Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri may be a globetrotting superstar – but for her there is nothing much that beats a cup of Yorkshire Tea with pal Richard Hawley in Sheffield, writes Graham Walker.
In an exclusive chat with The Star, ahead of a Real Radio intimate concert they performed at at the city’s Winter Garden, the Scottish hitmaker revealed she has been virtually living in the city for the past 18 months.
New album, The Conversation, was recorded in Glasgow, London and at Hawley’s studio in Sheffield where the seven tracks he worked on form the backbone of the project.
Last week, she returned to play a sold-out show at the City Hall.
And she was back again for a Real Radio end-of-year thank you gig, for just 200 lucky VIPs and competition winners, including from The Star.
They warmed the chilly Winter Garden with hits Summer Son, I Don’t Want A Lover, Inner Smile, Black Eyed Boy, and new album title track The Conversation.
And she vowed to return to Sheffield again next year as Texas celebrate 25 years since debut album, 1989’s Southside.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our chat and performance highlights.
Sharleen said: “I swear I should move here. I’ve spent half my time in Sheffield for this past year and a half.
“Richard is a good mate – we were up here writing tracks. It’s lovely when you’ve got friends who are such great songwriters and musicians. He’s a brilliant talent.
“We’ll definitely be coming back in 2014 because it’s the 25th anniversary of Texas.
She looks younger than her 46 years, but after 35 million record sales she laughed ‘hit records make people look very well’.
Sharleen said: “My knees aren’t what they used to be. Running up and down that stage now nearly kills me. It must be good genes from my mum.”
As for her special brew, she told fans during the show: “The people at Yorkshire Tea made a special box of Texas tea for us, because all we drink on tour is Yorkshire Tea. It’s like the best tea on the planet.”
Support act Lydia Baylis, aged 23, performed five songs including new single, Life Without You, promoting forthcoming debut album, A Darker Trace.
She said: “I’m a huge Texas fan and I’ve never met Sharleen before tonight. This is a huge honour for me to support them at this concert in Sheffield and I’m excited that people are now begiing to hear my music after years of hard work. Next year is going to be special - I’m hoping to be back to play Sheffield.”