BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter Beverley Craven is back on the road again is back out on the road again this year with her first studio album in five years, Change of Heart.
She is best known for her hit single Promise Me, which made the top five in the UK in 1991. Other hits include Woman to Woman and Holding On.
“We did our first gig last night and it was lovely, it was packed,” explains Craven just a few hours before she is due to take the stage at the Haverhill Arts Centre. “It’s always a bit scary doing your first one. It’s very intimate, but you do hear every note, and if you drop a note then you can’t hide”, she laughs.
Craven’s début album went to Number Three in the UK charts, and has been certified as double platinum. Her second record, Love Scenes, was also a top five hit. Her song writing was praised by fans and press alike, but Beverley confesses that the writing has always been sporadic. “I’ve never been prolific. I’ve always been a plodder. I’ve always been very slow and they kind of come when they come.
“I usually write my songs when I’m out walking the dog, I’ve got my iPhone on me and I sing into the voice memo; then I just get back, stick my phone on my keyboard, have a little listen to what I’ve done and fiddle around with it.”
Craven had two children in quick succession during the height of her fame. She now has three daughters.
Juggling her home life with the pressures of being a working artist was “virtually impossible”, she says. “You can’t really do either job to the best of your ability. You end up being quite frustrated. Being a mum is full-time, I’m sure any woman would agree with that.
“It’s exhausting and your work is never done, and then, of course, you’ve got a record company hounding you for the next album and going out on tour, it’s just not possible to keep all the plates spinning. I gave it a good go!”
Despite having to take a long break to look after her family, and battling breast cancer in 2005, Craven, 51, says that she is now in a very good place.
“I’m happier now than I’ve probably ever been. I think that comes with age and experience and sorting your life out the way that you want it. I’m thoroughly enjoying these gigs, really enjoyed making the album, and the feedback’s been surprisingly positive, which is really marvellous.”
Craven will be performing songs from Change of Heart, alongside timeless classics Promise Me, Holding On, Love Scenes and many more when she appears at the City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds on September 24. Tickets are available from www.cityvarieties.co.uk