Sunday, March 17, 2024

Jane Kennaway: IOU

From the LTM Recordings website:

January 1981: hotly tipped for top, Jane Kennaway tapes an all-important Top of the Pops appearance for her debut single IOU, a deserving indie hit now reissued on a major label, and poised at #65 on the national chart. 

Jane's lucky break owes much to the misfortune of teenager Honey Bane, who has charted a few places higher with Turn Me On, Turn Me Off, but is stuck at an airport and unlikely to reach BBC Television Centre in time to perform. None of that matters. IOU is a brilliant, witty song by an artist with talent to burn, whose hooks and looks suggest that mainstream success is a foregone conclusion. 

Alas, disaster strikes at the eleventh hour. Honey Bane arrives in time after all, and Jane is bumped from the show. Despite a string of classy singles produced by Andy Duncan, Thomas Dolby and Steve Lillywhite, further chart success proves elusive, and Jane Kennaway never gets to finish her album, despite a personal intervention by Bowie producer Tony Visconti.

It's a shit business.

I like IOU and it's easy to imagine Jane Kennaway as a successful early Eighties artist. The single was billed as being simply by her, but at the time she generally appeared as Jane Kennaway and Strange Behaviour - and the band sounds good here too.

A rabbit hole led me to her. She is the daughter of James Kennaway, who wrote both the screenplay for the film Tunes of Glory and the novel on which it was based. He died when he was only 40 and Jane was a young teenager.

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