Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Music Gives Me Vehicle to Overcome My Shyness, Admits Eddi; What's on Editor GORDON BARR Chats to Eddi Reader Ahead of Her Sage Gateshead Gig Tomorrow Night

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Music Gives Me Vehicle to Overcome My Shyness, Admits Eddi; What's on Editor GORDON BARR Chats to Eddi Reader Ahead of Her Sage Gateshead Gig Tomorrow Night

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

TO me, Eddi Reader has one of the most angelic voices I've ever heard.

From her Fairground Attraction days to her recordings of Robert Burns songs, every piece of music she adds her voice to I find hard to resist.

She also owns the stage when performing, so it surprises me somewhat to learn Eddi herself has a deep-rooted shyness and it's her singing that helps overcome that.

In fact, her first public performance saw her closing her eyes, hands clasped tightly round her back and shedding a few tears while letting those vocal chords loose.

She was just a child, though, and it was a performance during knitting class. But Eddi, who is at the Sage Gateshead tomorrow, remembers it well and admits that shyness is still there, deep-down.

"My background comes from people who sang unaccompanied with no microphones or supporting musicians or instruments - but just sung and everybody joined in," she tells me. "Like the seannos singers from Ireland. "I get very caught up in the idea that music is at its best when it's raw.

"Between the vocal chords of me and someone else's ear. That's where I want to hit, I don't really want anything in the way of that, and that includes ordered sets. I want it to be a completely free instinctive experience.

"It is quite an unusual thing, singing. You imagine the singer is a bit shouty for attention. It's not the case and I am a complete example of that.

"I came up from a very shy attitude and my first thing was shutting my eyes and crying, tears would come out. But I was determined to use the instrument I had. Some sean-nos singers turn around to face the wall so you don't see them.

"People with the least amount of loud brashness are sometimes given the most gorgeous of gifts. Like the most sensitive among us can be the best artists. But the fact they are so sensitive puts up a barrier to them getting it across. …

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