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At the heart of English folk
Lucy Ward Band

Lucy Ward

On 9 April Derby-born singer and multi-instrumentalist Lucy Ward will bring her album launch tour to London along side her band, featuring O'Hooley & Tidow, Joy Gravestock (fiddle), Sam Pegg (bass) and Steve Maclachlan of The Willows (percussion).

Ahead of the gig we asked Lucy some questions about the new album (Single Flame) and her plans for 2014.

Tell us about the new album

Single Flame is my second record, I think for any solo artist their first album is a calling card, a mark of what they can do live, a second album is a chance to grow, change and experiment with instrumentation beyond what your two arms can play. It was produced by Stu Hanna of Megson and myself and Stu spent a total of 9 months in the studio honing the album. It has a dramatic sound, where my first album was stripped back this (I hope) is full of rich soundscapes, swooping string quartets, atmospheric drums and more! All of my songs start off life as me and my guitar, so I am never worried about performing them solo, but on the back of the success of Single Flame it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new and take a band on tour; realising the sound of the record live is a totally electric experience for me!

We love the artwork and imagery for the new tour – what was the inspiration?

Aw thank you, well I picked up the dress at a vintage stall at the Off The Tracks Festival years ago and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it, then, when researching ideas for the shoot (I just knew I wanted it to be colourful) I came across a picture of a drag artist called Raja, resplendent in yellow, surrounded by flowers and it sparked the idea of the flower crown. So I popped round my mum's house (she is a craft queen) and we made the flower crown out of bits and bobs from our craft boxes and my look was complete. People have told me I look like a hindu diety or marilyn manson, I think that has gotta be a good thing!

How are preparations going for the tour?

Great thank you, we have been rehearsing as much as our busy schedules will let us (which isn't that often) and things are coming together nicely. I have really dropped lucky, I have managed to find 5 people who gel together really well, we are always laughing, joking and launching into impromptu covers such as Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise (rest assured I don't think that one will make it into the set hehe). We have a really great connection and each one of them in their own right is a sensitive and inspired performer; I love sharing a stage with them.

Aside from the tour, what have you got planned for 2014?

Well I have a few plates in the air; I am playing lots of festivals this summer, both solo and with the Lucy Ward Band then come October we will be touring again with each other. I'm also going to be touring in Germany for the first time in summer with a follow-up tour in winter. In between gigs I will be writing and recording my third album, which I hope to release in summer 2015.

You have been part of number of collaborations over the last few years. Looking ahead, if you had the opportunity to collaborate with any musician who would that be?

Ooo this is a difficult question, Anais Mitchell...that would be quite something special, I've been a long time listener to her music but I met her for the first time at this years BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Yes I would love to work with her.

Any advice for musicians starting out in their career?

Play! Lots! And always make the music you want to make...that can be a hard decision to make sometimes. I turned down a record deal aged 18 because I knew I wasn't ready to head into a studio, I didn't know enough about my sound yet to be in control of the final outcome (and that is REALLY important). I went away, worked, played, wrote and sang and then when the right opportunity came along I was ready. I sold an EP I recorded in my parents conservatory for years to make ends meet in the mean time.

Find out more about the gig | Book online



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