Life and times of a singer from Salford

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After her concert in December was postponed at the eleventh hour songstress Elkie Brooks is ready to grace Berwick with her soulful tones.

The popular British vocalist, now 68, cancelled her Maltings date in the winter due to a nasty bout of laryngitis but is keen to assure fans that she is back on form and ready to hit the stage.

“I’m absolutely fine now, I’m back on the road and excited to be coming to Berwick,” she chimed ahead of her show next Thursday.

“I felt like a guitarist who’d broken their wrist or a runner who’d broken their leg. For a singer not being able to use my voice was very frustrating. I basically was told to shut up for a while!

“I had another setback at the start of this year when I broke my wrist and then picked up a bug while I was in hospital.

“I’ve done a few dates recently in Scotland, though, so I’m back in the swing of things now and feeling a lot better.”

The many fans who were left disappointed at the sudden postponement of her December concert can look forward to hearing some of her famous hits including ‘Pearl’s A Singer’, ‘No More The Fool’ and ‘Lilac Wine’ along with covers of some of her all time favourite songs and some new material.

“I’m working on my new album with my son Jay,” Brooks explained. “I’ve been recording it on and off for about nine months now and there’s three new tracks we’re working on at the moment.

“So far I’d say it’s probably one of the best albums I’ve done. There’s elements of rock in there, but plenty of blues.”

Renowned for her powerful husky voice , Brooks brought out her first single in 1964 but gained her biggest success in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Her career has spanned five decades now, but unlike other veterans of the music business she hasn’t tried to make her songs fit with ever-changing musical trends.

“I am what I am at the end of the day and I’m still going,” she continued. “I’m not going to suddenly release a rap record. The only wrapping I do is at Christmas!

“I’ve never been one to follow trends or be pushed in certain directions; it’s just not my style.

“I’ve turned down all sorts of offers for things like musicals because they’re just not me. As corny as it sounds the music I perform has to feel right .”

Although she won’t necessarily follow the flock when it comes to jumping on a particular music bandwagon, Brooks takes a keen interest in emerging talent and she is pleased to see more and more singers becoming successful purely down to their voices rather than what is going on around them.

“There’s always has been and there always will be an element of people who prefer music that is big on production, but it is very refreshing to see more and more young singer songwriters doing their thing and getting recognition.

“I was watching a video on Youtube the other day of a great Australian guitarist called John Butler. He was fantastic.

“A great artist will always be a great artist but success often depends on the right song.

“I’m just grateful that I’m still doing what I love to do for a living and still getting some very good audiences.

“I had some terrific ones in the likes of Aberdeen and Livingston. I’m hoping Berwick will be the same.”