“Is this your first Pride?” was the question that released the cat from the bag, and my incredulous reply was………
“No, I’ve been performing at Prides all over the world for the last 38 year.
In fact this is my last Pride”
That’s how the impromptu announcement was made at Hastings Pride, 29th August 2021.
As most of you know already, I have been singing/performing live for over 50 years, and the prospect of retiring from live shows has been on the horizon for a couple of years now.
Covid19 scuppered my plans to retire at the end of 2020 when everything that was booked in got postponed and rescheduled to 2021.
Like everyone else the lockdowns came as a shock, halting me in my tracks, but ultimately gave me the chance to stop, breathe and plan.
When venues started opening up the show enquiries started to come in thick and fast, which meant I had to make a decision – do I take the bookings, or do I go ahead with my plans?
On top of that some of festivals originally booked for 2020 had to be rescheduled for a 2nd time, moving into 2022.
A decision had to be made, and we started to politely decline all show enquiries and rescheduled events as they came in, and cancelled all indoor bookings for the rest of this year.
2022 would have been a very busy year for me, but I just don’t want to do it anymore.
After 50+ years – I’m done!
So there you have it. My last Pride is done, and I have my final 3 shows ahead of me.
I will miss the backstage camaraderie of my fellow artists/peers, and as another artist (who shall remain nameless) succinctly put it – “Who wants to spend their golden years stressed and stuck in endless traffic jams?” (and other things and with rather more expletives, LOL!!)
I will miss the connection and buzz of a great audience, but I wont miss all of the stress that goes with it.
There will be no more live shows despite the numerous calls, emails and texts we’ve received in the last 48 hours to trying to get me to change my mind and do one last show just for them 😊
The messages I have received have been so kind, and I am very touched and grateful for the love and support you have given me – and in answer the question asked in pretty much every message:
YES I will still be recording (at a very, very leisurely pace) and I will be back in the studio soon working on some remixes for the upcoming Dean & Ware Collections, and of course will be recording new material in 2022.
I’m very excited for the new projects ahead of me, both professional and personal.
I will or course continue in my role as patron of Pride In Surrey, and will remain an ambassador for the LGBTQ+ community and very visible ally to our Trans sisters & brothers.
I’ll keep on sharing the message #NoHomeForHateHere #TurnItIntoLove so you haven’t heard that last of me just yet, but the countdown is on……..
Catch me while you can, live and unleashed at:
– 18th September: Lets Rock Leeds
– 18th September: Wentworth Festival
– 25th September: Dubs Collective Party In the Park