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Heidi Talbot at Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room - Interview and Preview

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Celebrated folk singer launches her new album
Irish folk singer Heidi Talbot is set to tour the UK, including a visit to Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room on October 6, 2016, to showcase her fifth solo album, Here We Go, 1, 2, 3, which is released on September 23.

Heidi Talbot, Here We Go, 1,2,3, Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, John McCusker, Folk Music

The 35-year-old from County Kildare has recruited a host of friends to join her on the album which features a number of different musical styles, from folk and Americana to classic pop.

As well as husband, John McCusker, guest musicians include Louis Abbott, Duke Special, Adam Holmes and Boo Hewerdine.

"The title, Here We Go, 1, 2, 3, takes that idea of jumping, whether it's into new musical territories, new bands, a new studio, new label, new family new everything, really," says Heidi, the recipient of 2008's Indie Acoustic award for In Love and Light and multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations. "It's about taking a chance. I've written eight out of the 10 songs on this album in some context, whether it's the lyrics or the music that's the most I've ever contributed. And it's quite personal. A lot has happened since my last album. We've built a recording studio, and started a label, and I've got a different band. I've had a second daughter. I've lost my mum. So, it feels like okay, get ready to jump..."

Heidi Talbot, Here We Go, 1,2,3, Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, John McCusker, Folk Music

Heidi lives in Scotland with John and their two daughters, Molly Mae and Jessica. The album was recorded at their self-built studio, housed in a converted eighteenth-century bothy (small shelter) next to their home.

"Recording the album in our own studio was amazing. You're in your own environment, you're comfortable, you've got all the time you need, and the kids can come over. It feels like everyone can be a part of it."

Heidi says the album was written over a two year period but took just ten days to record.

"I stopped touring, stopped recording, took some time after having another baby, and sorted everything out in my head a little bit,'' she says, explaining the lengthy preparation time.

One of the album's earliest songs was Song For Rose (Will You Remember Me).

Heidi reveals: "I wrote that about the time when my mum was sick, and you know what's going to happen, but you'd do anything to change it so you make all these sorts of deals, with God or whoever you believe in, to have this not happen. I did all my crying while I was writing it, so now I can sing it. And talk about it. That helped a lot."

The song is not sorrowful, but rather gently uplifting. It ends on a lullaby, with a child's voice: a celebration of familial birth and re-birth. "That's my little girl singing at the end," Heidi says. "When we played her it back she was like I can't hear me! Turn me up!"

Heidi Talbot, Here We Go, 1,2,3, Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, John McCusker, Folk Music

Another interesting track is Chelsea Piers, co-written with Duke Special and inspired by The Pogues. It conjures up a languid, late-night New York and recalls Heidi's years in the US, during which she sang with Cherish The Ladies (between 2002 and 2007), performed at the White House, and dreamed of home.

The title track is inspired by an old gospel song.

"I loved the idea of it being quite uplifting, of it not being a funeral hymn, even though it's about death,'' she says.

Heidi Talbot 2016 UK tour dates:

Sept 29: Paisley, Paisley Arts Centre;
Sept 30: Edinburgh, Queens Hall;
Oct 2: Derby, Folk Festival;
Oct 6: Liverpool, Music Room;
Oct 7: Barnard Castle, The Witham;
Oct 8: Bromsgrove, Artrix;
Oct 9: Stroud, The Convent;
Oct 11: Cambridge, The Junction;
Oct 12: Bristol, St George's;
Oct 13: London, Cecil Sharp House;
Oct 14: Newbury, Arlington Arts Centre;
Oct 15: Colchester, Arts Centre;
Nov 5: Barnsley, The Civic;
Nov 6: Bury, The Met;
Nov 10: Peebles, Eastgate Arts Centre;
Nov 11: Stirling, The Tolbooth.
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Why? Celebrated folk singer showcases her new album
When: October 6, 2016
Phone: 0151 709 3789 (Music Room)
Where: Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, then touring
Cost: 16 plus fees
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