Rock Chic? Agyness Deyn the pop star

Supermodel Agyness Deyn wants to be a pop star. On the evidence of her first gig, will she measure up?

Larry Ryan,Ian Johnston
Sunday 23 October 2011 02:34
Agyness Deyn guaranteed a packed crowd
Agyness Deyn guaranteed a packed crowd

The Five O'Clock Heroes were eight songs into their set before the real star of the show appeared and the waiting crowd finally got what they wanted. While Agyness Deyn did little more than warble backing vocals on four songs by the obscure new-wave pop group, she guaranteed a packed crowd peppered with celebrities on Friday night at Industry, a suitably cool live venue in east London.

Henry Holland, who plans a jewellery range with Deyn, Nick Grimshaw, the Radio 1 DJ, Alexa Chung, the television presenter, Alex Turner, of the Arctic Monkeys, and Bob Geldof's 17-year-old daughter Pixie were among those offering adulation.

In keeping with her down-to-earth persona, Deyn managed to appear mildly embarrassed by all the fuss. It remains to be seen whether she will be able to keep her head amid the increasing media clamour.

The Friday night gig capped a remarkable 12 months for the Manchester girl born Laura Hollins, who has appeared on the cover of British Vogue and Time magazine and was named Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Making her debut on the live music stage, she took tentative steps along a path trodden by models such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Moss and Campbell unfortunately garnered more publicity for alleged substance misuse and self-control issues than for their music.

Dr Cynthia McVey, a psychologist who has studied the effects of sudden fame, said: "If you become famous overnight for something that doesn't require talent – for looking fantastic or being married to a footballer – it is very heady, very seductive."

Deyn's Friday night gig was a favour for a friend: a showcase for Five O'Clock Heroes' new album Speak Your Language. But for many in the crowd the band dwindled into insignificance compared to their backing singer.

As one onlooker commented, while Deyn did not have the strongest voice – she sounded a little like Cyndi Lauper – she could be more successful still if she were to find "a less pedestrian backing band".

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