the British Electric Foundation. The inspiration for Pop Deluxe came from Mari’s memories of growing up, listening over and over to the music of British icons such as Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black, whilst daydreaming of one day being on Top Of The Pops herself. Each of the chosen songs means something truly personal to Mari. Her decision to sing the ‘White Horses’ TV theme is firmly rooted in her childhood: “This song is almost in my DNA. When I would come home from school, my dad and I would always do the Evening News crossword and watch The White Horses TV Show – the theme tune would send shivers own my spine and still does.”
Music fans may know all of these songs, but they are now given new life by Mari’s unique contemporary electronica production featuring lots of surprising and exciting arrangements. The album was co-produced with friend and long time collaborator Alastair Gavin. Having played keyboards with Mari in her band The Wilsations since the early 1980s, Alastair has produced records for Carol Grimes, Red Box, and Sarah Jane Morris and composed for TV, film and theatre. Through creative and engaging arrangements, Mari and Alastair have breathed new life into the pieces whilst staying true to their original intent. The album was mixed by legendary engineer Dave Bascombe.
Mari’s chart hits include ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Just What I’ve Always Wanted’ ‘Beat The Beat’ and ‘Showpeople’. Mari also recorded the themes for BBC’s comedy Coupling and the motion picture Dance With A Stranger. She has been a regular at Ronnie Scotts, and performed at the South Bank with BB King and Ray Charles. As well as starring in Dusty The Musical, other West End productions she has appeared in include Taboo (alongside Boy George), Sweet Charity and The Chainsaw Manicure.
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