LOCK DOWN TRACKS WITH ROWETTA FROM HAPPY MONDAYS


Today’s lockdown tracks are from singing legend and my teenage crush, Rowetta Satchell. I didn’t mention the teenage crush thing when we spoke…

Has music always been a big part of your life?

My dad had a lot of calypso records and my mum had a lot of Motown and crooners. Loads of amazing rhythms and artists who’ll be listened to forever. Dr Kitch by Lord Kitchener was incredible and then my mum played Marvin Gaye. Anything by Marvin Gaye.

Any sounds you remember in particular?

When I was really young, I loved ‘My Boy Lollipop’ by Millie but then, by secondary school, I’d moved on to punk. Sex Pistols, of course, and then on to Stations of the Crass, the album by The Crass. I fell in love with that sound. I remember bringing 7” singles home around that time from the shops and playing everything on a loop. I was a good girl at primary school and did well, got into Bury Grammar, then I because a proper rebel in my teens!

Have you performed with any of the people you listened to?

Performing no, but I met John Lydon last year, that was cool. And I met David Bowie, George Michael, Nile Rodgers. Loads of heroes. I’m still hoping to work with Nile one day. We’ve talked about it so, fingers crossed.

Do you listen to music pre-show now?

The opposite actually. I like to get ready in my dressing room with no music, noise or people. The only time I do is when I’m writing or working on a tune.

Do songs on the radio remind you of gigs you’ve played?

Anything by the Mondays, of course, and some of the Joy Division songs because I did quite a few gigs with The Light. I love singing those songs live. Colony by Joy Division is a big favourite, as a punk it is the perfect song to sing. The lyrics, the melody. Everything.

When I hear the Mondays I’m taken back to Elland Road in 1991. That was a big moment for me, musically, a concert I remember like it was yesterday.

Yes, that was an amazing gig. Very happy memories of that day even now.

Can you pick one song? One memory from all the concerts you’ve performed in?

Singing ‘You Got The Love’ on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury. I love playing Glastonbury. The next one will be my 4th time performing there, hopefully next year now.

Do you get to concerts very often just to watch?

Not as much as I’d like to, but if I love a band I try to see them. Just often dates clash with my own gigs. I loved the first time I saw Fontaines DC and Blossoms. Both great new bands who’ve taken the sound and something with it. Made it their own. That’s very cool. Nile Rodgers & Chic are always special. It doesn’t matter how many times you see them, they’re incredible. And it helps that I usually end up on stage with them! I went to Mallorca to see Primal Scream last year. It was fun because I went to surprise Bobby (Gillespie) who I love. They were incredible. But they always are.

Do you ever make a point of staying to watch artists on the same bill as you?

I performed at Knebworth once and stayed around to see Todd Terry, the DJ. He was incredible. And Bowie at Glastonbury. That was amazing.

And what gets you on the dancefloor?

That depends on whether I’ve had a drink or not! I like dancing in my seat. But Jackie Wilson, Higher & Higher would. And Rise Up by Sunkids featuring Chance. That gets the party going.

If we could let you out of lockdown for one day, where would you go?

Easy. Pikes, Ibiza. I love the place, the people, the hotel, the pool, the bar, Freddie’s, the island. Everything about it. Take me there please!

What’s the best opening track for a concert?

I love singing the intro to Loose Fit or Kinky Afro at the beginning of a Happy Mondays gig. The crowd reaction is always beautiful.

And how about walk out music at a football ground? Which is the best?

I’m a United fan so it’s got to be Stone Roses - This Is The One. I actually sang it there on stage with Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Gary Neville and other legends joining me on stage at a dinner for the club’s sponsors.

Sounds amazing! I won’t ask how good they were. Thanks for chatting to us and keep well.


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