That wild bunch of lasses Fascinating Aida are touring the UK with their show Charm Offensive. Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman first shot to fame as something classier amid the post-punk interlude of big trousers and synethsizers. They’ve been going strong ever since.
Here’s a quick Q&A from the trio.
How did Fascinating Aida start?
Dillie Keane: It crept up on me and hijacked my life when I wasn’t looking! I was singing with friends, we did bits here and there, suddenly we needed a name because we were getting gigs. That’s 31 LONG years ago…
Adele Anderson: I auditioned at Dillie’s flat and was given all three parts of a song to learn, as no-one was quite sure where I would fit in, vocally.
Liza Pulman: I joined almost exactly 10 years ago. I was asked to step in at very short notice, so I learnt the whole show in a week and did my first rather like a rabbit in the headlights!
Fascinating Aida is hugely popular, with some of your songs getting millions of views on YouTube, what do you think it is about your act that people love so much?
DK: I think people love our sheer cheek, and the fact that we are musically very solid means the songs are always comfortable on the ear.
LP: We sing the thoughts that people are often thinking but dare not say (somehow singing makes those thoughts easier to voice) and with the fact that we often make people not only laugh but also cry.
Which is your favourite musical instrument?
AA:The ‘cello. It was when I discovered that I would never be able to play as well as Jacqueline du Pre that I gave it up. My least favourite instruments are the flute and the wailing soprano saxophone.
DK:The voice is the greatest instrument. Yes, the piano is an astounding beast, but it's not so much an instrument as an orchestra for two hands. I can also tell you what is my least favourite instrument - the flute - a terrible, windy, insipid sound.
Apart from the instruments that you already play on stage, which other musical instruments can you play?
DK: She's lying. She plays the piano atrociously, she has a vague memory of playing the cello, and she is aiming to play the saw rather well. She practises constantly. NOT.
AA: I said none, but I do a passable mouth trumpet and, of course, the didgeridoo.
LP: Obviously the piano (as seen on stage in 'ALLO Bonjour) but I can also play the violin. I play the guitar (a bit) and I'm learning to play the ukelele. I'm a genius with a kazoo. Does that count?
DK: Organ (badly). Guitar (worse). Mouth organ (campfire songs)
Fascinating Aida has been going on for over 30 years now, how do you keep the act fresh and exciting?
LP: The bar is set surprisingly high. We never settle for something (Dillie doesn't let us) and the three of us challenge each other all the time. Apart from that I think we are all three great big children (well, I'm almost child sized myself). We’re all terribly naughty and laugh a lot, both on stage and off. To me, as soon so we stop laughing it'll be time to hang up our sequins.
DK: Cull ruthlessly and keep writing.
AA: By writing new material. It will be a long time before there is a Fascinating Aida Greatest Hits tour.
Finally, what can people expect from Charm Offensive?
LP: Laughter, silliness, bravery and four letter words sung in glorious harmony.
AA: More wit, cutting edge lyrics and uber glamour than you can shake a stick at.
DK: Charm and offence in equal measure.
Fascinating Aida play the Spa on Saturday 14 February