Henley Life December 2016 - page 13

may have heard of Boisdales? Jools is a patron
of the club and was hosting a special jazz
night there.
We got to talking about music and he said he
would keep an ear out for me. Two years later,
after a few email exchanges, his manager
offered me and my band the support dates
with Jools. I was absolutely over the moon.
You’ve released some great material and
you write good songs — how difficult is it to
break through to the next level? And what
do you see as the next level?
That depends if you want to think in levels. I
stopped doing that a while ago as I don’t think
it’s healthy to think in terms of levels of fame
meaning success.
I have had my own successes — the Royal
Albert Hall being the pinnacle so far — I just
do what I love and keep writing and exploring
new ways to express myself. That’s what it’s all
about for me. Recognition and the roar of an
appreciative crowd is icing on the cake.
You have the talent and a great look. Is it
becoming more difficult for genuine
working singers, while many who haven’t
paid their dues get heavily marketed on
reality shows?
I am proud to say I have always been a
working singer while producing my original
projects. I have worked hard to make
relationships in the music community, but it
can be difficult to raise your value. One day
you’re singing at Wembley Stadium and the
next in a small intimate venue.
Some problems lie in the death of physical
CD sales and an imperative for online
presence. We are living in an online world and
most of my fans, like me, prefer real life so it’s
the live shows that really matter.
I was recently told by the head of a big
record label that we are moving into a digital
era and even the record companies aren’t sure
how to make money.
Thats why reality shows have the monopoly
on music and that’s why it’s sad to see that
the home-grown artist has to fight so much
harder to be heard.
Which artists and songwriters have
inspired you?
My biggest inspiration would be Nina Simone.
I heard her sing and she did quite literally “put
a spell” on me!
I have always been taken with singers from
the 40s, 50s and 60s as I feel that there is a
particular pathos in the lyrics and melodies.
I’m a sucker for a bittersweet lyric with a
dusting of humour. Peggy Lee, Julie London
and Nancy Sinatra had this style. Later Amy
Winehouse too.
Why is appearing at the Kenton so special
for you?
Because it’s home and there is always
something magical about coming home for
Christmas. The Kenton is a great venue and
we had so much fun last year. It was lovely to
see so many familiar faces under one roof.
We have a special night planned with my
wonderful band, full of musical variety and
some special guests.
On Wednesday, December 28, Purdy plays the
Crooked Billet (01491 681048) in Newlands
Lane, Stoke Row.
Purdy’s new EP,
Both Sides of the Clown,
the singer says is “about the highs and lows of
being a performer and how it relates to life”, is
out in the Spring. For more information, visit
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