Henley Life December 2016 - page 12

You live in London now but grew up in Nettlebed
so what was it like growing up
in the area?
I loved growing up in Nettlebed. My father worked on the Fleming estate so my
brothers and sister and I spent a lot of time outside playing in fields, climbing trees,
building camps and inventing new worlds.
I felt a bit stuck out in the middle of nowhere as I grew into my teens, but in hindsight
I have realised that all that beautiful countryside and freedom is what fired my
imagination and inspired my lyrics.
Which schools did you attend and how was your talent nurtured here?
I went to Nettlebed primary and Gillotts secondary school. I wasn’t the most studious
Purdy amazing
of children, but I remember being praised for
my creative writing and for my artwork.
I was always in plays and my mother likes to
remind me of a teacher called Mrs Hall telling
her I had the voice of an angel and that I
should be encouraged to sing.
I'd like to say I was an angel, but I could
never resist the opportunity to entertain and
make the other children laugh. I think I always
knew I was meant to perform.
Do you come back here for Christmas?
What do you like about Henley at
Christmas time?
I always come home for Christmas. I love the
Christmas fair held in the town. It’s quite
magical wandering around, mulled wine in
hand, taking in all the pretty lights and the
various stalls and festive sights and sounds.
Henley has a lovely community spirit.
Obviously it is hard to top playing the
Albert Hall, which you did with Jools
Holland, but what are your favourite
venues locally to play?
I love playing at the Crooked Billet because it
has such fond memories for me. I worked as a
waitress there when I left Henley College and
that’s why it’s so special for me to return to
sing there regularly.
Paul and the Billet family are so wonderful
and welcoming, as are those who keep
coming back to see me. I’ve also enjoyed
shows at the Henley Festival and the Kenton
Theatre which I’ve recently returned to, and
I've started a fantastic monthly jazz gig at the
Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove run by the
lovely Dan and Tracey where I'm
accompanied by the brilliant local guitarist
Hugh Turner.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 10
years’ time?
Surrounded by people I love, doing what I
love. That’s all we can hope for. I would love
one more night at the Albert Hall, maybe
headlining? A girl can dream.
And now to the music...
Henley Life
the help of veteran pop-picker Mike Read to
ask Purdy the relevant musical questions:
How did you come to work with Jools
I met Jools at a club I sing at in London. You
Rebecca Poole is a local singer songwriter who is hitting
the big time all over the UK, particularly as a supporting
act to Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
She sings under her performance name of Purdy, in the
retro-romantica style that has become her own.
Cindy Burrowes spoke to her about being a local girl...
Rebecca with Jools Holland
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