THE longest survivor of one of the world’s most influential and iconic bands is ready to boogie on down in the Ribble Valley at this year’s Beat-Herder Festival.

Original Boney M member Maizie Williams is back recreating that unique special moment of the seventies and eighties live with her own band of musicians.

With hits such as Daddy Cool, Sunny, Brown Girl in the Ring and Rivers of Babylon, she will be performing old classics with the added flavour of new, self-penned gospel-orientated material.

“It will be great. We will be performing all of the hits out there, there will be lots of energy on stage,” said Maizie, who will be giving fans a sweet taste of nostalgia.

Maizie's live show now reflects the magic of her days with the band and after all these years she’s still performing across the globe.

“When you enjoy what you’re doing, even after so many years on stage, you just give it your all. I live a healthy life and really look after myself so I have the stamina to keep going. It’s a blessing and I am grateful that I was chosen to be part of the band. It’s a privilege. I will carry on performing for as long as I can. I think it’s just in me. I am currently writing songs and working on my new album. That’s going to be hits from the past, including stuff from the ’60s that people still love to hear, as well as my new material. It will be similar to what Rod Stewart has done,” said Mazie, who recently turned 63.

Boney M’s distinctive sound — a mix of reggae, disco, funk, gospel, soul and rock — hit the charts around the world in the early ’70s and the band performed together for over a decade.

Maizie is not only the longest-surviving member of the original Boney M band but, along with producer Frank Farian, probably the most influential in deciding the long-term line-up, since it was she who vetted the subsequent members to make sure they would all share a certain chemistry.

The first real band was approved by Maizie and Frank and in turn Marcia Barrett, Bobby Farrell and finally Liz Mitchell were recruited, in which they all, to different degrees, performed, sang, danced and generally contributed to their greatest ability.

Following speculation of how much each member contributed to Boney M in 1986 they finally broke up, having earned 18 platinum albums, 15 golds, a staggering 200-plus platinum or gold singles and at least 150 million units worldwide.

And still, 30 years later, they continue to sell their music — a success that can’t be re-created according to Mazie, who admits times have changed.

She said: “We were successful in the 1970s and the 1980s and people are still listening to our music. The thing is, going back to the pop chart you had to work so hard to sell that amount of records and you needed 100,000 records before you could even go on Top of The Pops. Today artists only have to sell 2,000 and they are able to reach the top 10. There’s not as much competition and the music industry is different.”

Maizie's new version of Daddy Cool (a collaboration with Melo-M) is just one track that festival-goers want to hear this summer and the singer admits she won’t disappoint.

“There’s a difference to the industry and I think it’s harder today because record companies don’t invest in artists like they used to and they don’t end up where they are supposed to be,” said Mazie.

“There are some great artists out there and some of the new talent is excellent, although they have one or two hits and they seem to disappear and I don’t think there’s anybody really investing in them. You have got to have a certain fall-back and it’s a shame if they don’t. Take somebody like Beyonce. She is excellent but I still haven’t heard one song that will still be played in the next 20 or 30 years, that’s a classic, and that’s a shame.”

  • Beat Herder Festival, July18-20. Ribble Valley,