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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Interview with Mary Coughlan.

(Interview by Lance).
BSH: Hello Mary .I’ve just been listening to I’d Rather Go Blind. It’s one of the most powerful performances I've ever heard. When did you first realise you had a voice that would become so unique and highly acclaimed?
MC: I heard that song when I was about 14 ,,,A recording by Chicken Shack & it moved me ,,,However I was 29 before I started singing & I loved it from the very first gig ,,,I actually sang a song in public when I was 4 yrs old & I loved the reaction ,,,
BSH: You work a lot in Ireland but not so much in England. However, I'm pleased to see your current tour includes England and Scotland and my neck of the woods, the north east – you play Darlington’s Forum and Caedman Hall, Gateshead on successive nights. Tell me about the format the tour will take.
MC: In fact I don't work so much in Ireland ,,,,My main source of work for many years was UK .Germany & Scandinavia…These days I go to Australia & New Zealand every year  and I'm off to Finland & Estonia this week ..
BSH: You draw from many different sources for your repertoire, not just the Great American Songbook.
MC: Most of the material I've recorded over the years has been written for me ..Johnny Mulhern wrote Magdalen Laundry & Ice Cream Man
Mark E Nevin wrote Like a Leaf & Red Ribbon ,,,and I've written most of a new cd (not yet released ) with Erik Visser
BSH: How would you describe your music?
MC: I find it hard to describe ,,,so do most people!
I guess its a mixture of Jazz , Blues . basically I take a song & sing it the way I want !
BSH: It’s in the public domain the troubled times you've had, childhood abuse, the jazz/rock & roll lifestyle. Does all this come out when you’re singing?
MC: I guess it does. I wrote a song called Mary Mary (dealing with the abuse on my last CD The House Of Ill Repute
This new CD will be entirely based on episodes of my life
BSH: Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and Van Morrison are some of the singers who've been said to have inspired you. Oh yes and Edith Piaf. What did you find to relate to in these and others?
MC: Yes ,,,Mostly Billie Holiday    …..I don't know where the Edith Piaf thing came from ,,,,I don't  ever remember even listening to her ,,but a journalist said I sound like her ?????
BSH: You've been quite outspoken re some other more show biz type of Irish performers what is it that you don’t like about River Dance, The Corrs etc?
MC: I also don't know where that came from ,,,I love the Riverdance & I’ve seen it live about 6 times ,,,Believe it or not The Corrs did support slot for me way back in 1986 on a tour of Ireland
BSH: Thank you Mary you’ve cleared up a few misconceptions and we hope the tour is a great success Look forward to hearing you in Gateshead.
MC: I look forward to being "up north " !!!
Lance.
Mary Coughlan is at the Forum, Darlington on October 16 and Caedman Hall, Gateshead on October 17. Tour Details.

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