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Digital Subscriptions >  Blog > The Queen of Clubs

The Queen of Clubs
Gay Times

The Queen of Clubs

Posted Sunday, 1 November 2015   |   9247 views   |   Men's Interest She’s given us Love and Kisses, helped us Put the Needle on It and made us Begin to Wonder… Whether or not she’d ever release any new material, that is. But now, eight years after her last studio album, Dannii Minogue is back. And not a moment too soon, if the crowd at Manchester Pride is anything to go by…

“Dannii! Dannii! Dannii!”
We’re backstage at Manchester Pride with our favourite Minogue sister – shhhh! Don’t tell the other one! – and the walls of our little hideaway are practically shaking from the noise of thousands upon thousands of fans packing out the city’s gay village and chanting for the woman herself.

“Oh my Gooooooood!” she squeals, somewhat nervously. It’s less than 30 minutes before she’s due to take to the stage. “Little do they know know I’m right here!”
Right here is, of course, backstage with GT giving a very rare and a very exclusive interview about life, love and the future for, arguably, the queen of club music.
“Right, focus, I forgot what I was saying...”

Funnily enough, we were asking Dannii how it feels to be back. Back in the UK, her home away from home, and back to the unquestionable adulation of her fans. Less than 24 hours before our interview, she played her first UK gig in NINE years to another adoring crowd in London. A warm-up for her set in Manchester – certainly the most anticipated of the entire Pride season.

“It was a homecoming,” she smiles, proudly. “My brother was there, he’d flown in from Australia, and he always used to come to my gigs when he lived in London. I had a mate there who I’ve been friends with for years. It was a homecoming with friends and a homecoming with fans. I guess there’s a lot of memories for people who’ve grown up with my music, but there’s fans who’re just coming on board now.”
Dannii’s right. A glance into the crowd shows faces of all ages, genders, sexual orientations and backgrounds.

“Being back in the UK,” Dannii continues, “has been about everybody gathering together, enjoying music, celebrating equality and just giving a bit of tits, tinsel and sequins.”
Tits, tinsel and sequins. With our collective journalism degrees, we don’t think we could’ve summed up Dannii’s triumphant return better ourselves. In both London and Manchester, Dannii commands the stage in a sequinned, bubblegum pink jumpsuit, adorned with pink fur. And our expert adjudicators have confirmed that, yes, tits are very much present, too.
With all the style-over-substance pop stars who’ve come and gone int he nine years since Dannii was last on our shores, it’s a huge relief to have an unabashed, no-nonsense, brazen pop star back on stage. It begs the question, though, is this jaunt just a bit of foreplay, or can we expect Dannii back in our lives a bit more regularly.

“Well,” she starts, a million dollar smile spreading across her face, unable to contain her excitement, “I’ve been in the studio in LA, in Sydney and in London, just putting stuff together so I can release some new music…”
Our hearts practically stop.

“…I don’t know when, where and I don’t know what the plan is right now, but I’m just gathering it all together. And these shows are really helping me go, ‘Right, come on!’”
We’ve got a billion and one questions running through our head. But without starting down a path of super-fandom, we decide to get straight to the point. What exactly would Dannii Minogue sound like in 2015?

“I’m still going to stay in my dance groove,” she proclaims, “but there’s still that love of pop music, so I’ll be balancing that fine line. It’s weird, when I first started to get into remixes and dance music, it wasn’t popular in the charts. Now I’m coming back to music and dance is just like normal pop.

“I always like to find my edge and find something that’s a little bit ahead, and a little bit different, and I don’t want to move away from dance music – but what’s new about it?”
It’s very symbolic that Dannii has chosen to make her big return in Manchester. Her young son Ethan is half-Mancunian, after all.

“And Manchester Pride is such a big event, so it’s the one I definitely wanted to play,” she points out. “The vibe of the city is just unbelievable, you know? It’s like the Sydney Mardi Gras.

“But even before my son, when I would come to Manchester to do gigs or for The X Factor, I found it friendly, warm, it has a great sense of humour and… I don’t know, we just get along. We click.”

Speaking of The X Factor… We put to Dannii that the UK leg of the show hit its peak while she was a judge and mentor. And given its dwindling ratings, what would it take for her to come back and save it?

“It’s nice when people stop me on the street and say they miss me on The X Factor,” she says, modestly, and diplomatically avoiding our proclamation that the show needs saving. “It’s still a big part of my world, doing it in Australia. But I chose to go back to Australia with my little son, and to be close to my parents, my brother and his kids. It was a real life style choice.

“But I haven’t forgotten! I really did try and be a part of it this year, for the home visits, but they’re filming them live this time, later on in the year, and I’ll be back in Australia doing The X Factor there live. But, we’ll see…”
Could we perhaps see Dannii showcasing some new music on The X Factor? On one of the live results shows?
“Maybe! Maybe…”

Dannii is simultaneously coy and excited when she says this. It’s hard to read. Either way, we’re starting the campaign right here, right now, to get Dannii performing on The X Factor. Time to get tweeting Simon Cowell…

And if her performance at Manchester is anything to go by, it’ll certainly be a ratings booster. Opening with Put the Needle on It, she commands the stage like she never left it, flanked by a troupe of eight dancers with giant vinyl records on their heads. It’s bonkers. There’s no shortage of hits, either. In 30 minutes, she runs through the likes of This Is It, Love Fight, All I Wanna Do – and brand new track Summer of Love. It’s an affirming performance, to say the least.

“You know, my pure joy always comes from connecting with people,” she muses, when we ask her about what keeps her going; keeps her driven; what she’s devoted to, basically. “I get such joy out of introducing people, or if people are coming to my gigs and meeting each other. Like, there’s fans of mine that’ve met on Twitter and been friends now for like seven years, and they come on trains to watch the shows. I love that.

“I keep saying that social media gets a bad rep, but there’s a lot of great stuff on there. It brings people together and unites people. You can find your community and people who have that same spirit and energy. Finding other people through an artist you’re a fan of is great, because it instantly connects you. Like, we know we’re going to get along, because we both love the same music…”

Dannii pauses for a moment, and glances in the direction of the thousands of fans still screaming her name.
“…I hope people meet out there tonight, I really do…”

It’s a heartfelt and modest sentiment – that Dannii’s joy comes purely from bringing people together – and one that confirms what we’ve been banging on about for the last 1,000 words or so – pop music NEEDS Dannii Minogue to come back and take the reigns again., @danniiminogue

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