Saturday, November 17, 2007

17th: Duffy in Evening Standard

There's an artile about Duffy in today's Evening Standard. Pasted below to read. I agree that maybe her songs will be around for the next 500 years! LOL

John Aizlewood tips a young Welsh singer for stardom in 2008 and congratulates Rik Waller on his upcoming marriage.


Now I know these kind of predictions often involve eggs coming together with faces but remember the name Duffy: she will be the sound of 2008.

The BBC's endearingly weathered Maida Vale studios this week saw the public unveiling of the tiny 22-year-old singer from Nefyn, north-west Wales. Although her first single, the peculiar but beguiling Rockferry, is not released until Monday, the buzz surrounding her means her Maida Vale show will be broadcast on Radio 2 in the near future, while her debut Later ... With Jools Holland airs a week today.

On Wednesday, backed by a sixpiece, multi-racial band, she was so nervous that she introduced her gorgeous song Warwick Avenue as Rockferry, but once she started to sing, everything fell into place. Her once-heard-never-forgotten voice incorporates the aristocratic pain of Dusty Springfield, the showy gravity of Shirley Bassey and the smooching sensuality of Amy Winehouse. One day she will surely sing a Bond theme but for now, a sound which merges classic Sixties soul with a lissom, very 21st-century backing will certainly do.

Amy Ann Duffy herself is a talkative, good-natured soul who toiled in a fishmongers ("after I had to gut a monkfish, I never went back") and sang to backing tapes at local rugby clubs ("a tough crowd, believe me") before her work with Richard Parfitt of 60ft Dolls and Catatonia's Owen Powell led to a deal with Rough Trade and a meeting with Bernard Butler, whose epic-sounding work with David McAlmont she had longadmired.

The pair went for a coffee. She had lyrics and a big melody; he had chords and a big arrangement. They finished writing Rockferry that day.

"She's fabulously talented," purrs Butler. "She can sing the most simple, beautiful thing and it won't sound cheesy. Working with her was fantastically satisfying."

Her album, also titled Rockferry, is due next year. It's been three years in the making as Duffy split her time between waitressing in Nefyn and recording in London.

"I've got a big heart," she trills. "And I know it shows in my lyrics." If the tracks she unveiled in Maida Vale are any yardstick, particularly Mercy, which evokes the classic Sixties girl groups without sounding dated and a harrowing cover of Cry to Me, once tackled by The Rolling Stones, Rockferry should be one of 2008's landmark debuts.

"I didn't tell anyone but even when I was six I knew this was what I wanted to do, so I spent all my teenage years writing songs," she smiles. "This album has come from a good home and the three years I spent making it are nothing. After all, my songs are going to be around for the next 500 years."

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