"I Don't Have A Stage Per­sona I'm There And I'm On."

What to ex­pect from Patti’s UK shows in June and Au­gust, and what Joan Baez has to do with it.

Mojo (UK) - - The Mojo Interview -

SMITH’S sum­mer shows in Bri­tain and con­ti­nen­tal Europe come in a va­ri­ety of set­tings: solo, with her band and in vary­ing line-ups with Lenny Kaye and her son Jack­son; in a Venice the­atre, a Cardiff church and open­ing out­door shows for Nick Cave in Lon­don (June 3) and Dublin (June 6). “I’ve played in front of 250,000 peo­ple and 25 peo­ple – I’m com­fort­able do­ing both,” she says. “I don’t mourn my record sales sliding down. I’m just happy I get more jobs – and good ones.” At 71, Smith pre­pares for tour­ing in “my own ro­man­tic, mil­i­tary way. I fill up my lit­tle suit­case. I lace up my boots. As I age and the cli­mate shifts, it af­fects my bronchial con­di­tion. I do my ex­er­cises, get acupunc­ture. “The last tour was to play Horses,” Smith con­tin­ues. “We’re gonna do dif­fer­ent songs, but I don’t go out to do ex­per­i­men­tal work. We have a young au­di­ence. They want to hear cer­tain songs. If I still feel a con­nec­tion, I’ll do them. I’m happy to do Be­cause The Night for the 100,000th time. But I like in­ter­est­ing cov­ers. I have a cou­ple of new ones for this tour. “I don’t have a stage per­sona,” she in­sists. “I choose songs that have some­thing to say: Peo­ple Have The Power, Peace­able King­dom, which I wrote about the Gaza Strip. Some­times I’m so en­raged about some­thing I have to talk. Or I won’t say any­thing. I can sense when peo­ple know all this stuff, and they just want a night off from think­ing about it.” On Au­gust 4, Smith plays the Cam­bridge Folk Fes­ti­val. It is not, she claims, an un­usual match. “Maybe I’ll do a cou­ple of songs by Joan Baez. She was awe­some – a skinny, weird black sheep with long, black hair. I learned about Bob Dy­lan through Joan Baez. I went to see her [in con­cert] when I was in 11th grade, and she in­tro­duced him. He had a plaid shirt, and his ears looked sort of big. “Bobby Dy­lan,” she called him.

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