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WigWam - Betty Boo meets Blur's Alex James

Wig Wam

Story by Jack Foley

WHAT do you get when 90s pop legend Betty Boo enters the studio with Blur’s bassist Alex James and start working together for the first time?

The answer is WigWam, the unlikely pairing that’s been hard at work in the studio for the last year, mostly with producer Ben Hillier, and former Boo collaborators The Beatmasters.

The result is being billed as an album of experimental yet accessible 21st century pop.

The single is released on Instant Karma on April 3 and has already been described by as ‘completely ridiculous modern pop music whose chorus goes “checkin’ out my wigwam, wigwam, wigwam, checkin’ out my boo, boo, boo’.

Betty Boo formed her first band, The She Rockers, aged 16 whilst still at school, and the success of their album took her to New York to work with Public Enemy.

With their encouragement she decided to go solo and hit the charts in 1989 as the featured vocalist on The Beatmasters top 10 hit I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing).

She went on to write and produce her debut album Boomania in her bedroom which spawned two huge worldwide hits Doin’ The Do and Where Are You Baby and was voted the Best New Artist at the Brit Awards in 1990.

Her sassy, powerful music and image launched a thousand wannabe’s and it’s no great shock that when the creators of the Spice Girls were placing the initial adverts they were looking for ‘5 Betty Boo’s’.

The follow up album, Grrr! was also hugely successful but then due to personal reasons she retired from the music industry for over five years (giving up the chance to sign to Madonna’s Maverick label).

In 2000, she was persuaded to start working again and wrote the debut single for TV reality show stars Hearsay.

Pure and Simple went on to be the fastest selling debut single of all time and was awarded the Ivor Novello for the biggest selling song of 2001.

Having then gone on to write tracks for several other people (including songs on Girls Aloud’s debut album) she decided to go back to working for herself, and having been friends with Alex James for some time they decided to get together.

Alex commented: “She is the naughtiest girl I have ever met and has an ability to ride a backing track like most people ride a bicycle. She can sing like a sparrow. It’s the greatest pop voice ever, bar none.

“As Madonna said to her ‘You are everything I wish I was.’ ‘Nuff said. We are both married, not to each other.”

  1. Wigwam performing live at the Whitechapel Gallery on Friday 31 March. Its this years annual fundraiser, Art Plus Music, and its going to be great!

    Blur’s bassist, Alex James is composing a live harmonic score set to visuals from outer space specially for the Whitechapel. Then he’s performing his new single, Wigwam with Betty Boo, there’ll also be djs and bar til late.

    If you want to come along book soon – tickets are already selling like hot cakes!

    There is a booking form at

    The event will raise funds to support the Whitechapel Gallery’s Education programme.

    Cheers all,


    Lizbet    Mar 6    #