EDDI Reader headlines Friday night at the Purbeck Folk Festival on August 22.
More than 25 years since she topped the charts with Perfect, Fairground Attraction’s relentlessly jaunty debut single, Eddi has just released her tenth solo album Vagabond.
The fact that the album was created against the backdrop of Eddi’s partner in life, love and music John Douglas, being diagnosed with an incurable illness seems to make its over-riding sense of optimism all the more remarkable.
Thankfully, John is now well on the road to recovery and Eddi is looking forward to touring this year and making her first visit to Purbeck for the folk festival.
Eddi said she ‘let go’ when she was recording Vagabond.
“Urges to record dictated the practicalities of it all, then working became the focus of my daily routines.
“Letting go of the world around me and recording is tough to do as a mum, housekeeper etc, but once I’m doing it there’s no-one more surprised than me at what turns up musically.
“It’s a joy to see what gets pulled out of the moment.”
Eddi says she is delighted with the feedback she has received for the album.
She said: “I’m pleased with its different parts. If others ignore, or adore, I can tell you I am grateful for any attention.
“I am confident that songs well expressed have their own path and I can’t take sole credit for how they turned out.
“On behalf of all the musicians and the engineer Mark Freeguard I can only stand beside them and say: “It’s bloody brilliant!’ “But I am the worst critic. I would still be messing about with it if the organisers of my tours hadn’t pushed deadlines on me.
“Letting it go out into the world is the hardest bit.”
Eddi says she is looking forward to her trip to Purbeck – a part of the country she’s not very familiar with.
“I’m just going to Google all about it and make it an adventure. I expect never to forget it once I’ve experienced it.”
And what does she like about performing at festivals?
“Theatres are cosy and it’s great to sing in rooms made for oratory, but festivals are exciting in that people who never experienced my thing and are walking past at the back, wandering around, might decide to stand and check it out, so potential for encouraging new audiences is great.
“Also the whole place is infused with a kind of: ‘I’m on my weekend kick-back’, so people are relaxed and at ease.
“It’s great to join in with that atmosphere,” she said.
Eddi will be continuing to tour this year with some gigs in Australia in the pipeline for the autumn.
She said: “I have 10 or so tracks from the Vagabond sessions left over. I’m gonna start investing some time in them.
“They might become the start of a new album I’m not sure.”
And life at home remains extremely busy for Eddi.
She said: “Today I’m continuing my de-cluttering at home, watching my catch up rubbish telly, cooking meals for my men – they never come home to eat ’til the middle of the night.
“I’m excited about reading my young seven-year-old niece my favourite childhood book, Mary Poppins by PL Travers – ‘she’s another woman who uses the wind to push her around!”