By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 20 September 2013 Updated: 20/09 08:53
WHETHER it is her role fronting hit-band Catatonia, her forays into reality television or her award-winning radio show, it would be hard to find anyone who did not know the name Cerys Matthews.
The singer spoke to Standard reporter Harriet Ernstsons ahead of her appearance at Redditch’s Palace Theatre as part of her Hook, Line and Singer tour.
CERYS Matthew first rose to fame in the 1990s as the star of band Catatonia, with their hits Mulder and Scully, Dead From the Waist Down, and Road Rage still loved by millions now.
Television fans may know her from her appearance on I’m A Celebrity... in 2007 but there is much more to the singer than that.
Her passion for learning about music has led to a singalong book, Hook, Line and Singer, which became a Sunday Times top three bestseller this summer. It forms the basis for her tour, which will see her talk about the history behind the songs when she visits the Palace Theatre on Tuesday (September 24).
One of the songs she will be singing is a 15th century favourite of King Henry V. It is this research which has fuelled her passion for live theatre performances and her celebrated Radio 2 show which she programmes herself.
“The show is a repertoire of songs along with their histories and chat, it’s pretty easy going and good fun,” she said.
“I have taken it to the literary festivals such as Cheltenham this year and basically I think people enjoy it.
“We live in a digital age where people listen to music through speakers so it is quite nice to have an old-fashioned singalong.
“I like to keep experimenting so some of it is quite obscure - it’s not really Rihanna stuff.”
Cerys is also kept busy writing columns for world music magazine Songlines and as patron of the Dylan Thomas Society and Ballet Cymru and vice-president of Shelter Wales.
But she said much of her work feeds into each other.
“The radio show isn’t so far from the live shows I do. The more I know about performing the more I feel I can have an insight into other people performing and recording as well. There is always an element of surprise in a live show.
“I don’t think I have played in Redditch before. I have been performing for almost 30 years and am getting to go to new places, get a feeling of the town and what kind of songs work well, and if Redditch people like singing or not.
“2006 was my first proper theatre tour. It is a huge change as I was used to doing rock concerts - at theatres a lot more magic can happen. They are also pretty well designed acoustically so you can hear a lot better.”
Once the tour is over, more book projects with Penguin are in the making and Cerys will be creating documentaries as well as championing the Dylan Thomas centenary events, including a project to get everyone reading aloud from books, papers or poetry on October 27.
“I am really excited to come to Redditch and would like people to come along because I think they’ll have a good time.”
Tickets cost £23.50 for the 7.30pm show. To book visit www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01527 65203.
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