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The Birmingham Press: Breaking Point

November 19th, 2014

Hazel O’Connor recalls the famous Rainbow Theatre gig with The Stranglers from 1980 in a new interview at The Birmingham Press.

You’re touring with Hugh Cornwell now; he’s seen as a distinguished elder statesman of the music business which is a long way removed from the time you played a gig for him when he was in prison for drug possession.

“That was a night. The Stranglers were due to play the Rainbow but with Hugh in prison a few of us replaced him as singer, or rather tried to, because Hugh’s irreplaceable. Myself an Toyah did couple of songs, that was when I did Hanging Around for the first time. We were singing backing vocals on Peaches with Ian Dury singing. Toyah was dancing round the stage as she always does while Ian was scrabbling around on the floor trying to pick his hat up which she’d knocked off. Robert Smith was playing guitar as well, in his pre-make up days. I wish someone could find footage of it.

“It wasn’t so good for Hugh though – he was in prison for something he might not have been charged for now. The authorities were making an example of someone famous.”

• Continue reading at The Birmingham Press.

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