Interview: Singer Sophie Ellis Bextor on appearing at Rockingham Castle

Sophie Ellis Bextor
Sophie Ellis Bextor
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It says a lot for the sense of humour of singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor that she can still laugh at a joke surrounding one of her songs.

Speaking ahead of her appearance at the Flashpoint Festival at Rockingham Castle next month.

She said: “My challenge at a festival is always to get people up and on the dancefloor, so come along and see it and I’ll get you all up dancing.”

Although I’m sure she is hoping there will be no murder on the dancefloor. She laughs weakly. But Sophie is looking forward more to the Flashpoint Festival when she appears on Saturday July 15.

She said: “I love doing festivals, I think they are really good in a rough and ready kind of way, I think it is a unique performance.

“I love performing live anyway, it is a nice challenge to go there and to get people who wouldn’t normally come and see you. The set though is very much, sort of picking from the greatest hits.

“It is quite an eclectic mix that you get at a festival which is a lovely thing.”

But with a back catalogue of hits from across two decades, it is a hard job picking which songs to perform.

Sophie added: “I haven’t completely finished deciding what to perform at the festival. I am doing a few festivals around the country and while the set might vary a little bit, there won’t be too much.

“I imagine there will be a few songs from Wanderlust and Familia, which were my last two albums, but I suspect there will be a few more of the greatest hits.

“I went out on tour in February and March so I think everything is sounding good and we are ready for it.”

For someone who is known as pop music maestro, Sophie’s latest career has taken a surprising change.

Sophie said: “The last two albums I have done have been got a folk atmosphere, I have been working with a really brilliant singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt.

“I am not a kind of strategic artist in that I plan what I am going to do, just folk was the natural direction the music we were writing went in. We decided to strip back everything, no disco, no dancing, and go for something kind of different to what I’ve done before

“I think also you have to evolve with your music and give yourselves different challenges when you are putting together a new album.”

With five albums and having several hits, Sophie suggests it is difficult to pick a favourite song.

She said: “I think there are lots of songs that I am fond of them. There is a song called Young Blood which appears on (Wanderlust/Familia). It’s a love song and I am really proud of that song and it is quite different. And then there is something like Groovejet which even though it is 17 years old, I still get remembered for which is a lovely feeling.”

Quite recently, we saw Sophie takes on the strictly dance floor, a show she reached the final on in 2013.

But surely coming from a musical background, it might have made the dacning a little easier than some of the competitors?

Sophie said: “I can only speak for me but I had never had a dancing lesson before Strictly.

“But what the judges want to see is you improve and I think the standard the year that I did it was very high.

“So for the people who did it who were more professional, they still wanted to see people improve.

“Whereas for amateurs like me, the improvements were easier to make and I really like to dance.

“It was a show that I had never watched before I did it. But I was talking to my friends about it and said I had been offered the chance to do Strictly and they all said that I should do it. And fortunately they were right.”

Tickets for the festival are on sale now and all information can be found by visiting www.theflashpointfestival.com or alternatively by calling the booking line on 0845 075 6101.