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UNDER THE WINGS OF A ROCK ICON; Welsh musician Danie Cox has one of the most extraordinary rock'n'roll tales - a rollercoaster ride of struggle and stardust featuring two the biggest pop stars of the '80s. Dave Owens reports.

SHE'S the Welsh glam punk hoping to hit the heights thanks to a helping hand from the '80s pop icon who has become her mentor.

With her electrifying red hair, extravagant make-up and outrageous dress sense, 23-year-old Danie Cox and her band The Featherz look every inch pop stars.

And fittingly enough, the eye-catching singer from Bridgend met the equally flamboyant Culture Club star Boy George at an exhibition at the V&A for the greatest rock 'n' roll chameleon of them all - David Bowie.

The two Thin White Duke obsessives made a huge impression on each other with George taking Danie under his wing, asking her to star in his music videos, taking her band out on tour with him and acting as a guiding hand as she attempts to navigate the shark-ridden waters of the music business.

However, by her own admission it's not been an easy ride for the talented song-write r . When she first moved to London in 2010 it was another '80s pop icon who caught her eye and offered her a shot at stardom. Sadly, this was most definitely not a match made in heaven.

"You have to be academic to get on in life and I felt like the outcast," says the singer, on her reason for leaving behind her native Wales.

"When I came to London I had one friend. Within that first couple of weeks I managed to get into a private gig that Adam Ant was playing.

"I met Adam after the show and we talked about a cover he had played that night of Get It On by TRex as I'm a really massive Marc Bolan fan and a huge fan of glam rock.

"He noticed my accent and asked me where I was from, so I told him and also told him why I was in London and what I wanted to do.

"So he gave me his mobile number and asked me to give him a ring to come for an audition to join his band."

However, she didn't expect to receive a call from the Stand And Deliver star in the early hours of the following morning. It was a portent of what was to come from the multi-million-selling singer, who has had some well-publicised battles with mental illness - although Danie didn't know it at the time.

"About 5am he rings me and asks me to come to his flat for an audition.

I thought this is crazy. I turned up and then waited all day to see him - I then discovered he wanted to put together an all-girl rock 'n' roll band called Poussez Posse."

Although Danie says she wasn't immediately taken with the idea because she thought it was just a vehicle for Adam Ant's girlfriend Georgina Baillie - the singer who was famously at the centre of the Sachsgate scan- d a l whenRus- sell Brand and JonathanRossrangher grandfa-ther, Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, revealing how Brand had slept with the actor's grand-daughter.

"It was all a bit mediocre to be honest," says Danie. "But we went on tour with Adam and we recorded some songs. Whereas she (Baillie) just wanted to get famous all I wanted to do was all I've ever wanted to do and that's front a band and write my own songs. I'm not one of those people who settles for second best."

Danie made the decision to leave, and take the rest of the band - except Georgina - with her.

Fate it seemed was just around the corner in the form of Boy George.

Turning up at a talk that the leaner, fitter and creatively inspired pop star was giving at the David Bowie Exhibition at the V&A, the pair of Bowie fanatics were introduced and it was as if two worlds had collided.

"He was attracted to what I was wearing and asked me up on stage while he was speaking to tell the audience that this was how they dressed when he was a young Bowie fan," recalls Danie. "He said 'come up here gorgeous, show them how you look'. I nervously jumped up, not wanting to steal his stage but not wanting to waste the opportunity either. I span around on the stage and struck a Bowie pose. The whole audience applauded and cheered.

"George is such a nice guy. I was so nervous about meeting him initially.

After my bad experience with Adam I thought maybe everybody from the '80s was like that."

George hooked Danie up with his manager Jazz Summers.

Advising Danie that he would like The Featherz to support Boy George, who at that time was set to release his first new album in more than a decade with This Is What I Do, the Welsh rocker and her band set out on the road for what was to be a hugely enjoyable experience for all concerned.

"I remember we played the most amazing show in Glasgow at a legendary venue called King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, I don't know if it was because they were all drunk but everyone went mad. I thought wow!" Since then Danie and George have forged a close friendship with the musician becoming something of the muse for the Culture Club icon, starring in his most recent videos for the singles Coming Home, My God and King Of Everything.

RNR by The Featherz is out now. Follow The Featherz on Twitter @TheFeatherzReal


Danie Cox and Boy George
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 9, 2014
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