Rhoda Dakar resurrects The Bodysnatchers

  • The Bodysnatchers
  • 2015-09-29

36 years after Rhoda Dakar joined The Bodysnatchers via Shane McGowan introducing her to bassist Nicky Summers, she’s pulled together a all-star cast to record ‘the lost 2 Tone Records album’. Although The Bodysnatchers toured nationwide with bands such as Madness, The Selecter and The Specials, their only commerical recordings were “Let’s Do Rocksteady/Ruder Than You” and “Easy Life/Too Experienced” released in 1980. 35 years later Rhoda has revisited the ultra rare bootleg live cassettes and their two John Peel sessions to record, effectively, their debut album.

The Bodysnatchers now consists of Rhoda alongside 2 Tone label mates Lynval Golding and Sir Horace Panter of The Specials plus members of Pama International, The Sidewalk Doctors and Intensified. We spoke to Rhoda to find out more ahead of their Rhoda Sings The Bodysnatchers album launch on Saturday, October 31t at The Jazz Cafe, Camden Town.

I’ve been asked almost once a month for the last 30 years to make a Bodysnatchers album. Some of my friends had tried crowdfunding, so I thought I’d give it a go!

Tell us bit about yourself before the music - what were you all doing before The Bodysnatchers?
Different stuff – students, lecturers, civil servants and Miranda was at school!

What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
I was a massive David Bowie fan. The song that did it was Starman.

How did the band come about? Did you expect to be following the musical path you are now?
Nicky Summers had the idea and put an ad in Melody Maker – one of the big four music papers at the time. I ignored the ad, but was introduced to Nicky by Shane MacGowan at a gig.

If you had to describe The Bodysnatchers as a person what would they be like and where would they live?
Joan Collins – funny, clever, brash and stylish, living in Hampstead, London.

You’re marking the 35th anniversary of The Bodysnatchers with what is effectively a debut album. What were the events that led to this?
I’ve been asked almost once a month for the last 30 years to make a Bodysnatchers album. Some of my friends had tried crowdfunding, so I thought I’d give it a go!

How did you go about re-creating the music? Is there any kind of routines that have returned?
Routines? We listened to some old live tapes and Peel sessions.

What has been the most significant moment of recording the album for you and why? What are your hopes for the album?
The fact that it is well received is brilliant! If we sell a few, even better!

What have you been listening to this year? Can you give us a top three records of 2015 so far?
I listen to all sorts all the time. I suppose I’d go for FM by The Skints, Beyond Harlem Nocturne by Terry Edwards & Neil Fraser and all the House tunes my son plays to me!

If you had to pick one act to see live this year, who would it be?
Dolly Parton or Beyoncé.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Elvis Costello.

If you could pick any venue or festival to play, where would it be and which slot would you most enjoy?
Glastonbury – the Sunday afternoon legend slot!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice that day, what would it be?
Don’t press the red bu…

Do you have any pre-set rituals?
Hair and make-up, dear!

How is 2015 shaping up for you? Where can we see you play?
The album launch is at the Jazz Café in London on Halloween and the next week I’m DJing in Harlow at The Herald! There’s also shows with Public Image Ltd.

When you go back on the road, what are you most looking forward to?
A proper dressing room with a mirror!

Rhoda Dakar Sings The Bodysnatchers is released on Friday, October 30th on Cherry Red Records. For more details visit Rhoda Dakar’s Facebook page.

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