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Listening session: Dave Haslam on Warm Leatherette

16 Apr 2024 6.30-8pm

Nottingham Contemporary
Nottingham NG1 2GB

Overview

In an evening of music, discussion, photos, and videos, writer and former Hacienda DJ, Dave Haslam shares his love for Grace Jones, and his recent research into her life and the cultural currents that flowed into the making of her 1980 album Warm Leatherette.

In 1979, Grace Jones had released three disco albums but was considering a change in direction. Photographs by Jean-Paul Goude represented, in her words, “the flimsy disco sheen ripped back”. She signed to Island Records, and went into a studio in the Bahamas, with musicians including Sly and Robbie, and Wally Badarou.

The first track agreed for the new project was a cover of a song by The Normal called ‘Warm Leatherette’ - it became the title track of the album. In the second half of 1980, Grace Jones featured on Top of the Pops performing the Chrissie Hynde song Private Life, and on Russell Harty’s chat show, after which she hit the tabloid front pages.

Dave will celebrate the Grace Jones version of ‘She’s Lost Control’ by Joy Division, and explain remarkable plans for a Talking Heads cover that ended-up abandoned.

In recent years, Dave has been writing a short format book series called Art Decades. The latest, entitled Strawberry and the Big Apple: Grace Jones in Stockport, 1980 tells of a visit by glamorous, jet-setting Grace Jones to the post-industrial town of Stockport. Imagine! It’s certainly a story that needs explaining...

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