March Blog

Hello Team Dean-ers around the world.

Well, at last the website is back up an running – Hooray!
I know the blog has become pretty popular feature of this site (the only OFFICIAL Hazell Dean site) especially after speaking with people when I was in Japan – and I know it amuses Tilly Rutherford too!

I hope you all have your copies of “24 Hours” from Energise. CDs can be ordered now with the digital release 27th February (via all the usual digital channels).
Pete Ware and I really enjoyed recording this track, and before shortening it to “24 Hours” we were calling it “24 Hours from Tulse Hill” – if you don’t know London you won’t find this funny, but it amused Pete and I no end.

So, before I tell you about REWIND South Africa, lets address the duet issue that arises every time I post a photo of me and other artists on my Facebook page.
Its really not a sore point for me. Its very simple – I just don’t really like recording duets.
I REALLY enjoy singing live with other artists on stage, and for me thats when the magic happens, be that with Rick Astley, Nicki French, Jaki Graham, Angie Brown, Toyah Willcox, The Temptations……
or any of other artists who I have been fortunate enough to share a stage with – in fact I LOVE singing with other artists, but have absolutely no plans to record a duet.
I do however get annoyed when I get private messages on Facebook telling me what I should be doing with my career, and with whom.
99% of messages I get are lovely, and I do try to answer them personally, as enjoy the banter that has developed, but I think you would be surprised how aggressive & rude some messages can be.
I guess thats the joy of techno anonymity. Needles to say Team Dean delete them immediately.
With age (and experience) comes the knowledge of ones self and the confidence to feel 100% comfortable in what you are doing, and right now I am very happy with what I am doing and lucky to be working with lovely people:
Pete Ware, Energise, Matt Pop etc…….so while it aint broke, why fix it?

So, back to the South African adventure.
I have never been a part of the REWIND Tour, despite fans and artists alike saying how well I would fit into the format, so was very surprised to get a call inviting me to join REWIND SA.
The offer was for 3 shows: Jo’Burg, Cape Town and Durban. I was already committed to perform at the Hit Factory Butlins Weekender so couldn’t make Jo’Burg with the rest of the gang..Sorry Jo’Burg!
Im not very good at airports. In fact I find getting to airports really stressful, especially when travelling on my own, and as I’d missed the first show I had to make the trip to Cape Town on my own!!
I have never been to Cape Town before, so was really looking forward to my first visit. Friends and family have always told me what a spectacular city it is – and they weren’t wrong.
I had a fabulous view of Table Mountain from my room : )

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I spent my first day in the city pottering around. Had lunch with Jackie & David of Impressario Festivals, and said a fleeting hello to the “Go West” boys.
Jackie and Team Dean have built up quite a rapport over the past few months in the run up to the shows, so it was nice to get chance to have a good old girlie gossip (once we had dispatched David back to the venue to deal with tech issues). I did a bit of shopping, then spent the rest of the day just chilling out before the next days activities called. So relaxed until……..

Woke up on show day. Had a lovely breakfast. Went back to my room to make sure my stage clothes were all packed and ready to head over to the venue when disaster struck!
I checked my bag at least six times! It didn’t matter how many times I checked…MY BOOTS WERE NOT THERE!!
I looked again. THEY STILL WERENT THERE!
I am very particular about my stage gear. I love a bit of D&G, Alexander McQueen and Cavali – and these boots are no exception.
The problem was, at that moment in time I didn’t know where they were!
Were they at home in Dean Towers or had I left them in my dressing room at Butlins??? OMG!!! A few panic texts home revealed they were nestled safely in my wardrobe, phew!!
Thankfully, we were staying a very short distance from a great shopping area and I found a suitable replacement in the first shop I went to. Who knew that black, sparkly hi-tops would be so popular in Cape Town.
I had a very bizarre conversation with the sales assistant before making my purchase:
“Are they for running madam?”
“Erm, no. Not for running”
“Are they for walking madam?”
“No, not for walking.” – Why so many questions??!!!
“What are they being used for?
I was tempted to say mind your own business, but said simply “ They are for wearing on stage.”
Silence.
Heaven only knows what he thought I was going to be doing “on stage” in them, but who cares…..I wasn’t going to have to go on stage on a pair of tan suede Timberland boat shoes…what a relief!

I’d spent some time with Pete Ware prior to leaving for SA putting together an intro for my show. A teaser using the very distinctive drums of “They Say Its Gonna Rain” (A very BIG hit in S.A; No1 for 18 weeks I believe)
which glided smoothly into “Who’s Leaving Who”. Works perfectly, and sounds awesome when belting out in a stadium. That said I did spot a few comments about track shows spoiling the “LIVE” experience, but can assure everyone that both Katrina and I were both very much singing LIVE. I have found over the years that thumping HiNRG works really well on backing track, and have perfected my track show – I have had a LOT of practice over the past 30+ years!!
Plus, the band need a break too.

The show itself had a great line up: Wang Chung, Go West, Cutting Crew, Katrina, Nik Kershaw, Heather Small and Mr Cool…Billy Ocean.
Sadly time was very limited, and the Cape Town venue had a tight curfew so our show timings were monitored with military precision.
I would have LOVED to do more songs, but sadly timings just did not allow : (

Once I had done my bit, I could relax and watch the rest of the show. I have worked with Billy before, but have never seen Heather perform. its always a real pleasure to watch such a good show.
Everyone got back on stage to sing “Love Train” with Billy, and I shocked myself with a rather epic ad lib, Got quite a few compliments from the other artists (including Heather) and Billys band : )
Like I said earlier – thats when the magic happens.
Heres some photos of me with Nick from Cutting Crew and Nik Kershaw…..

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Next day, up early and off to Durban. The hotel was, shall we say, strange. Like something from the movie “Flash Gordon”…hey ho, it all adds to the experience.

The Durban show was quite different to Cape Town, for a start, it was an outdoor stadium. Quite possibly the biggest stadium I have ever performed in!

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Its quite a long day before showtime with set up and sound checks, especially with so many artists involved, but I have to say we were looked after so well by the South African team and the guys from Imressario, so here

we are….Thank you for looking after me!

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Once again I had a fabulous show, but not long enough.

After my show, I got to join the others in a box to have some dinner and once again to watch the 2nd part of the show with the artists from the 1st half, before joining everyone back on stage for our last “Love Train”
I sang with Heather, and we had a great time…wonderful atmosphere, great audience and a thoroughly lovely bunch of people to spend a few days with.

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Back home, arriving at Dean Towers just in time for Miss Dean Juniors tonsillectomy.
She is now well on the road to recovery, although its has been a pretty tough 2 weeks for her – VERY painful!
She has a big collection of cards and presents, and has been very spoilt by one of our neighbours who has been delivering milkshakes, lollies, jellies and smoothies – so lucky to have such lovely neighbours.

So before I go, I have a pretty busy diary already, so hope to get to see some of you this year as the shows are spread right across the UK.
Will keep updating here on the website as new dates get added.

And finally……….
At last we have some “Officially Hazell Dean” merchandise, via our friends at “LittleMsTees” .
Available for men, woman & kids: T-shirts, Hoodies and Baseball caps. You can choose either “TEAM DEAN” or our “HD” logo. They can be sent anywhere in the world!
We make no profit from product sales whatsoever, but as we are always asked for “Team Dean” & “HD” logo product have teamed up with LittleMsTees to offer the only “Officially Hazell Dean” product.

Always
Hazell
xxx

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