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Ruby Turner at The Crossing, Digbeth

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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
Soul Singer Headlines Rare Birmingham Show
Birmingham Soul legend Ruby Turner headlines a rare hometown gig at a hidden gem of a venue on Wednesday October 16. The singing superstar performs at The Crossing in Digbeth, a 600-capacity auditorium which is part of South and City College. To make the show extra special Ruby will be previewing some of the new songs due to be featured on her next album, released next spring.

Ruby Turner
Soul superstar: Ruby Turner

''There will be a good mixture of music that I hope will go down well,'' says 55-year-old Ruby who moved from Jamaica to Handsworth in Birmingham when she was nine. As well as new material she promises to perform her hits like I'd Rather Go Blind and If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) as well as tunes from her last studio album, the gospel covers project, I'm Travelling On.

''There were tracks from that album that got some wonderful airplay on Radio 2, like This Train, so I'll be doing that,'' she says.

Ruby Turner
Travelling On: Ruby Turner

The forthcoming, yet to be titled, album offers some intriguing collaborations.

''One of the songs I wrote about two and a half years ago was with a guy named Passenger - Mike Rosenberg - and since then he's had incredible success,'' Ruby enthuses. ''I saw him in the Isle of Wight supporting Jools Holland as a one-off. I thought 'wow'. Then I saw him play a gig in Brighton, we wrote some songs together and became friends. There's also a track I've written with Nell Bryden and that's going to be on the album. And I'm hoping to get the boss to do something as well.''

The boss? That would be Jools Holland with whom Ruby has performed for many years as guest Rhythm and Blues Orchestra vocalist. She now arranges her own headline gigs around tours with Jools which usually take place during the summer and pre-Christmas. They play Birmingham Symphony Hall on December 8.

''I do about six songs and for the rest of the show I just enjoy myself. I'm there, I'm listening to the show; I'm ready to go and do my job.''

Ruby Turner
Enjoying the show: Ruby Turner

Ruby admits she would love to do more Birmingham gigs in venues like the Town Hall and Symphony Hall but knows that to sell tickets she has to have extensive radio coverage and hit records.

''I'm under no illusions about how things work,'' she says. ''But that's okay, I don't have a problem with any of it. I'm kinda happy to do my thing. I'm happy making my music and, more importantly, it's 30 years and more that I've been in this industry and I think I'm having the best time now because now I know what I'm doing. Music is my business. I'm enjoying the writing process and it's great. The creative side is thrilling.''

The gig at The Crossing features support from singer-songwriter Hannah Brown and renowned saxophonist Alvin Davis.

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Why? Rare hometown gig for Ruby Turner
When: October 16, 2013
Phone: 0844 870 0000
Where: The Crossing, South & City College, Milk Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SU
Cost: 10 advance; 12 on the door
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