DSTP took out some time before flying off to sunny Spain to take tea with Elouise and talk about her forthcoming "Stardust" show at the Tabernacle on the 11th of September (see here for more information) and exciting new releases and recordings with Steve Anderson. So it seems fitting, in the week that sees Elouise play her songs on the BBC and American Radio to post our little chat.
Elouise, you are currently putting together a massive show with Steve Anderson. How is it all coming along?
I am indeed! Yes, Stardust premieres on the 11th of September at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill! It’s all coming together now. I have all the dresses and the shoes so that’s a relief! The set list is packed full of some of the greatest melodies of all time. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little daunting though.
What do you aim to achieve with the show?
Well, this is the first time we are trying this show out so we want to know what works and what doesn’t. Stardust explores a feeling through the music of many of the iconic women that have defined our soundscape. I hope to tell my own stories through them and really bring these classic songs to the stage and into the spotlight. In the future though I want to take Stardust to The Royal Albert Hall..... of course!
Who would you say are the current leaders at the top of the music industry?
Well, Kylie released Aphrodite not long ago. I think the title says it all. It went to number one. This is amazing as that means she’s had a number one album in every decade since she started! I’d love to be able to say that one day about myself! Such an achievement. Of course there’s Lady GaGa who has pretty much dominated the industry since arriving on the scene. I went to see her show at the O2, and it was really incredible. I love how Gaga and Kylie put their shows together. It’s all about what they do on stage, they create a spectacle, a show and I like that. I particularly love the use of space, re-working the classics, key mash-ups, lighting and multi-media technologies. Really, it was Kylie's Fever tour in 2002 that set the standard and ever since shows of that level have been playing with what Kylie Minogue achieved back then.
Will your shows take a leaf out of Kylie's tour book then?
Interesting question. Well, I suppose in many ways, yes. Of course, there is the fact that I am working with Steve Anderson (Kylie’s Musical Director). Like Kylie, I am a showgirl and actually did a few turns as Lola. Ultimately I try to make the show about the story of the spotlight. I tell my stories through the massive songs that I perform, always under the magic of the spotlight of course. There’s a few great disco numbers in the show too as I love to dance and I think it’s really important to have variety. If you look back at the work of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Dusty and Shirley, they always put on a show whether it was a one-woman show or a full production. So, there's a tad of Kylie in there but also a number of other singers that I draw inspiration from. These women have helped me find my voice, and with Stardust I get to take a moment to celebrate their music and sing some of the greatest songs of all time.
How has Judy Garland influenced you then?
Judy Garland was the reason I wanted to sing actually. I watched The Wizard Of Oz at about the age of four and have had a fascination with Judy ever since. She just had the most unbelievable stage presence and could tell a million stories with her voice. Her life on and off the stage really fascinated me.
Steve Anderson is producing the music for the show. What was that like?
He is! How amazing is that! Still pinching myself. Well as you can imagine the music production is out of this world. I’m completely humbled to be singing some of these songs with my own musical production on them. The music is going to sound unbelievable. I think it will create some spine tingling moments on certain songs.
Is it a one-woman show?
No. There are parts of the show that definitely have the feel of a one-woman show, but I have my girls with me on stage and I might also have a few surprises in store...
So are there dancers?
Well you’ll just have to come to the show! I don’t want to give anything away, but the sequined hot pants seen on my backstage blog might just be a big enough clue...(link)
So the show is not all tragic love songs?
No, of course not! The tragic torch ballads have their fair share in the spotlight but this is a night of entertainment and glamour. I want the audience to experience a full range of emotions when watching the show.
Will you be performing any of your own material?
I will, yes, how can I not?! I’ll also be performing new songs from my upcoming release and previewing my single! It’ll be the first ever public outing of the song!
The single is essentially coming out of its closet?
For one night only, yes!
When will it come out?
I can’t say at the minute. I have the release of my second EP, Stardust Melodies, coming out very soon. I have covered some real classics on this so I'm excited and daunted by it at the same time. I’ll be performing these at Stardust for the very first time! Then, when the time is right, the single will follow.
What are these covers like?
Well, this is the first time I have recorded any covers, and I certainly have not made life easy for myself. They are huge epics and utterly full of drama. All produced by Steve Anderson like my first Stardust EP (listen here).
So you have a single and an EP?
Yes! Obviously the single will not come out until the time is right, but I can tell you that Stardust Melodies should be released in October!
Hurts have just covered Confide In Me, if you could cover any Steve Anderson composition what would it be?
I know, I love ‘Confide In Me’! I’d have done that one too! If I had to choose another one I would pick ‘Flower’ (listen here). It’s simply stunning. I have a massive soft spot for strings and torch ballads as I’m sure you can tell.
Would you cover it if you could?
I am not sure to be honest. Every song I choose I do because I feel I can bring a part of me to it and make them my own, but not sure I could with "Flower". It's just so tender. So beautiful. I’ve recorded a version of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ and these songs come with a big flashing label ‘handle with care’!!!
You take the performance of the torch song very seriously then?
Of course, if I don’t take the song or performance seriously then no one will. I really put myself and my heart on the line when performing and recording.
How is work on the album coming along?
The album... well, we have most of the songs in the mix, it is just a case of recording them when the time comes. Some of the songs for the album are complete and in the bag!
Where are you happiest?
Two places – either sat all cosy in front of the fire in my big cosy pink dressing gown, with my lovely fireman next to me, or on stage, in a gorgeous dress, singing a beautiful song, in the spotlight!
Well it’s hard to answer that to be honest. I always try to be happy as life is short. I guess you’ll see me touch upon sad moments in my life through my songs on stage, as everything I draw on is personal to me. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am always wanting to get back on the stage the minute the show is over: on stage, you can create your own world and forget everything else for that moment in time and my moment, my world is one of Stardust.