Iconic ‘80s poster boy and Culture Club frontman Boy George is heading to Australia this weekend to play gigs in Melbourne and Sydney with DJ Marc Vedo, and will also celebrate to life and work of avant garde icon Leigh Bowery.
On the line from Thailand, Boy George and Marc Vedo took a moment to chat with Same Same about their upcoming gigs.
Marc, have you been to Australia before?
Vedo: I’ve been all over the area close to Australia but I’ve just never been able to get down. It’s quite exciting. I am going to do a load of scuba diving, I’m not sure what George is going to be up to but I’m looking forward to doing as many water sports as I can.
How did you collaborating come about?
I discovered George in the street (laughs) no, no. I was a promoter and I booked George when I was 19 for my first party and we’ve known each other ever since. We’ve been DJing together for about 13 years and touring now for ten, which sounds bizarre.
(Boy George enters the room)
Do you both have very different styles in your sound and DJing?
Vedo: George is more off the cuff and I’m much more methodical with my approach. I’ll listen to our music for hours until I play so if I need to change the direction of music I can do it quickly. George throws it in there and generally gets away with it. (laughs)
Boy George: Everything you just heard is a lie. (laughs)
Is there a music styles influencing you at the moment?
Vedo: There is a real emergence of some deep house at the moment; it’s well produced, modernised and great. Quality house music is coming back and that’s the sound that we are really interested by.
Where’s your favourite place to DJ at the moment?
Korea. I don’t know if that’s just because of the innocents of dance music in Korea at the moment but they are just very excited and very up for it. Back in England its like two or three generations down and they are like, ‘Impress me. I’ve seen it. My dads seen it when he used to go clubbing, do something exciting for me!’. In Korea it’s something different, they are really up for it so emerging markets like that is definitely where the vibe is at the moment.
George, as part of the Melbourne Festival you’ll pay an intimate tribute to avant garde ‘80s icon Leigh Bowery. (pictured below)
What kind of an impression are you hoping people will to take away with them of Leigh Bowery’s work?
Boy George: I think Leigh would be appalled with the notion of anyone explaining him. He hated explaining himself so it’s kind of an irony that I’ll be doing this. What’s interesting for me is that so many of Leigh’s ideas are still around and referenced, he had a huge cultural influence on so many people. He was just being himself, showing off, the basis of it was how can I get as much attention as possible. Leigh came to London and found so much had already been done in terms of exhibitionism that he had to take it to somewhere entirely new – and he really did.
In the musical Taboo you played Leigh. What was that like?
It’s very liberating; you’re in a very small dressing room with 15 other men, most half your age and there was no time for any kind of modesty. Privacy went out the window and wearing the kind of clothes that Leigh designed was very physically unflattering and very revealing. Those clothes that Leigh designed take you to another place physically and it is quite an experience to wear those things.
You use social media a lot; do you feel that’s changed the face of music?
Just because you have a lot of followers on Twitter and Facebook doesn’t mean those people are going to buy your record. It’s cheaper to buy a record than it is to buy the Big Issue. I don’t think it is anything to do with social media, I think that music has been devalued by the industry. Getting rid of vinyl took away that sensory experience you have with a record, it stopped being personalised. And at this point there is no going back.
I’m about to make a record with Culture Club, and I what I’m finding is that you have to really seduce people now because they can steal your records, they don’t need to buy them. So what’s happening now is that you have to sleep with your fans and invite them to your house for dinner, the music isn’t enough anymore. It is to people like me because we are passionate about it and would die without it, but now you have to offer people things. It’s all changing and it’s really interesting, it’s a whole new experience.
Joined by Australian cabaret star Paul Capsis and operatic diva Le Gateau Chocolate (La Soirée), come see Boy George discuss the inspiring Leigh Bowery, in a unique testimonial to a true icon for the Melbourne Festival. It’s happening Saturday October 13th at 5pm at the Foxtel Festival Hub, under Princess Bridge on the banks of the Yarra. Purchase your ticket here.
Boy George and Marc Vedo will then both lay down an unforgettable evening of blissed-out, exultant, dance-ready anthems in the Foxtel Festival Hub under Princess Bridge on the banks of the Yarra, and will also head to Stereo Lovers for a live and intimate set.
The pair then head to Sydney for a set at Nevermind on Sunday night. Nevermind is offering us 50 tickets with a $10 discount for Same Same readers only – click here into Moshtix and enter the code SAMESAME upon checkout.