Interview: Amy Macdonald prepares to play 'Five a Day for the Kids'
The Scottish singer-songwriter shows her support for STV Appeal 2012 with 'gigathon'
At only 24 years of age, Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald has had a UK Number One single and sold four million albums. Known for her originality as well as her versatility, Amy has developed a following with self-penned tracks such as 'This is the Life' as well as a haunting cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 'Dancing in the Dark'. Her latest project is a collaboration with the STV Appeal, a charitable organisation in its second year with another excellent track record, so far it has raised £1.3 million towards improving the lives of young people in Scotland. The fledgling foundation will no doubt be hoping for a fruitful partnership with Amy, another young Scottish success story. Tuesday 12 June sees the singer hit the road and perform concerts in Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the space of 24 hours, all to raise money for the appeal. The List talked to Amy as she took a break from preparing for such a hectic task in the STV tearoom. Amid the clanking of plates and rumbling of stomachs, the star had this to say about her upcoming one day tour of Scotland.
Could you give us a brief run-down of what you are going to be doing at your ‘Five a Day for the Kids’ event?
It’s five gigs in the one day. We start off very early up in Aberdeen with a 7am soundcheck, the show starting at 8.30am. From there we go on to Dundee, followed by Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We don’t have a lot of time because of all the driving, so the sets are quite short, only six or seven songs long. So, we’ll get the crowd in, bang through the songs and then pack up as quickly as possible. It’s going to be a very busy day, but it’s for a great cause.
What about the campaign, the STV Appeal, inspired you to take up the challenge?
Hearing the statistic that one in four children in Scotland suffer from poverty just made me think that if there is even a tiny thing I could do that would help then it was totally worthwhile. Since then, I’ve met different groups of kids that actually benefit from the appeal, making me much more eager to do my best and raise as much money as I can because I can put faces to the people I’m trying to help.
Five shows in one day is quite an exhausting schedule, how do you plan to get through it?
I’m quite well-rehearsed in having mental days; being awake at the crack of dawn and still having to be awake late at night. I think my body is just used to it now and I’m sure that the adrenaline will keep me going, too.
What can fans expect to hear at these gigs?
There will be songs from my first and second albums, and we’ll play a few new songs as well. It’s a good mixture for everyone.
Your new album, Life in a Beautiful Light, is released on 11th June. How would you describe it?
I’m inspired by everything that goes on around me; my friends; my family; my own feelings; or even things that are happening in the world. There’s such a variety of subjects on the album. Overall, it’s very positive and I’m immensely proud of it and excited that other people will get to hear it.
What is your favourite memory of gigging around Scotland?
I’ve got so many, I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to play in so many brilliant places. I’ve played in practically every city in Scotland, and loads of towns as well. I just feel very grateful that I’m able to do that. I seem to have fans all over Scotland that always come out and offer me great support, so I have so many amazing memories.
What makes a live show special for you?
I think it’s the finished product. It’s exciting for me when you write a new song and you’re happy with it. Then you go into the studio and you get the band to add all their bits to it, it just grows and grows, but it’s never 100% for me until it has been performed with the band and a great audience. Performing live is the most exciting part for me.
Amy Macdonald plays Lemon Tree Aberdee; Duke's Corner, Dundee; The Tolbooth, Stirling; The Caves, Edinburgh; Swg3, Glasgow all on Tue 12 June.