Isla back on familiar turf for Maltings gig

Isla Grant is taking just enough time out from travelling the world to squeeze in a gig a bit closer to home - at The Maltings next week.

Since her last appearance in Berwick in April last year, the Duns singer/songwriter has completed a tour of Ireland and jetted off to Sri Lanka for a show in front of 4,500 people.

But it’s home where she’s most happy and as ever she’s looking forward to having the chance to perform in front of a crowd of local fans who are always keen to see her in action.

“I’m always so appreciative of the support I get back home,” Isla told ‘WOW’ while enjoying the last of her weeks off before hitting the road again.

“I’m proud of where I come from and my Berwick shows are always a good night.

“I know how tight money is for people so for folks to keep coming to see me is fantastic.

“I hope we get a good house at The Maltings but if we don’t I always say even if there’s only 20 people they’ll get exactly the same show as if they would if there were 300 there.”

Ticket sales were something Isla didn’t have to worry about when she boarded a plane to Sri Lanka in July. She flew over the other side of the world with husband Al already safe in the knowledge that she’d be singing to a capacity crowd and could in fact have played to many more.

“I was pretty gobsmacked when I found out that we’d sold 3,000 tickets in the first two hours of them going on sale,” she exclaimed.

“The venue held 4,500 and the company said that had they got in touch sooner and arranged some more dates and have quite easily sold out another two nights such was the demand for tickets.

“Billy Ocean played at the same arena to 3,500 people last year and Cliff (Richard) got 4,000 I think so for me, the first ever country act to go over there to get even more was amazing.”

“It still shocks me to see people in countries so far away from home singing my songs back to me.

“The audience in Sri Lanka were like a huge choir; although my sound guy said it was funny listening to them trying to get their mouths round some of the words!”

And Isla quickly found out that it wasn’t just the 
response from her Sri Lankan fans that was top notch.

“We were treated like absolute royalty when we were over there,” she continued.

“From being met at the airport by people with garlands to staying in a huge suite with our own butler; it was another world.

“It was a fantastic country and Sri Lanka’s first lady actually came to my concert. You definitely knew she was there as an hour before doors opened the bomb squad came in with their dogs and then all of the crowd were frisked as they came in; it was quite surreal.”

Isla was just getting use to living the life of luxury when duty called back home- the shooting of her new DVD.

“We hadn’t released a DVD in a while and people were crying out for a new one,” the platinum-selling singer continued.

“We shot it all over Scotland; there’s some scenes in the Borders; some in Inverness and we even went over the Border to film a bit on Spittal beach, the same place where I shot the cover for my ‘Breathless’ album. It was a lovely day but a bit windy- my hair was all over the place!”

And filming the new DVD gave Isla some serious food for thought. She is now seriously toying with the idea of following in the footsteps of One Direction and making a behind the scenes film about her travels around the world.

“I have such a laugh with my band; it would be great to be able to share that with people. I’ve done concert DVDs before but never anything behind the scenes.”

And there should be plenty of material to film as after her Maltings show, Isla has four concerts in Ireland before the year is out and tours of Canada and Australia already in the diary for next year.

“The suitcases are only ever in the loft for a few weeks before we’re back off again!”

l Tickets for Isla’s show at The Maltings on Thursday, October 3, are priced £17 stalls, £18.50 circle and £20 box seat with child tickets priced £9 .