Amy Macdonald speaks ahead of intimate acoustic show at Royal & Derngate
In 2007, Amy Macdonald was asked where she saw herself in a decade. Her answer then remains the same as it does today '“ as long as she's writing music and playing live, she's happy.
“I don't have these huge desires, dreams or grand plans. I'm very content doing what I do,” she explains.
“I love writing music, putting it out, going on tour, playing crazy festivals all over the world and spending time with an amazing band and crew. To continue doing this is just a dream for me.”
This month, Macdonald kicks off her ‘intimate’ acoustic UK tour at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate.
The Glaswegian singer songwriter released her fourth album Under Stars in January and decided to embark on a series of fully acoustic shows after receiving positive feedback from her fans about stripped back and acoustic sections of her regular set.
“I decided after 10 years of crazy hectic big touring, it would be nice to do something a bit different,” she explains.
“I've played a few shows so far with this setup and I've been bowled over by the response.
“It's a nice thing to be going out on the road with that vibe. I hope it's going to be great fun.”
Macdonald, who by the age of 30 had sold more than 12 million records worldwide, will be joined by her bassist, guitarist and keyboard player.
“It will hopefully still sound quite big but everyone is playing very stripped back versions of the songs,” she explains.
“We’ve had to adapt some and it’s certainly going to be more nerve-racking than my usual shows.
“I must have done thousands of gigs and I know what I'm doing and how it all works.
“When you take that all away, you're a little bit more exposed but I like that challenge.
“I like trying to win people over.”
Macdonald explains she think Under Stars track Leap Of Faith actually sounds better acoustically than its album version and also highlights Run, from her 2007 debut, as another which has translated particularly well.
“I didn’t think Run would work,” she explains, “But after spending a bit of time on it, it's one of my favourite songs to perform in this way. It just works really well.”
Macdonald’s forthcoming shows will feature songs from across her four albums.
She wrote her first three records on an acoustic guitar so knew from the offset the tracks would work live when given the same treatment.
Her latest LP was written with her bassist and guitarist and unlike its predecessors, was more ‘electric’ from the offset.
While one of Glasgow’s biggest exports in recent years, much of Macdonald’s success has come in mainland Europe – particularly Germany and Switzerland, Austria.
“Because I’ve had way more success there, I spend more time there,” she explains.
“Europe actually feels more like home - I've been to every corner of a lot of countries.
“Going to places in England and Wales I've never been to before feels a bit more like my exotic tour.”
Asked why her blend of rock and pop has resonated better there, Macdonald puts it in part down to the success of her debut single This Is The Life, which became a huge hit on the continent in 2008.
She adds she has received much more support from certain parts of the music industry in Europe compared to the UK.
“I like that I can have a very normal life in the UK,” she explains.
“I feel very lucky to have had an amazing career and still be able to do ‘normal’ things and still be able to go out with my mates and not be chased down the streets.
“It's probably the best of both worlds.”
Following this acoustic tour, Macdonald will continue to tour her latest album into 2018 before starting to think about writing new material.
“I don't really like writing when I'm on tour, it's not a real life,” she explains.
“I like to write songs which mean something and that people can relate to. That's why I try to stay away from writing on tour.
“I need to go away and be a normal human being and not someone on tour having a crazy life.
“That being said, everyone is different. I remember reading an interview with Bruce Springsteen where he said he hates the 'going home' part and that's what causes him to suffer with depression - the feeling of being home and everything being quiet. Everyone copes differently.”
Amy Macdonald headlines Royal & Derngate on Sunday, October 29.
Tickets are on sale now via www.royalandderngate.co.uk