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29 October 2014

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Music Feature


Lulu interview

Elton John will be joined by one of the stalwarts of the pop scene for his concert in Norwich. Lulu will warm up the fans during a 45-minute set before the Rocket Man starts his show. Graham Barnard caught up with the singer to ask her about the gig.

Does performing live still give you a buzz?

Oh, absolutely. This really came about because I'd started touring about a year ago - I'd not toured for eight to ten years.

Elton called the first three nights asking 'How's it going, how's the band, how do you feel, how's the audience?' I said, 'I love it. Every night it gets better.' He said, 'Well, that's it. You can't get off the road!'

I did another tour because the first one sold out and people wanted tickets and we worked on making it more rock 'n' roll and the band got tighter and it just seemed to get better.

And he said, 'Ok, you've got to come and do some stadiums with me in the summer.' I went, 'Yes!'

You didn't have to think about it then?

It didn't take me long.

Will this be your first visit to Norwich with Elton?

Not my first to Norwich - I've been to Norwich a million times! But with Elton, I've worked with him so many times but I've never done a stadium with him. I'll do my act and then he'll do his.

There's one Elton song that does need two people: Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Do you think he might get you on for that?

Elton John on Parkinson
Elton John on Parkinson

I don't know. I wouldn't think so. I think if we were to do something we'd probably do the duet, Footsteps, we did on my duets album. I can't imagine that's going to happen but you never know.

You have decades of music to choose from, so what are you going to do for your live set?

If you're like me, I like to go to a concert and kind of know 90 per cent of the songs. If someone throws in a couple of new songs, fine, but don't play the whole new album you've just finished because I just don't want that.

I want to come out of a concert, saying, 'Yes, what a great night!' and standing up, singing along. It’s got to have a feelgood factor. I consider that when I go on stage I have to do most of the stuff that people know.

You've got it sorted.

Well I'd hope so, unless you don't last 40 years.

How do you still look so fantastic on stage after all these years?

I think it's if you love what you do, you have a good spirit and are blessed with lots of energy. I take real good care of myself, I love clothes. I'm a girly kind of girl and I change my hairstyle. I think also when you're small, like I am, you always look younger than you really are. I'm just very fortunate.

You were very young when you started singing, can you remember that feeling?

I think one of the things which jumps to the forefront of my brain is when I was 15.

My first record was just released and Ready, Steady, Go! was on the telly and Cathy McGowan was interviewing Paul McCartney and John Lennon and she said, 'What are you favourite new releases this week?' and they said, 'Lulu.' I nearly died. How incredible is that!

I'm definitely blessed. Thank you God, thank you God. If I wasn't me I'd want to be me.

Finally, one of our team wanted to know if you had a crush on Sidney Poitier when you filmed To Sir, With Love?

It wasn't a crush like I wanted to be his girlfriend or anything like that. He was very tall and very forbidding. Sidney is someone who you can only have respect for and love, but only from a distance I felt.

Recently he had his 76th birthday and Oprah Winfrey had a party for him at Quincy Jones' house and I went over there as the surprise.

Oprah gave this long talk on stage and I'm hiding behind the curtain and she said, 'Sidney, I was so worried because I thought how much am I going to tell you that I love you and then I got a brilliant idea. I woke up one night and I thought I know I'll get Lulu to come.'

Everyone was nearly crying and I had a big lump in my throat, so I certainly love Sidney and always will because he's a huge part of my life.

last updated: 27/05/05
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