Sharleen Spiteri interview

Straight-talking frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri talks about Texas’ 25 years on the road, winning awards in Dubai and why the future doesn’t look so good for bands

Burns Night in Dubai

Fans of pop culture factoids listen up: what connects Harry Potter and Scottish band Texas? When British actor Alan Rickman was signing up for his role as Severus Snape in the movie franchise, his close friend, lead singer Sharleen Spiteri, persuaded him to take the part as the villainous professor, and he based his famous dark look on her.

Speaking to us on the phone from the UK, the Scottish singer laughs when we bring up the little-known fact and doesn’t see it as an insult at all. In fact, the singer, who has sold 38 million records, is the one with the real magic, having this year celebrated 25 years in the famously difficult music business.

Due to play at The Irish Village on Thursday November 5, the city has certainly been spellbound by hits such as I Don’t Want A Lover, Say What You Want, Black Eyed Boy and Summer Sun, since the band were awarded Best Gig at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards last year for their January 2014 show at the same Garhoud venue.

“It’s amazing and I feel quite chuffed,” Spiteri says. But how does the 47-year-old feel about another big milestone coming up in three years? “All I’ll say is that my life has got better and better as I’ve got older and it is pretty much how I judge my life. I just hope by the time I get to 50 I will be as happy then as I am now. I’m very proud of the things we’ve achieved.”

So how does she see the current crop of bands coming through the ranks? Will any of them last a quarter century? “I don’t think many bands or record companies know how to work an album anymore. I really feel that if you don’t continue to look after the art of making an album, I don’t know how any artist is going to be able to build a career or a catalogue to enable them to go out on the road and play song after song that people know. It’s rubbish, it won’t work,” she says, with characteristic directness.

So does she find touring hard? “It’s easy, you jump on stage, go ‘let me see your hands’ and go home again. It’s quite surreal.”
Dhs195. 9pm. Thursday November 5. The Irish Village, Garhoud, www.tixbox.com (04 282 4752).

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