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I’m a singer & DJ known as Luminous, and co-founder of the band Luminous Frenzy.
Following in the footsteps of my family – my granddad Syd (a band leader), and great-grandmother, Kitty (a pianist) – hosts of raucous all-night parties in post-war Birmingham, where people could drink, dance and let off steam.
Music found me quite late … My early passions were dance, sport, and animals. Vegan from 18, I took part in many animal rights protests and actions. Later, in the early 90s, I worked undercover in two animal research labs, and was elected President of the Vegan Society, where I founded World Vegan Day and made a film with Benjamin Zephaniah.
Around this time I met Frank – a.k.a. Mr Frenzy. Fellow vegan, and “Godlike guitarist” in hotly tipped, all-veggie, indie band The Playthings, he invited me along, as a kind of honorary member, for one of their press interviews. In return, I took him raving, and our lives took off in a whole new direction. Consumed by House music and DJ’ing, we rocked clubs and parties all over London and Europe, and for many years ran a free sound system. We had a residency at The Foundry, the famously anarchic arts venue, where our band Luminous Frenzy was formed, and I made it into the World’s ‘Top 100 Female DJs‘
Luminous Frenzy‘s first album Violence/Ambience (Freeport ) is an evocative exploration of beauty and malevolence, and several tracks feature voices relating violent experiences (see Del’s Story and Menagerie). We debuted live as an 8-piece band on one of the main stages at the Big Chill Festival, and later, at the Southbank Centre, to promote our single Three Cliffs Bay, written with Adam Thomas, which got some cracking reviews. Mutating into a 5 piece Art-Rock act, we recorded three tracks with Producer Paul Sampson (Catatonia, The Primitives), and performed at the ICA as well as Supernormal Festival.
We’ve made two music videos, the first on location at Three Cliffs Bay in Wales, the second, for the track Duck Down, in Shunt – a dank labyrinth of railway-arches-turned-arts-space, entered via a portal in London Bridge station. For some reason, both feature masks.
For 3½ years (until end of 2017) we ran Karamel, a music venue and restaurant in North London. A fabulous space for gigs, parties and happenings of all kinds, with a late licence. We won two Time Out ‘Love London’ awards, served “some of the best vegan food London has to offer” (The Guardian), and played host to many talented artists, from comedians Catherine Tate and Sara Pascoe, to musicians Tom Robinson and Omar, writer Michael Rosen, and actors Fay Dunaway and Sophia Loren.