WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Erasure tribute to ‘high nrg’ Lanah P

Pop legends release remix of West End LGBT icon’s track

16 July, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Erasure lead singer Andy Bell. Photo: Andrew Hurley, Wiki Commons

CHART-TOPPING pop legends Erasure have paid tribute to one of their key inspirations after bringing out a remix of one of her early tracks.

Lead singer and LGBT icon Andy Bell said Lanah P was one of the only “high nrg artists” out there after the band released a cover of Pistol in my Pocket.

Lanah P, a well-known face around the West End where she has performed over the years, is considered to be one of the country’s first openly-out LGBT performers of colour.

Mr Bell told Extra: “Well really there is no one else quite like her, her comic timing is genius. She could do stand-up, though I’d like to see her do some serious acting, her activism and social awareness is to be admired.

“For God’s sake give her a role in panto someone, as the wicked queen – she’d scare the children half to death and the parents too. When you get to see her inner core and soul she is as bright as a flare.”

Erasure had four Number 1 singles and became one of the most successful groups after forming in 1985. They have sold 28 million albums and won numerous awards including the Brits.

Mr Bell said keyboardist Vince Clarke had remixed the Pistol track while on a recent tour.

He said: “I’ve worked with Lanah a few times on the Barney Ashton Bullock and Chris Frost production of You’re so Queercore, which was fabulous and also appeared on stage together.

Lanah P

“A fair few of my friends were in the original Pistol video since it was a PWL production.

“She was my escort at a Hull Kingston Rovers rugby match, where we bumped into John Prescott. She has always been tough and I thought no one would mess with us.”

He added: “We first met after casually bumping into each other at a Kiki & Herb show at the Soho Theatre, I told her I was scared of her – she was covered in badges.

“She has always been somewhat of a revolutionary. I thought she’d be ideal as an Ena Sharples-type character in Corrie – they’re missing out there. She has a sharp tongue for real and you wouldn’t wanna mess with her.”

Lanah collaborated in 1991 with Gary Clail in the Top 10 hit Human Nature and performed on Top of the Pops twice.

She said: “Erasure are icons of the music industry and very popular with my record player.

“To have Vince Clarke surprise me with a remix of my song is a wonderful privilege.

“I knew we would be a great fit, as in 2015 I performed with Andy Bell in Torsten the Beautiful Libertine – so although this is a very different medium, it’s just as magical.”

On the visibility of trans and non-binary persons of colour in the music industry, Lanah P said: “We’ve come a long long way since I posed topless in the NME in 1985 but I still get occasional death threats and abuse because of my identity.

“But I do worry that those of us who risked so much physical abuse in the early days are being dismissed in favour of modern influencers on social media – it’s so important to raise the profile of those of us who fought so hard, especially when we are still producing new material and have so much to contribute.”

You can download the track from major platforms and Soundcloud.

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