Lou Hickey

Lou Hickey

Barfly, Glasgow, Thu 6 Dec


‘I was brought up watching Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin movies, and when I was a little girl I wanted to be just like Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’. Lou Hickey is a bit of an anachronism – a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist (‘em . . . I play piano, clarinet, cornet, guitar and a bit of trombone’) who paid her dues in ‘some awful metal bands’, but whose songs recall Jacques Brel and chanteuses like Peggy Lee and Etta James. Her smoky vocals are perfectly suited to the old-world glamour of Club Noir, where she’s a regular performer, but she’s recently been striking out on her own, working with a full band (called the Lou Hickey Band or Lou Hickey and the Lovebites, depending on when you ask her) on a series of gigs, as well as recording her own material. Just when you think you’ve got her pinned down, she throws you a curve ball.

‘I’m quite punk in my principles,’ she says. ‘I really wanted to match this sort of punky, rockabilly image with an older, more jazz sound, and I’ve called the EP Do It Yourself, because me and my band, we’ve put all this together without the help from a record label, and I don’t see why everyone else shouldn’t be doing it like that too.’

Doing it herself she might be, but after a couple of years in which she’s played sets at every major Scottish festival, supported Suzanne Vega and Martha Wainwright, it’s difficult to imagine she will be for much longer.

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