The Kaje talks London Irish Village to Eddi Reader

Eddi Reader has come a  long way since she started her career singing jingles for radio adverts. Known globally for her work as part of Fairground Attraction, whose 1988 “Perfect” is still one of the biggest radio hits to date, and her groundbreaking, critically acclaimed solo releases-which includes the unforgettable recordings of Robert Burns’ poetry-Reader is set to be one of the highlight’s of Under The Bridge’s  London Irish Village this summer. With a new album and tour in the pipeline, The Kaje caught up with Eddi Reader to see what she has planned for her summer…

As The Olympics hit London, so does the Irish Village – how do you see the two complimenting each other?

As the city is full of visitors, it is a great opportunity for them to hear some of the talent from this country.

Musicians are in a constant battle to be at the top of their game, do you see this as a fair Olympic analogy? 

No. I am of the school of thought that competition is for athletics NOT for musicians.  Sure, hearing some musicians play and reach for something different can inspire other musicians to do the same – but music is more eclectic than sport. One person running, jumping, swimming better than another equally prepared person is not the same as two musicians on the same instrument – we are completely peerless and as individual as fingerprints.

If you were performing in the Olympics as opposed to the Irish Village, which event would you compete in? Why?

I would like to think I would have been a great runner. But there’s the other difference between sport and music.  Sports men and women age quickly whereas musicians change and play until they are dead!

If there were one Olympian you could have up on stage for a collaboration-who would it be?

Not a good question for me as I ain’t a sporty person but I loved Muhammad Ali so if he’s an Olympian I’ll pick him.

How much attention will you be paying to the Olympics?

I’ll hook in occasionally – I loved the women’s curling competition I happened upon one night on TV in the early hours and have remembered the excitement of these women from my local town Kilmarnock and Cumnock taking on the world.  Very memorable.  So I hope to see something like that happening where the small town people let their dreams take them to the top!

Do you have any intentions of nodding your head to the Olympics during your set? If so, how?

I don’t have any curling songs if that’s what you mean.

What else can we expect from your show?

Songs and songs and stories

Ireland has a long-running history of musical dominance, what makes Ireland so musical?

Sunsets in the west.

The Irish Village celebrates Irish musicians-do you think it is easy to bag musical output by nationality?

No, culturally people have ancient stories and song which identify them. Who we all are is a culmination of our ancestors and they can be heard through our songs and stories.

Who, would you say, was the biggest Irish inspiration musically for you?

Ruby  Murray, my mother sounded just like her, with a love of melody and romantic song.

The Irish Village aside-what are you most excited for in 2012?

Making a new record.

Eddi Reader plays the London Irish Village on 10th August. More details can be found at http://www.underthebridge.co.uk/news/the-london-irish-village-2012/
Interview by Jeremy Williams
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