Thursday, July 6, 2017

Joanne Catherall & Susanne Sulley

'Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley of the Human League, who ascended from their technical position as mere backing vocalists to embody a kind of feminine consciousness that could either dance around a handbag or hit you with it. Recruited from a Sheffield nightclub, Joanne and Susanne brought a genuine street credibility to the otherwise ponderous sound of the Human League, and this was a High Street credibility which spoke of the shopping precinct and the tungsten-hard rituals of working for low pay and dressing to kill.

Poised on the provincial clubbing axis of Roxy Music, David Bowie and Manhattan Transfer, Joanne and Susanne possessed an independence and home-grown glamour which made their seeming banality  somehow iconic; their dancing had the Warholian mannerism of always seeming to be the same dance, swinging arms and hips from left to right for as long as each song lasted without any variation. Their blank expressions were strangely disconcerting, and their passivity seemed to mask an unspoken pronouncement that summed up modern England. 'it's this town Billy. It's the people we know....' The spirits of Rita and Liz walked abroad in Joanne and Susanne, surveying their roles with an ancient wisdom.'              
                           England is Mine by Michael Bracewell

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