Kate Rusby at Lichfield Festival

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With Lichfield’s showpiece festival in full swing, we caught up with headliner, singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, ahead of her show at Lichfield Cathedral on July 13

”And this ‘sharing of stories’ element is very much prevalent during Kate’s gigs, where chatting to her audiences becomes an important part of the show.

Kate says: “I think I started chatting when I used to tour on my own and it was a way of having a second totune my guitar between songs. It just always felt odd that the audience were sat looking at me while I tuned so I started chatting to them as I did it and it just went on from there.

“And it’s also a great way to get the songs across and have a catch up with everyone! Although I don’t like to give too much away as I think it’s good for people to hear the songs and take from them what they choose. Of course, once we get chatting, me and the boys just can’t stop!

”Kate’s latest album, 30: Happy Returns, marks her 30th year in the business, and showcases a sound which Kate describes as a ‘little bit retro, little bit electro, little bit acoustic, old, new and everything in between’. But when she’s writing songs, which part comes first?

“Usually the melody,”says Kate. “I’ll be sat late at night with my guitar or at the piano just messing about with chords and riffs and sometimes a tune for a song starts to form. If I can remember it the following day, I’ll keep working on it. It’s all just nonsense words really at the start then the lyrics just kind of drop in there and then the story will start to build and on it goes.

“When we are on tour and my head is in creative mode, I want to be in the studio trying out new songs and when we are in the studio I want to be on tour playing the new songs live! I love both sides of the coin, so I am happy doing both.”

As well as all-time musical hero Nic Jones, Kate herself listens to a wide variety of current artists, gets inspired by seeing different singers perform.

“A while ago, I went to see a fabulous lady called Molly Tuttle, a flat-picker and incredible singer from Nashville,” she says. “I was blown away, just amazing. I told her that the next time she comes over to tour over here I am going to take my girls to see her, I know they will be so inspired. They are both learning the guitar now too, so they’ll love her.”

So when Kate performs at Lichfield Cathedral on July 13, what can the audience expect?

“Ooh a little bit of everything,” Kate laughs. “Old songs, new songs, old songs with new tunes, new songs with old tunes, tunes, sad songs, happy songs. They can expect guitars, banjos, basses, accordions, tenor guitars, the famous Moog, chatting, laughing and the list goes on… something for everyone I think.”



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