If Kylie is pop’s princess, then we must all bow down to the woman that is surely the Queen of Pop, Norwich’s very own Cathy Dennis. As honorary alumni (degree for music) of UEA, I think we can also we can also ‘claim’ her for ourselves.
Her self-description of being “born inbetween fields of pigs and beets in Norfolk” seems insanely modest when you consider she has been nominated for four Grammy’s (she won two), nominated for 3 Brit Awards and received six Ivor Novellos. In fact, she is regarded as “one of the most influential people in the music industry” (Q magazine).
Moving from a more rural area of Norfolk into the city centre of Norwich in her teens, Cathy is quoted that her most vivid memory was discovering “the smell of concrete when the rain hits”. Her imagination and creativity was burgeoning and she began singing publicly; covers as well as performing her own songs. On one fateful day, at the age of 17, she was singing at Norwich’s Mecca Ballroom when one Simon Fuller (flush with the success of producing Paul Hardcastle’s epic anthem “19”) heard her and signed her up. Three albums were recorded with moderate success but her real success lay in writing for others.
By now some of you may be wondering, what exactly has ‘our’ Cathy has been responsible for since her formative years growing up in Norwich?
This is pop remember – music that makes you feel good, makes you dance, makes you smile and lifts the soul. No music snobbery here – she is the real deal for a toe-tapping catchy melody and she has reached the masses from East Anglia to the world.
So, if I say “I just can’t get you out of my head” (Kylie), “Toxic” (Britney), “I kissed a girl” (Katy Perry), “About you now” (Sugarbabes) would that be enough to pique your interest or, even better, put the sound on high and just dance?