Live at Leeds begins her comeback with new album in the pipeline

AFTER a six year absence Leeds-born songstress Corinne Bailey-Rae is back with a new album and tour supporting the great Lionel Richie.

However, today she makes her sensational return to live action at Live at Leeds with a special intimate show at the city’s HiFi Club for just a handful of lucky fans.

The Heart Speaks in Whispers, which comes out next month, has been a long time coming, recorded at a new studio built at her home in Leeds.

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It’s a gig she’s looking forward to. “I love playing in Leeds and this will be like a homecoming for me. It’s important for me to do this show and to be able to say ‘thank you’ to all those people who’ve supported me, because it’s always great to have your home town on your side,” she says.

“I wanted to have my own space where I could explore, create and experiment without the clock ticking,” she says. “Each song started very naturally with a musical phrase or an image, a fragment that I had to follow to see where it led.”

In the end it led to a journey that took her from her West Yorkshire home to Brazil, Indonesia and New York, followed by a seven-week stint in LA which then morphed into a seven-month sojourn in the city, where she immersed herself in its eclectic music scene. Bailey Rae first shot to fame when, at the start of 2006, her eponymous debut album, featuring the hit singles Put Your Records On and Like a Star, reached the Number One spot in the charts.

The following year she was all over the airwaves, not that she has ever hankered after fame and adulation. “I want the music to be heard but I’m not interested in fame itself and I never wanted to be famous as a persona. When I’m in Leeds and people see me they’re like ‘oh, that’s just Corinne,’ and when I do get recognised in the street people are always very nice.” The Lionel Richie All The Hits UK tour starts in June.