Music chat! Party Like It’s 1981: An Interview with The Fizz

Get ready to travel back in time to the vibrant and unforgettable 1980s with The Fizz, formerly known as Bucks Fizz. With their catchy tunes, iconic fashion, and infectious energy, The Fizz continues to captivate audiences. London Mums magazine had the pleasure of chatting with Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston about their glory days, their fashion influences, and the enduring appeal of the 80s. Let’s dive into their colourful world and discover why the 80s are still so trendy today.

Party Like It's 1981: An Interview with The Fizz

Monica: Hi Cheryl and Jay! Let’s kick things off with the show in London, “Party Like It’s 1981.” Why 1981, and why do you think the 80s are still so trendy?

Cheryl Baker: 1981 was such a fantastic year. It marked the wedding of Charles and Diana, the first London Marathon, and our Eurovision win with “Making Your Mind Up.” The early 80s were filled with positivity in the UK, and our bright and bubbly image perfectly suited the era. Funny enough, a decade later, 80s acts struggled to find work. Now, the 80s are celebrated as the best decade for music, and we have more work than we can handle!

Jay Aston: For me, 1981 changed my life. I was 19, just out of theatre school, and struggling to find my path. My brother was in the West End, doing shows like “A Chorus Line” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I was on the verge of leaving the business when I got the call to audition for Bucks Fizz. That audition was a turning point. The 80s felt liberating compared to the conservative 60s and 70s. Fashion was bold and varied, with punks, goths, and everything in between. It was an amazing whirlwind of success and adventure.

Monica: The fashion of the 80s was indeed wild and wonderful. Jay, tell us more about your influence on the band’s fashion.

Jay Aston: My parents were in comedy and put on shows, so I learnt to make costumes from my mum. In the 80s, there were lots of unique boutiques, especially in places like King’s Road.

Our costumes were often raunchy, like the ones in “Land of Make-Believe,” made by Khan and Bell. They were punky and edgy, with cone bras and studs. At the time, we didn’t see them as sexualised — just fun and liberating. They just seemed like theatrical costumes to me. My mum used to wear leotards and feathers for her comedy shows, so it felt normal. Fashion in the 80s was very female-led, even though the boys had their conservative styles. Our bold fashion choices definitely helped sell records.

The 80s fashion was unique and vibrant, and I loved being part of that scene.

Cheryl Baker: Yes, those Carnival outfits were something else. We had the cone boobies before Madonna! Our military-style outfits for “Run for Your Life” were structured but stylish. Fashion was so unique back then. I even designed a Union Jack dress before it became famous with Geri Halliwell in the 90s. I was offered my own label with Topshop, but we were too busy touring.

 

Monica: Cheryl, what can we learn from the 80s that might be relevant today?

Cheryl Baker: It’s tough because the world has changed so much.

Some things from the 80s, like our costumes, would be seen differently today. They are now seen as too sexualised, but back then, they were innocent and fun. My kids, now almost 30, understand the 80s because they grew up with it. The joy of the 80s is timeless. When we perform, we bring that happiness to our audiences, reminding them of a more carefree time. Our music and performances transport people back to that era of fabulous music and vibrant energy.

Monica: Looking back, what do you feel is your greatest contribution or legacy to the music industry?

Cheryl Baker: Winning the Eurovision Song Contest was a huge achievement. There have only been five UK acts to win, and we’re one of them. Our music, especially songs like “My Camera Never Lies,” is still phenomenal. Our back catalogue is superb, and I’m very proud of our recordings. Our legacy is a collection of fabulous 80s music with superb vocals and production.

Monica: If The Fizz could time travel to any past gig, which one would you choose to crash?

Jay Aston: Two highlights come to mind: performing in Rio and Chile in front of 35,000 people. The spectacle was incredible. Also, Eurovision was unforgettable, despite the nerves.

Cheryl Baker: I’d love to relive the Yamaha Popular Song Festival in Tokyo—it was a wonderful time. And the Christmas Day Top of the Pops performance was magical. I was hoisted up on a harness, performing in the air. It was an amazing experience.

Monica: If I could time travel, I’d go to Elvis’s 1969 unplugged gig or the Beatles’ 1966 concert with all the screaming fans. Live Aid in 1985 was also iconic. Thank you both so much for your time! Looking forward to your show at the Indigo.

Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston: Thank you! We can’t wait to see you there. It’ll be a fantastic, fizzy night!

 

Catch The Fizz live at Indigo at The O2 on 28th June and party like it’s 1981!

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