Hazel O'Connor Press 2010

Midland musicians raise money for hospice

Hazel O'Connor Breaking Glass at the Horn in St Albans

Preview: Hazel O'Connor, ARC, Stockton

O'Connor to release Myton Hospice Christmas single

Win tickets for Hazel O'Connor's gig at Liverpool's Cavern Club

Time to 'Re-Joyce' in a good cause...

Hazel O'Connor in Paris : emotion and generosity

09 AUG - THE META AGORA aaufashion
Having a Moment with Hazel O'Connor

A life of walking on broken glass

Hazel O'Connor's coming to our 'wacky and wonderful' town!

Hazel through the looking glass

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Hazel O'Connor in Birmingham Mail 24 Dec 2010
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Hazel O'Connor in Welwyn Hatfield Times 24 on 17 Nov 2010
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Hazel O'Connor in Evening Gazette 12 Nov 2010
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Hazel O'Connor - Coventry Observer
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Hazel O'Connor - Wirral Globe
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Hazel O'Connor
Time to 'Re-Joyce' in a good cause...

With Pete Chambers

Oct 21 2010

Carol Decker Roger Lomas And Hazel O'Connor Carol Decker, Roger Lomas and Hazel O'Connor
ON Tuesday, November 16, The Hazel O'Connor Collective will launch 'Re-Joyce' a song that is a sure fire box ticker in every way.

It's superbly poignant (and you can't say that about many Christmas singles), celebrating as it does the gift of life.

Proceeds from the sales will raise money for Coventry Myton Hospice, and to top it off, it's packed to the rafters with top names.

Featured artists include: Hazel O'Connor, Toyah Wilcox, Carol Decker, Pauline Black, Ranking Roger, Vince Hill, Moya Brennan, Neville Staple, Kid Creole, Bob Brolly, The Subterraneans and others. It's produced by Grammy Award winning producer Roger Lomas.

I had the pleasure to be in the studio as it was being recorded, it's one of those songs that doesn't come around too often, superbly produced by Roger Lomas,

"All of the participating artists were an absolute joy to work with." reveals Roger,

"I can honestly say that I have never been so confident of a single's sales potential as I am of this record."

The song's lyrics take you from one classic performer to another. It's a sentimental journey, that is until you reach the lines "We are here today", and it's a stop and think moment, and the morale of the story is... enjoy your life and the people you share it with right now, for one day as sure as eggs are eggs, it will be taken away.

The song was written by Hazel O'Connor.
Ranking Roger, Hazel O'Connor and Nev Staple Ranking Roger, Hazel O'Connor and Nev Staple
Hazel's Mum Joyce is being well cared for at Myton Hospice in Coventry after being diagnosed with cancer. Hazel wrote the song as a tribute to her mum and to raise funds for Myton Hospice in Coventry which needs £2.7 million each year to run.

The concert will take on a kind of Band Aid feel to it, as most of the contributing stars listed above will be performing the song and will be singing some of their own hits, I hardly need to say that it's going to be one of those nights where you can say "I was there".

Hazel said: "I'm hopeful it will be a celebration party, Bob Brolly is to MC, so there should be some great fun, we have an auction too, and I will be meeting and greeting at the door.

"We shot some video of the recording of the song, so we may just show some of the out-takes, that should be fun. We also want to show a film of the work that goes on at Myton, that's very important.

"The project is a emotional double edged sword for me," said Hazel. "It's very much about my mum's condition, then on the other hand we have had so many lovely people doing all they can to make this project happen The human spirit is a beautiful thing. Artists who not only sang on the song in the studio, but now want to come back and perform it on stage, that will be a high point."

The release date of Re-Joyce is December 6 and the concert is being filmed for television. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are £15 each and are available from The Assembly www.leamingtonassembly.com and www.thesubs.co.uk and in person at Myton Hospital (Warwick) & Paul's Midnight Record Stall, Coventry Market.
Toyah Wilcox Hazel O Connor Vince Hill and Pauline Black share a joke Toyah Wilcox, Hazel O Connor, Vince Hill and Pauline Black share a joke
Coming Soon

* 2-Tone Central this Saturday sees the first free Central Saturday Session with acoustic music from Seymour (UK Warriors) and Pete Ryder (the voice of the Allskas) and Keith Anderson and Special Friends.

It runs from 11am till 2pm (doors at 10am).

* Don't forget to buy your Jam DRC (Oct 30) and Toot 'N' Skamen (November 6) tickets from 2-Tone Central, Midnight Records in Cov Market, and from Pearshaped Productions 45 Clay Lane and via www.2tonecentral.co.uk

* Look out for the brilliant Stone Foundation and Branco Heist (Oct 29, pay on door).

* On December 4 we have a real coup with a very rare Midlands appearance of the legendary King Hammond, tickets on sale soon.

* Tomorrow's Sound Academy is sadly cancelled, but all other gigs at 2-Tone Central, are all going ahead

Copyright and Trade Mark Notice © 2010 owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Midlands Limited. Coventry Telegraph™ is a trade mark of Trinity Mirror Midlands Limited

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Translated from an article written by Jean-Noël POTIN,
Journalist "Le Télégramme", 27th September 2010.
The original article can be seen here: lemondedetitus.blogs.letelegramme.com

Hazel O'Connor in Paris : emotion and generosity.

Theatre de Nesle, Paris, Saturday, September 25, 18 h. A small side road nestled in the historic heart of the capital not far from the Seine. A few handfuls of spectators are waiting patiently in the lobby. Here, no need for a security service. Two imposing Melanesian statues flank the entrance and they alone are sufficient enough to intimidate any troublemaker. Conversations strike up quite naturally. One, a fan from the very beginning, has brought his vinyl copy of "Breaking Glass" to be autographed after the show. Another sports a magnificent silver mohican haircut that would surely not have displeased Kate, the punk portrayed by Hazel in the film that revealed her to the world. The theatre people are cool. Who said that Paris was a city in a hurry? Here, we could almost forget the passing of time and, indeed, is it possible that thirty years have passed since the release of "Breaking Glass"?

In this historic building, the theatre is located in the basement. We descend an imposing stone staircase to the small intimate venue with 80 seats and make our way to the stage located below. Soon afterwards, three pretty blondes dressed in black burst onto the tiny stage. Clare Hirst, former saxophonist with David Bowie, and Sarah Fisher, former pianist of the Eurythmics, precede Hazel by a few steps. The concert begins. "Tonight, we decided to play more songs from "Breaking Glass" because it is the thirtieth anniversary of the movie" explains Hazel. The latter is a little like Piaf in the realism with which she lives her songs. The acoustics are exceptional, similar to that of a chapel in Brittany. The hits keep coming, one after another, Hazel taking care to explain, with humour, and sometimes in a French a little approximate, but no matter, the genesis of each song. Emotion is the order of the day, especially when singing her worldwide hit, "Will you", supported by a sensuous sax solo by Clare Hirst. The audience applauds wildly, and sings when asked to join in. The voices of the trio are in perfect harmony. Hazels voice, raucous and slightly husky, half-way between Marianne Faithfull and Térez Montcalm, is enriched with the warm and deep voice of Sarah Fisher and the crystalline voice of Clare Hirst. The complicity between them is obvious. Naturally charismatic and generous, Hazel leads the way but never monopolises all of the limelight. On several occasions, she even leaves the stage or steps aside from her spotlight to allow the public to fully appreciate in their own right the performances of her two accompanists. After two encores performed to a general euphoria, it's already time, alas, to go back to the surface (both literally as figuratively). But it's not finished yet. When we return to the lobby, the three musicians are already there to greet their audience of an evening. The trio demonstrate an exceptional availability to all. Then a few photo shoots before Hazel draws from a carton some gifts to distribute to her faithful fans. Did I already mention generosity?

Hazel O'Connor And The Bluja Project

"The Bluja Project" : the sweet revenge of Hazel

Memory of a dark room in 1980 in Tahiti. I was 13, she had to have 25. I came out of the cinema forever moved. Hazel O'Connor, for it is her in question, burst onto the big screen in "Breaking Glass", a film directed by Brian Gibson, where she played the leading role and which enabled her to receive at Cannes her first standing ovation. This cult film of the 80s had made her an icon in a few short months. It has to be said that in addition to (good) acting, the young artist at the same time wrote the entire soundtrack. It was the first time in history, a soundtrack was composed, written, and performed by a woman. A stroke of genius for a first attempt!

At least five tracks on this soundtrack have enjoyed international success: "Eighth Day", "Calls The Tune", "Writing on the Wall", "Give me an inch" and especially "Will you" whose saxophone solo still echoes in many hearts today!

Since then, Hazel O'Connor has not known just success. Some problems with her record company could have even incited her to change profession. But the hard times, after all, were short-lived. Hazel hung in there with a beautiful perseverance. On the small screen, she has acted in a successful British series called "Fighting back". Musically, she never stopped touring.

Notably she presents, alongside the harpist Cormac De Barra, her autobiographical show "Beyond the Breaking Glass" which was very well received by the critics. With her rock band from Coventry, "The Subterraneans", she regularly performs the hits from "Breaking glass" and songs from her albums: "Sons and Lovers", "Cover plus", "Smile". A double live album recorded at Brighton "Fighting back" was published in 2005. Among her other albums, are "Hidden Heart" featuring collaborations with Rob Reynolds and Clannad's Moya Brennan and a compilation, "A singular collection", which came out in 2006.

In 2009 Hazel also participated on the "Here and Now" tour of UK stadiums alongside international stars such as Kid Creole, Kim Wilde or Midge Ure (Ultravox).

Meanwhile, she has also teamed up with two other experienced artists , the saxophonist Clare Hirst (who has performed with, among others, the Bellestars, the Communards and David Bowie) and the pianist Sarah Fisher ( Eurythmics, Sax in the city ) to form the "Bluja Project". In addition to revisiting Hazels biggest successes blues-jazz style, the trio delivers a sensual interpretation of timeless standards, like "Summertime", "Stormy Weather" or "God Bless The Child". A first album, "The Bluja Project" has already emerged this year, and "a second is already in preparation" assures Sarah Fisher.

Hazel O'Connor - The Bluja Project 2010

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Hazel O'Connor Lady Gaga in THE META AGORA 09 Aug 2010
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Hazel O'Connor in GOREY GUARDIAN 21 Jul 2010
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Hazel O'Connor

Hazel through the looking glass; It is 30 years since Breaking Glass, the film that launched Coventry's Hazel O'Connor, was released. PETE CHAMBERS met up with Hazel to talk about her Breaking Glass Live tour, which comes to Leamington on March 25.


March 11, 2010

PETE CHAMBERS: As part of the 30th Anniversary you're rerecording Breaking Glass album with The Subterraneans and Roger Lomas producing, so why revisit it? HAZEL O'CONNOR: There's a couple of reasons, one, is that over 30 years my voice has changed a lot and developed, I think that the songs on that album were very seminal. Because I have worked with the Subterraneans for five years I thought it would be a nice thing to do between us, and of course Roger Lomas, who has really supported me in this town. So it's me doffing my cap to the people I work with and doffing my cap to the songs that I wrote.

PC: So are you looking forward to playing in Leamington? HO: The whole thing is wonderful, because I went to art school in Leamington. I didn't stay there, as I had already started to become a troubled soul, so I did a runner and left the country, so Leamington was the time of home life and everything I was up to that point. It was never about being unhappy in my home, just being unhappy in my head, so Leamington is very big for me.

PC: What can we expect from this concert? HO: Well all the Breaking Glass songs, never done that before, so that will be fun, and that's great because I don't have to worry if this is fashionable any more. I just know I have a set of songs that's beloved by a certain group of people, the loyal fan base. We have built that back up again with Cormac DeBarra and myself and doing the 'Beyond Breaking Glass -An Evening With'.

PC: Apart from the live show and the acoustic Beyond Breaking Glass, you also have the Bluja Project, tell us about that? HO: Well we do that with Clare Hirst on Saxophone, there's a lot of songs I love, like Funny Valentine, Stormy Weather. So the idea is we have a loose collective, and it's based around blues and jazz, hence the name. Though it's more classic pop really, and we have people like, Sarah Fisher, Herbie Flowers coming in on bass and Cormac on the harp.

PC: Hazel has spent much of her time in Coventry, looking after mum Joyce. HO: It's been a life changing experience for me and certainly for my mum, when she got diagnosed with terminal cancer. She ended up in Myton Hospital last Christmas, and we spent a beautiful two weeks for her to have respite, to get strong in spirit and she's strong for the time being. I get asked to do a lot of charity things, so I'm doing as much as I can. I've written a special song that won't come out now till autumn, it's something I had written for my mum and stepfather, who has recently passed away. It's a lovely song and a celebration, and that's what all of us leave a celebration of a life.

For more information of Hazel's gig contact the The Assembly, Leamington at 01926 523001.


REPRISE: Hazel O'Connor, Roger Lomas and The Subs in the studio re-recording Breaking Glass

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