Courtesy of http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk - interview by Gordon Barr
Lisa Stansfield is back! The singer plays the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle next week and our Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR caught up with her to find out all about it
It's been two decades since I last saw Lisa Stansfield in concert.That show still rates as one of my most enjoyable of any female singer, so when I heard she was hitting the road again, I was a tad excited to say the least.It had also been two decades since I last interviewed her, but remember her being lovely, down-to-earth and like a long-lost friend back then.
The years haven’t changed her, and Lisa is full of life and cracking jokes throughout our chat, in that instantly recognisable Rochdale accent of hers, which hasn’t mellowed, despite years of living in Ireland and more recently London.
“I’ve just been biding my time really,” she tells me, when I ask where has she been all those years. “I’ve been getting a lot of work done that hasn’t been seen. “This tour is just testing the water really and seeing what’s out there. We did three gigs before Christmas and got a completely tremendous response, so it was wonderful, so why not just keep doing more and see how many we can do.”
A new album is in the offing too. “We are going to do a few of the new songs.“But we’re not going to do all new stuff as it’s not fair.“I’ve not done things for quite a while and I think people are going to come and see me primarily for what they know.“But it’s really nice to put some new stuff in there and see how people respond to it.
“It’s great to do the old songs when you’ve not done them for a while. You look at songs in a different way. You sing them a little bit different as well.“I don’t want to sing things too different because I think some people really don’t like that.
“But I love it when you think of ad libs you’ve never thought of before and different ways of singing things, it’s lovely, and with different arrangements.”
With an extraordinarily successful career, Brit-Award winning Lisa, who not only boasts nearly 20 million album sales but also a string of Top 10 UK and European hits, has been hard at work on a seventh studio album which is now nearing completion, details of which will be released shortly.
Forever pushing the creative boundary, she has also completed the filming of a major motion picture based around the Northern Soul phenomenon, due for release this year.“Everyone keeps saying the album is going to be called Seven,” she laughs.“We’ve never even suggested it. The more we hear it the more we think ‘maybe we should’.
“We’re still finishing it and polishing it up and putting overdubs on it and I’ve still to do vocals – I want to do something with the vocals after touring as my voice will be a lot stronger and I will be into the swing of it all.“It’s definitely soul. I don’t think I am going to go back to the old pop thing. I don’t think it suits me.“It is primarily soul that I do. If pop is not the ‘thing’ that you do, it is very difficult to do. It looks really easy but it is quite difficult.”
Northern Soul, which also stars Steve Coogan, Christian McKay, Ricky Tomlinson and Roisin Murphy, is due for release at the end of the summer.It is the story of a youth culture which changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs and designers for decades to come.
Northern Soul tells the tale of a nightclub-based movement which developed in bleak industrial North West England, as the tail end of Mod Culture delved ever deeper into black American soul music.
It’s a story of insistent rhythm and raw emotion, a film about ambition, fuelled by a desire to break out and succeed. The tale of two young men whose lives were changed forever. It was a time when clubs were to earn a place in music history, by embracing an embryonic sound that would soon be known as Northern Soul.
“I’ve known Elaine Constantine the director for a long, long time,” explains Lisa.“I’m from Rochdale and she’s from the next town, Bury, and we made friends and would go out to lunch together. There are a few of us girls who go out for lunch.
“We got talking and she’s always wanted to make this film anyway and she said do you want a part in it. I said, ‘yes, YES’.“She asked me if I didn’t mind playing a mum and I told her I was the age of a mum, so it wasn’t a problem and so I ended up playing a mum.
“It’s a very gritty film. It was lovely being in front of the cameras. I enjoy acting.“It’s a long day and you are waiting around for most of it but when you are actually doing your scenes, it’s really good.“We just had a really good laugh as well. Everybody on the crew was lovely and all the actors were really gorgeous. We just ended up crying with laughter all the time.“We’d be doing a really sombre scene and we’d all be crying, and then we’d cut and we’d just start laughing again. It was mad. Then you had to go back crying again. So lots of tears and laughter.
“The first disco I went to always played Northern Soul and I had my first kiss to a Northern Soul song.”