LADY MISS KIER at Pride Wellesley Stage (Wellesley and Yonge), Sunday (June 24), 6 pm. Free. www.pridetoronto.com. Rating: NNNNN
We haven't heard much from Lady Miss Kier, aka Kieren Kirby, former singer of Deee-lite, since the band broke up back in 1994.
But she's been quietly enjoying a bit of a comeback.
"I've actually been doing music the whole time, but I couldn't really share it publicly because I was in a contract with a label that held onto the bulk of the material I worked on and wouldn't let me touch it," Kirby explains from her NYC home.
Eventually, she managed to get out of the deal with the help of her lawyer and a meeting with the label that she attended with a shaved head, black makeup smeared around her eyes and a fake limp. Moving back to New York after a decade in the UK seems to have helped as well, even if her original reason for returning didn't work out the way she'd hoped.
"I moved back on Election Day, when Bush won the second time. I felt like I needed to get back in time to vote, and I missed my friends and family and thought I might as well come back then because there was no way he'd get in again."
We all know how that turned out, though Kirby is on the team that feels Bush didn't actually "win" the election. Nevertheless, she hung in and has been slowly leaking her new material via her website and live shows.
Most of the new material is disco-influenced - as are her DJ sets these days - but she's also working on some quieter songs for after the club. She seems especially excited about how the Internet has allowed her to bypass the major-label machine and how it allows her to connect with her fans.
Coincidentally, being a fan herself and trying to connect with her idol, Bootsy Collins, was a big part of what got her career started in the first place.
"I wrote him a fan letter back when we were making our demos. I never was one to reach out like that, but I did with him, and it was a big turning point. He called me in Brooklyn and left a message on my machine saying he liked the demos and that if we ever got a record deal to call him up and he'd come in for a session.
"Up until then, we just thought of it as a hobby, but after that it seemed like maybe we could do something."