MU­SIC SCENE

Katie Melua is back, big­ger and bet­ter

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Andy Welch

SINCE her 2003 de­but al­bum Call Off The Search, the unas­sum­ing Ge­or­gian­born song­writer Katie Melua has sold more than 10 mil­lion al­bums. That’s about dou­ble the tally of fel­low Brit-school grad­u­ate Adele, yet it’s dif­fi­cult to open a news­pa­per or mag­a­zine with­out read­ing a glowing fea­ture about that par­tic­u­lar ris­ing star. “You think I’ve gone about it qui­etly?” pon­ders Melua, the coun­try’s big­gest-sell­ing fe­male artist of 2006, who has won a clutch of awards all over the con­ti­nent. “I sup­pose I have,” she says, sitting cross-legged on a sofa in her dress­ing room. The 26-year-old is in the mid­dle of her cur­rent UK tour, which brings her to Glas­gow on Mon­day, May 9, and she had al­ready per­formed 20 shows in Ger­many, Por­tu­gal, Spain and France. The tour, show­cas­ing Katie’s fourth al­bum The House, should have taken place in De­cem­ber 2010 but was post­poned un­til now for per­sonal rea­sons. She doesn’t want to go into de­tails, but does ad­mit to hav­ing had “a bit of a break­down” and be­ing very un­well. Her tour has been resched­uled with more days off in be­tween gigs than vir­tu­ally any other tour­ing act I’ve come across and she has a vastly-re­duced in­ter­view sched­ule. But then Katie’s a no­to­ri­ously pri­vate per­son, and maybe she just doesn’t want to pour her heart out to the first jour­nal­ist she comes across. It’s not wholly sur­pris­ing that some­one who’s been flat out since they left school might suf­fer from low spells. “Last year was time to cool off a bit. I think what hap­pened

“I just need to en­joy it more”

was a cul­mi­na­tion of ev­ery­thing that’s gone over the past seven years,” she says. “I’m do­ing things dif­fer­ently since I’ve come back, try­ing to keep a lot more chilled and mak­ing sure I’ve got my fam­ily around,” she adds, re­fer­ring to her mum, who is join­ing her for the en­tire tour. “I need to re­alise it’s just a job, and it doesn’t have to eat you alive. Yes, it’s a great po­si­tion to be in, but it doesn’t mean you have to drive your­self crazy with hard work. I need to just en­joy it a bit more.” But she never thought of quit­ting. “My per­cep­tions have changed, but I can’t think of do­ing any­thing else,” she ex­plains. “Mu­sic and per­form­ing is ev­ery­thing I am, I love it. “Say­ing that, I re­alise it’s not just a job, but you can take it to an ex­treme level by com­bin­ing it with a lot of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity like con­stant fly­ing and trav­el­ling, con­stant jet­lag and al­ways hav­ing to be some­where.” We move on to fame and celebrity, which Katie made a

punks The Brothel Corpse Trio and Glaswe­gian blues-rock­ers Kon­troband. Toxic Ephex, who have been de­scribed as “one of Scot­land’s best ever punk bands”, are sure to raise the roof with their old­school, attitude-laden ap­proach to punk rock. The Brothel Corpse Trio, pic­tured above, then rep­re­sent the new breed of Aberdeen punks, with a dou­ble bass- laden, Mis­fits-in­spired sound. Kon­troband, whose swag­ger­ing rock n’ roll has gained them

many fans, com­plete the bill. ABERDEEN’S singer­song­writ­ers are out in force on Sun­day, as Bel­mont Street’s Revo­lu­tion bar holds RevFest – a May Day cel­e­bra­tion fea­tur­ing live mu­sic and top lo­cal DJs. Steven Milne, pic­tured right, Myke Black and Oliver Richards will be play­ing from 2pm at the event, which also boasts DJs from pop­u­lar lo­cal club nights Noc­turne and Elec­tro Junkie. A NIGHT of in­stru­men­tal and math rock takes place in Café Drum­monds on Tues­day. Head­lin­ing will be Leeds-based band MAYBESHEWILL, who in the past have played along­side the likes of 65daysof­static and Foals. Aberdeen out­fits The Wet­flex and Good Po­lice are among the sup­port acts. The Wet­flex have gar­nered much in­ter­est on the lo­cal mu­sic scene, hav­ing just recorded and re­leased their de­but EP, Rad­ton Upon Sea. Lo­cal postrock­ers Good Po­lice com­plete the stel­lar

line-up.

MU­SI­CAL RI­VAL: Adele.

RE­COV­ERED: Singer Katie Melua. con­scious de­ci­sion to steer clear of from day one. “It’s not dif­fi­cult to do that,” she says. “It stems from the fact I al­ways wanted to be known for my mu­sic, and the peo­ple I work with com­pletely un­der­stood that, never pushed me to go to ev­ery film pre­miere and all of that stuff. “The in­vites can be pretty con­stant, and it’s an easy trap to fall into, but I’d rather hang out with my mates down at the pub.” “But peo­ple think be­ing a celebrity is ex­cit­ing and glam­orous.” Her last al­bum The House, the first writ­ten and pro­duced with­out men­tor and man­ager Mike Batt, saw her col­lab­o­rate with Rob­bie Wil­liams’ for­mer song­writer Guy Cham­bers and Madonna co­hort Wil­liam Or­bit. The al­bum didn’t break the mould, but it did move her in a slightly dif­fer­ent, more ex­per­i­men­tal direc­tion. She hints the next al­bum, which she plans to start work on soon, will go even fur­ther but won’t say any more. “I don’t want to say what it’s go­ing to be yet, it’s so early days,” she says when asked, but lights up while do­ing so. “At the mo­ment, I just want to get the tour done. “I re­ally felt like I had to do this. It’s a tes­ta­ment to my­self to get it over and done with be­cause it was so har­row­ing hav­ing to post­pone the gigs last year. “Yes, I had to take some time off, but it’s good to be back.”

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