2017 was a phenomenal year for Marriott Meets – a regular weekly interview feature on my YouTube channel.
The last twelve months were dominated by performers that had huge success back in the eighties, a time when they began nurturing their talent. These are entertainers that are still going strong today, with projects that sometimes see them moving the goalposts and creating original material that hasn’t been done so far in their timeline of work.
My personal favourite album of 2017 was Other by Alison Moyet. This atmospheric and hugely poetic piece saw the one-time Yazoo singer once again collaborate with producer Guy Sigsworth.
The news of Bananarama’s original line-up reunion tour was greeted with screams of excitement when – back in April – Keren, Sara and Siobhan announced that they were heading out on the road to play their biggest hits, nearly 30 years after their split. I met up with the three girls in September to get the details.
The most watched video on my YouTube channel is my interview with RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio. Back in September I met Bianca aka Roy Haylock to talk about his Blame It On Bianca Del Rio tour, which comes to the UK later this year.
I’ve met the hilariously engaging Beth Ditto a couple of times, so I was so happy to be hooking up with her again, this time alongside my good friend and former GaydarRadio colleague Debbie Ryan (who was equally passionate about the prospect of meeting up with the one-time Gossip singer).
Beth spoke about her excellent album Fake Sugar, but also her appearance in Gus Van Sant’s forthcoming drama/biopic Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot.
I’ve been a fan of Depeche Mode since I bought their debut album Speak For Yourself back in 1981. They remain one of my all-time favourite bands, but of course they don’t sound anything like they did back in the early eighties.
Over the course of 30 odd years, I’ve enjoyed seeing and hearing them evolve. Thanks to my good friend Phil (who also happens to be Dave Gahan’s younger brother), I got the chance to meet Dave at a London hotel back in March to talk about the band’s 14th studio album, Spirit.
It was stirring to see Gary Numan receive such positive feedback for his 18th solo album, Savage: Songs From A Broken World last year. It was also moving to see Gary working with his 12-year old daughter Persia, who fully embraced the opportunity to sing backing vocals on new song, ‘My Name Is Ruin’, and also join her dad on stage to perform the track.
I was lucky enough to attend Marc Almond’s Shadows and Reflections album launch at The Cuckoo Club back in September. Marc was joined by pianist Martin Watkins, who has also previously worked with Maggie K de Monde from Scarlet Fantastic. It was a fleeting 30-minute set (unlike his Royal Festival Hall show, which clocked in at over two hours). The week before this rousing show, I grabbed the opportunity to talk to Marc about the album as well as his fondness for Siouxsie Sioux, with whom he worked with on his track, ‘Threat Of Love’.
2017 was a great year, then. I’d like to offer my thanks and gratitude to you if you’ve watched or listened to anything I’ve created over the last twelve months. 2018 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for me and the work I’m doing on this site, so come back soon!
● Watch the Marriott Meets: Best Of The Guests highlights video below, and subscribe to my channel for updates on forthcoming interviews.