“I’d like to go up in a rocket. My father was a Spitfire pilot, and ever since I’ve been obsessed with old documentaries about their use in World War II, and space as well. The moon landings have always fascinated me. If you look at the moon maps on National Geographic, psychologically they’re so odd and interesting. When I was younger all the other girls wanted to be air stewardesses. And I just wanted to go to the moon!”
Danielle Dax, singer, musician, artist, designer, part-time model and wannabe astronaut, was crowned Southend’s Miss Evening Echo in 1976. Born Danielle Gardner in Southend-on-Sea, Dax made her musical debut in 1979 at Reading University’s Student Union in the experimental post-punk, avant-garde outfit the Lemon Kittens – where she played keyboards, flute and saxophone. Karl from the Kittens had met her a few weeks earlier after he read an article about her arts group in a local newspaper, and after learning that Danielle was also a musician she was invited to join the band. She went on to do the cover artwork for all of Lemon Kittens releases and also painted the sleeve for Robert Fripp’s solo album, “Let the Power Fall”.
For Danielle Dax, the post-punk landscape, offered up the chance to combine her art, music and love of art house cinema and the esoteric. An avant-garde Amazonian, Dax has very much beaten her own path, not as confrontational (or scary!) as say Nina Hagen, but just as singular. Using elements of electro, disco, world music, poetry and some would say a fledgling Goth, Dax has carved out a particular niche for herself, one that still gets referenced and revisited.
Dave Simpson, writing in The Guardian (should have been The Avant-Garde-ian)
“She looked like a slightly more gothic Stevie Nicks crossed with Catwoman…Dax concerts were stuffed with girls dressing up the same. But she spent most of her career as a fringe presence, doing things that were perhaps too radical and visually/aurally unusual for the general public. When I first saw her, she was naked except for body paint. Her band the Lemon Kittens were supporting Killing Joke at Tiffany’s in Leeds, but an audience of Tetley Bittermen were hardly ready for Dax and pals’ avant garde performance art and canned them off the stage, complete with shouts of “Stig!”
After the Lemon Kittens, Dax produced solo records, Pop-Eyes (1983), Jesus Egg That Wept (1984) Inky Bloaters (1987), and Dark Adapted Eye (1988), which contained material from her previous recordings.
In 1984, she appeared as the Wolfgirl in The Company of Wolves by Neil Jordan.
In 1989, Danielle appeared on the mainstream Channel 4 show Star Test, where for all her avant-garde-ry, and astronaut aspirations, she comes across as being incredibly down to earth, straight-forward and really likeable.
“When I was very young, I lived with my granny, who was a medium, and she always encouraged me to try to see things in the crystal ball, and just embrace everything. I could never see anything, but I started reading about world religions and about the occult; there was a common thread, and these were all areas that informed the music that I made, though there were elements of humour there too. I hope people could see that”.
Danielle Dax Official website HERE