Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Covering Jimi in a Pipe-L Haze

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Covering Jimi in a Pipe-L Haze

Article excerpt

Byline: By Anna Ralph

Jacquiline Powell-Swinburne is a bit of a rebel. She's also proof that first impressions mean absolutely nothing. First of all, the name doesn't exactly suggest "rock chick". Neither does her slim, 5ft 4ins frame, perfectly groomed and dressed today in a smart check suit.

At least, it doesn't seem to go with her soon-to-be public image of someone who plays and sings heavy rock music on the Northumbrian pipes. Die-hard fans of traditional folk music will no doubt recoil at the thought of the instrument belting out the music of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix.

But then Jacquiline is not afraid of a challenge. She's determined to modernise pipe music, increase its popularity and prove how versatile it is.

The first-ever performance of this unusual style of music will take place at Grey's Monument in Newcastle this Saturday. Jacquiline admits there may be a few shocked expressions on the faces of passers-by, unsure what to make of a denim-clad, Jimi Hendrix-playing piper.

"I'm nervous, a little, but I'm confident too," she says. "I knew from the start that the two very different styles would work. I never doubted it."

Using a pedal to distort the sound of the pipes - improvised for each track - and with backing music created by Ally Lee, of Mill House studios in Alnwick, Jacquiline will sing the lyrics of well-known rock songs.

"I don't know if people will quite believe what they see," she laughs. "I think they'll look at me and wonder how on earth I can produce such a powerful voice."

But Jacquiline is not new to the music scene, being the daughter of Jack Henry, a double-bass player in the Joe Loss Orchestra. As a toddler she was barely at the family's home in Northumberland, touring with her parents as Jack played venues all over the country. By her early teens she was singing alongside her father in jazz clubs in London.

"My father also played the piano and the violin and taught me to sing," she explains. "He was a tremendous influence on me and I feel very lucky to have grown-up with that around me."

Jack met Jacquiline's mother, Patricia, at one of the orchestra's early North-East performances when she was invited backstage to meet the band members. The romance started there and the couple remained extremely close.

Jacquiline's upbringing in such a "loving environment" has had a big impact on her life, and music. She shared a special bond with her parents, but particularly with her father, thanks to their joint love of music and theatre.

Sadly, Jack died 15 years ago. It was a huge blow to Jacquiline, especially as he died shortly before her son, Edward, who is now 14, was born.

"I moved away from music for a while, concentrating on writing plays, mainly performed by amateur groups," she says. …

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