Frontman of Jaime Nanci And The Blueboys speaks exclusively to Polari about his debut album, Toy.
After a chance meeting with Pawel Grudzien in 2008 at a less than glamorous gig in a dive bar in Dublin, Jaime Nanci invited him to join his lounge-punk band on a brief tour culminating in a late night sing song around a broken down piano. Enraptured by Pawel’s spontaneous talent on keys; at about 4AM that morning, they wrote their first song together. One year later, Nanci was introduced and recruiting bassist Dave Redmond and Kevin Brady – Jaime Nanci And The Blueboys were born.
On their debut album, Toy, the Irish quintet have crafted songs inspired by actual events with a sound they describe as “the lost pages of a film noir script populated by beautiful losers, gun slingers and after hours dancing marionettes”. The album weaves together threads from jazz, blues, punk and pop, whilst being the enigmatically eccentric frontman. Jaime gave Polari an elaborate insight into each of the songs on Toy; a record wielding a triumphantly unique sound, stories of near death and odes to queer culture.
This is a slightly surreal tango. It’s a love song to Barcelona, and one trip in particular I took with my husband which inspired the lyrics. From our little boutique hotel to the backrooms and go-go boys – the song is a queer holiday journal of sorts.
This is a very personal song, I wrote it for my father, but I think it is loaded with many layers of emotions that lots of gay boys have about their fathers.
‘The Isle of Misfit Toys’
This is an ode to Fire Island and all the queer men who fell in the first wave of the HIV and AIDS crisis. Its a beautiful sad ballad full of smutty innuendo, its got drag queens, snoring lesbians, and nudity; everything a gay resort needs!
I wanted this to be an upbeat tune. It was the first time I actively made myself sit down and write a song. It’s frivolous and over the top song about falling in love, because thats how you feel when you do.
This is my effort to get inside the head of Little Edie Beale, there are some direct quotes and references to some of the visuals that stuck with me after seeing the documentary for the 50th time.
‘Take Me To The Market’
I think it’s quite baroque in its melodrama. We played a show at this underground Vaudeville type club that descended into bedlam and debauchery. It really felt like travelling back in time to a liquor soaked opium-scented madhouse. I wrote the words in one sitting and gave them to Pawel and he said the music just popped into his head as soon as he read them.
‘Noni’s Got A Gun’
This song is about a time when I was touring in the States with my old band Cuckoo Savante. After one pretty insane night with these amazing friends who I was lucky enough to work with for ten years, I ended up on the roof of a warehouse with a gun pointed at my head by a handsome young mafiosa who thought I was trying to entrap him. I don’t think I should say anymore about that one.
For more information about Jaime Nanci And The Blueboys, visit their official website here.