Search This Blog



January 2015

SHE isn’t new to having her music critiqued but Indiana admits reading reviews of No Romeo has been difficult.

“To begin with I was just concerned with what the fans thought about it more than anything else,” says 27-year-old Lauren Henson of the album, which is released on Monday.

“And that I was baring my soul with something I’ve been working on for years.

“Then, when the reviews started coming in, I found that really hard. Some of them were really good but some of them weren’t so good and I was like ‘who the hell are you talking about my music!?’”

Despite very positive reviews from the likes of The Guardian and The Observer, for which she should be punching the air, Indiana has been sensitive to any negative feedback, even on Twitter.

“I’ve found it really hard not to come back at people,” she admits.

“It’s been really hard for me to bite my tongue.

“I’m not a volatile person but when people are talking about my livelihood and my passion...”

Both her manager and boyfriend have told her to celebrate the critical acclaim and stop reacting to tweets that wind her up.

“They’ve told me to ‘stop feeding the trolls’ but it’s hard,” she laughs.

The album, released on Monday, is a classy collection of moody, brooding, dark electronic pop that is part-dance music and part-trip-hop.

It follows last year’s No. 14 single Solo Dancing and phenomenal support from Radio 1.

She admits she had battles with the record label about what does and doesn’t go on the album and has had to suffer delays for its release, originally planned for September.

Rather than celebrate its arrival, Indiana is nervous.

“It feels horrible because there’s so much riding on it.

“If it’s a flop I won’t be able to carry on doing it on this path. I will most definitely find another path making music but it’s scary. And I don’t think I envisaged these feelings.”

You get the impression she’s never satisfied.

The Guardian gave No Romeo a 4/5 review describing it as “smart, inventive, thought-provoking pop music”.

And yet...

“It was supposed to be the lead review in the paper,” says the mum-of-two.

“But then Björk’s album got leaked so she took my place and my review never got printed.”

The paper did post the review on its website with a streaming of the full album.

And, despite Radio 1 championing her with interviews, sessions and playlistings (a re-released Solo Dancing recently made the station’s A list), she’s hungry to be played on Capital FM.

“I don’t think Capital like me,” she giggles.

“I think I’m too leftfield for them. Maybe if I have a Top 10 single they’ll play me. Being on that playlist will widen my audience massively.”

Well, at least Durex like her, using her Bound song on their latest ad for Embrace Pleasure Gels.

“They asked to use it and I said OK... actually I asked to see the advert first. It’s not sleazy, so I was happy for them to use it.”

She adds: “And apparently Solo Dancing was on Hollyoaks the other night, while someone was stripping.”

There’s a theme developing. Acclaimed journalist and writer Caitlin Moran tweeted her approval of the album using a phrase that’s not printable in a family newspaper.

“I’m getting quite a name for myself,” laughs Indiana, who lives in Long Eaton.

“I really tried not to be a anything like that.”

This week it was announced that at the end of her next UK tour she’ll be playing the main stage at Rock City, the only female Nottingham artist ever to do that.

“That’s so cool,” she says.

“I’m most excited about having my name above the door. I don’t think I’ve ever had that before. It’s the little things that keep me going,” she laughs, adding that it will be a Nottingham artist supporting her – she’ll be rifling through Soundcloud to find one.

It was through social media that Indiana got her break, posting her version of Gabriel by Grammy-nominated songwriter John Beck on YouTube, prompting him to get in touch.

Boyfriend James Alexander, who she met in Loughborough, where she grew up, encouraged her to apply for the Future Sound of Nottingham competition in 2012, leading to her very first gig in the Old Market Square as part of the semi-final.

Three years on and there’s been the major label deal, Radio 1 support, major festival dates, sold out tours, singing for the Queen and the Top 20 single.

And there’s baby Etta, now 17 months old, sister to six-year-old Harvey.

This week she’s been signing copies of the album at home.

“Harvey asked me: ‘Mummy, are you going to hand these out to people? Will you be sad if nobody wants one?”, she laughs.

“Then he said: ‘Don’t worry mummy, I’ll have one.’ I could have cried.”

Indiana will have a launch party for the album at Oslo in London tonight then at Rough Trade in Broad Street on Monday where she’ll play a short set from 7pm. Details at
Tickets for her date at Rock City on Friday, May 29 are £12.50, call 0845 413 4444 or go to

Beck Goldsmith

January 2015

SHE came pretty much out of nowhere. While the Nottingham music scene was awaiting the release of the debut albums by Saint Raymond, Indiana and Amber Run, suddenly there it was, Lustre & Curve by Beck Goldsmith.

Who the hell is Beck Goldsmith?

It seems she’s been around a while. A one-time member of Lorna, her presence on the city gig circuit was a while back, alongside Love Ends Disaster, Swimming and lo-ego.

She self-released two albums of melancholic folk then disappeared to Scotland, Wiltshire and London, moving back to North Notts recently after the breakdown of her marriage.

But you are unlikely to see her hopping aboard the city gig circuit anytime soon.

“I shy away from that acoustic, singer-songwriter corner of a bar type of gig, I’m not really into that,” says the 34-year-old, who was born in Mansfield. “I like being a bit louder with a full band. Although I’m not a band so I fall between the two. It’s why I’ve never really found a niche in Nottingham.”

That said, she will be playing The Maze next month, supporting Drew Holcomb for Cosmic American.

Lustre & Curve, released this week on Island largely owes its existence to Goldsmith’s version of I Vow To Thee My Country being used on a trailer for the BBC drama The Village, starring John Simm.

The song, a traditional one created in 1921 using a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice and the music of Gustav Holst, was chosen by Beck’s friend Jon Dix, one-time member of Nottingham-based alt-rock band Love Ends Disaster.

Now based in London and composing music for TV and film, Jon called on his old friend to deliver the vocals for his pitch to the company making the trailer in 2013.

“I was living in Scotland at the time,” says Beck.

“Although it was only used on the trailer, it was absolutely hammered on TV and the radio. It was from that I got my management and label interest.”

Dix produced the album, a collection of melancholic and yet uplifting songs partly inspired by Beck’s divorce.

“It’s not just about that. There were other things going on in my life at that time as well – positive things.

“The divorce wasn’t bleak and acrimonious and mud-slinging – it wasn’t a big horrible bust-up. It happened organically. We both agreed on it, although it was still hard to go through.”

She adds: “I didn’t want it to be a bleak, angry-woman-tortured-soul kind of album.

“Quite a few of the tracks start small and build. I like adding textures and giving crescendo and being able to sing out at the end.”

Lustre & Curve has earned strong reviews, with Mojo saying “She bends her stoic dark folk into filmic shapes 4/5” and The Sun offering “Her beautiful melodies are full of hope, 3/5”. The Guardian didn’t seem to like it but still gave it 3/5.

Sports presenter Claire Balding had her in session on her Radio 2 show after choosing I Vow To Thee My Country for Desert Island Discs.

Radio 2 has since played Point & Pier, a bonus track on the album that also borrows from a classical composer.”

“It’s a Tchaikovsky melody that I borrowed,” laughs Beck, who also has a publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis and is writing songs for other artists.

What most have been drawn to is her breathy, lilting – and a little Irish – voice.

“When I started out I was singing properly. If you listen to my first album, and I don’t recommend it, my voice is totally different.

“It was when I did some music for the Buzz music trivia video game with Jon where I had to impersonate a lot of different vocalists – I realised these people were singing properly. But they were obviously singing in a way that felt comfortable. So I stopped thinking about the way I sang and let my voice just happen. I started to enjoy the sounds I was making.

“The way my voice is now feels nice in my mouth.”

Beck Goldsmith supports Drew Holcomb at The Maze on Sunday, February 8 from 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 from 

Lucy Kay

January 2015

ON the first night of the UK tour, Lucy Kay plunged down a flight of stairs on stage. Fortunately, this was during the rehearsal. And fortunately, thanks to what she calls “Christmas padding”, she wasn’t hurt.

“I did a Beyoncé. I walked down the top few steps, tripped on my dress and fell all the way to the bottom,” laughs the 25-year-old, who is on a tour with Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro.

“Although I did carry on singing.”

She adds: “Christmas was good to me so I kind of fell on my flab.”

It went to plan in the concert... because she changed to singing after she’d descended the stairs.

“I can’t multi-task, apparently,” giggles the soprano, who is singing highlights from her debut album, Fantasia, which reached No. 18 in the UK chart and topped the Classical chart.

The tour opened in Carlisle on Monday.

“I got a standing ovation,” she says, sounding surprised, despite experiencing the same from the Britain’s Got Talent judges on last year’s show.

“I wasn’t expecting it because it’s Collabro’s tour and they’re not there to see my warbly opera,” says Lucy, a former Cantamus choirgirl who grew up in Sutton-in-Ashefield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, where her mum still lives.

Since the show, on which millions watched her come second to the theatrical boy band, she has performed for celebrities like Elton John, Kate Moss and Samuel L Jackson, as well as royalty.

The tour, which comes to the Royal Concert Hall tonight, sees her sings two arias in the first half, another two after the break, then join “the boys” for a duet.

Exchanging the spotlight numerous times is not the usual structure for a concert but Lucy isn’t billed as the support act (that’s Philippa Hanna), rather a special guest.

“Some people have asked what time I’m on stage because they want to watch me then leave but it’s not like that,” she laughs.

Apart from touring the Far East with Cantamus while a schoolgirl, this is her first proper tour.

It’s a long time to be on the road, so what will she do during her downtime?

“I like to chat. And eat. The chef on the tour is amazing. I’ve been told off so many times because I keep going back for seconds.

“The sweet stuff is so nice. I’ve got a bit of a pouch going on, which isn’t ideal when you’re wearing a tight dress.”

Her essential items (apart from a knife and fork), are “girly things”.

She says: “My make-up, dresses, hair curlers, my phone is my bloodline.... and my iPod, with lots of heavy metal music on it. I was listening to a bit of Killswitch Engage in the gym this morning.”

The metal fan, whose first concerts were at Rock City, dreams of playing Download Festival. Or even just going would be nice, but commitments don’t allow her to make such plans. Her family will be at the show tonight; mum, dad, nan and sister. As well as her boyfriend, David.

“He’s my tour manager. I don’t think he could cope without me for seven weeks,” she laughs.

Lucy was back in Kirkby-in-Ashfield for two weeks at Christmas.

“The furthest I went was Mansfield. I went shopping but I didn’t go partying.”

Was she recognised?

“People tend to stare, as if they’re wondering ‘is that her?’ Very rarely does anyone approach me. But then they’ll ask me on Facebook ‘was that you?’ So I spent a lot of my time in the café at Asda in Mansfield being stared at.”

Lucy Kay joins Collabro at the Royal Concert Hall on Friday, January 30, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £19.50 to £38.50, from the venue, call 0115 989 5555 or go to