Davies and her forties show.
Leigh Davies was born into a musical family, so it is no wonder she
is so passionate about her music. Lynsey was fortunate enough to
have had her CD listened to by the one and only Tony Christie who
commented that her voice was akin to the late, great Patsy Cline.
However, Lynsey's audiences say that if you close your eyes she
sounds just like Brenda Lee (Little Miss Dynamite). So it comes as
no surprise that this is her favourite era.
The 40ís/50ís/60ís time was an exciting one which Lynsey wants
to relive through her music, like all-time greats such as The
Shirelles, The Crystals and The Ronnettes. With Lynsey's vast knowledge of
songs, she is able to cater for most occasions - Birthday, Wedding
Anniversary, Reunions & Corporate Functions.
Lynsey comes as a full package for bookings/gigs with a
comprehensive selection of P A Equipment complete with her own Sound
& Lighting technician. Her knowledge of music can be tailored to
suit most any occasion or venue.
Lynsey Leigh-Davies and her
Lynsey Leigh Davies and her forties show features classics such as
White Cliffs of Dover/Love Letters/Moonlight Bay/Lay Down Your
Arms/Berkeley Square/bill Bailey/As Time Goes By/Side by Side/Let me
Call You Sweetheart/Iím Forever Blowing Bubbles/Lambeth
Walk/Falling In Love again/Lillie Marlene/Smile/Someone To Watch
Over Me/Swinging On A Star/You Are My Sunshine/Slow Boat To
China/You Made Me Love You/Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye/April
Showers/Bless Em All/Kiss Me Goodnight Sgt Major/This Is The Army Mr
Jones/Siegfried Line/Sailor/Autumn Leaves/Bye Bye Blackbird/That
Lovely Weekend/Weíll Meet Again and many more.
Here, Lynsey talks to Digger at www.retrosellers.com
Hello Lynsey. Iíve been getting myself ĎIn the Moodí this
morning and have been playing your forties CD.
Lynsey: It was such fun recording that Album, beautiful tracks such
as Berkeley Square to stirring stuff like Kiss Me Goodnight Sgt
Major, I just love it!
Digger: Thatís what itís all about really.
Lynsey: Exactly right. I said to my husband Alan yesterday that the term
you used the other day ďWhen I had a proper jobĒ was a good one.
I hated my last proper job, but it got our two girls into private
school. We never had holidays and we paid for their schooling. The
youngest now - sheís passed her exams to be a barrister.
Digger: That was a result then!
Lynsey: Sheís got a really good job with two of the lads she was at
private school with. The times I took her to that school - if I had
a pound for every time I made that journey Iíd be rich. But as
long as theyíre happy and doing what they want to do then thatís
Digger: Why is the forties and retro so popular?
Lynsey. I think itís because people are so depressed at the
moment, and feeling so let down by the Government and Banks etc.
are happy when they reflect on bygone years, whether itís
40ís/50ís/60ís. I feel the same when I do a ďnormal gigĒ
which is based mostly on sixties music.
Digger: In your press release you say that you love those decades. What
it is about them you like?
Lynsey: You reflect on the time you were growing up.
Digger: It wasnít perfect of course and for my American friends in
the sixties predominately meant memories of Kennedy and Vietnam.
Lynsey: Yes, but it was all going on in our country in the
sixties. We met a couple from Liverpool last week and they have
invited us up there. They plan to take us to the Cavern and places
Again nostalgia that we all long for - Penny Lane, Ferry across the
Mersey, they all hold fantastic memories for me.
Digger: How many of these gigs are you doing?
Lynsey: Typically at the least two a week, but we can do up to four
and sometimes even more, so it keeps us busy. We have eight
grandchildren and like to spend time there.
Digger: The CD has got the songs from that wartime period. Does it sell
Lynsey: Yes we put a stand up displaying the CDís and when people
have enjoyed the show they often want a memento of the evening, so
the CD is perfect! And Iím very happy to sign them.
Digger: What are the best things about doing what you do?
Lynsey: Because I love what I do, and so many people say how much it
shows. Then whether Iím feeling tired or on top of the world, I
never short change anyone.
I say to them the only time you will ever see me look at my watch on
a gig is because itís then time to slow it down; because thatís
the way we work.
Digger: With some acts you notice that theyíre doing all the cues to
the other musicians as in "Lets get off..."
Lynsey: Well thatís not the way we work. We do it because we love
it, and if we stopped loving it then we would not do it anymore.
Digger: The public aren't stupid they know what they like.
Lynsey: Exactly right people will come over and say ďIt does show
how much you enjoy your work."
Digger: I canít hear your Black Country accent in the singing at all.
Where does that go?Ē
Lynsey: Well you know weíve discussed this times gone by,
because you get someone like Annie Lennox whoís got a really
strong Scottish accent and sheís out there singing. What happens
to that I just donít know. And the same with the Liverpool groups
Digger: You CAN hear a bit of the Scouse on some of The Beatles
Lynsey: I think itís probably because they wanted it that way.
sort of feedback are you getting from people who attend your shows?
Lynsey: Youíll always get a least one person coming up to you
at a gig saying ďWe so enjoyed it, we had a brilliant timeĒ. I
like to put little things in the show like ďjust to test you are
listening, A MILLION HOUSEWIVES EVERY DAYÖÖÖÖ..and let the
audience finish it off. We also have a little chat about the times
and how we hadnít got to lock our back doors. And all those silly
little things that get the atmosphere going. And we have Sing-alongs
and they just love it.
Digger: There must be less people now that actually remember it first had
though, mustnít there?
Lynsey: There must be obviously because of the age group, and yet
theyíre into it. Kind of brings you closer, this kindred spirit
and the belonging.
Digger: I was talking to Viv The Spiv who plays a kind of Walker from
Dadís Army character...
Lynsey: I donít know him but we have had one or two people come like
Digger: Viv has the patter and the cockney rhyming slang Ė heís
hilarious and Iím in stitches when Iím on the phone to him. He
say the same thing, itís like an inherited memory.
Digger: Even if you werenít there people still know about it.
Lynsey: Yes, I think we still need to have some pride in something, you
know and we havenít. Nowadays thereís no pride in anything
anymore and even when weíre not old and decrepit weíre saying
certain things shouldnít be done and it shouldnít be handled
like this. Youíve got to have a sense of pride and itís very
very difficult to find something to have a sense of pride in nowadays,
Digger: Youíre obviously proud of what youíre doing. Iím trying to take
what Iím doing the best that I can. I think there are still some
youngsters who still have that kind of pride and itís nice when
you bump into them.
Lynsey: Oh gosh, yes. I know that Iíve done okay, Ďcos obviously I
get mixed audiences more in my ordinary stuff than in the forties,
but when the younger ones come up to me and say ďWeíve had a
brilliant night.Ē Then you know youíve done your job.
Digger: Thatís your cue to dip into your bag and say ďWould you like
to buy one of these CDs?Ē
Lynsey: Talking about accents, I pinned you down to being an Essex boy
even though youíre in Northampton now.
Digger: Thatís weird isnít it?
Lynsey: You never lose it.
Digger: Youíve got quite a strong accent, if you donít mind me saying
Lynsey: No, not at all Iím very proud of mine. When they say Birmingham,
thatís when I get angry!
Digger: Thatís like calling a New Zealander an Aussie, or someone from
The Wirral a Scouser. Iím very careful not to presume and always
ask people where theyíre from.
Lynsey: Thereís a few miles between the Brummies and us here and
we are VERY different.
Digger: Thereís a strange accent here, thereís a very definite
Northampton accent and itís almost like a sound which is a cross
between Birmingham and Norfolk, which, of course, is exactly where
we are geographically.
Lynsey: Yes, funnily enough my friend who Iíve just been on the phone
to. I actually did the club with her last time and itís in your
neck of the woods, called Casey's in Daventry. We shall be going
over and doing the duo. Sheís there on Monday and itís a lovely
little club and we have a really good laugh. Once weíre together,
People having a
great time at one of
Lynsey's forties shows
Digger: So, where are you heading with these shows?
Lynsey: Well if you spoke to Alan about that heíd have different
thoughts about it. Iím just out there enjoying every minute of it.
As usual Alanís a little more ambitious than me in that respect.
We have a conversation with a friend of ours Andy Hart, formerly of
the band Budgie, that maybe at some point we could team up with him
and a friend to perhaps maybe do a little bit of a spot of ABBA,
maybe sixties as well. But at the moment heís doing some work with
Mike Sheridan and having a ball, so who knows? Alan my hubby and
sound technician has always through out our business life been more
ambitious. And it was probably to do with losing my Dad younger. I
was only five when he died it was from there that I got the gift.
Digger: How old was he?
Lynsey: He was forty one. Six years away at Arnhem. He was hand-picked
and there were only two from Brierly Hill where we lived who went
over to Holland. That was í44. It is a musical family and my grandma
was the lady who had a brilliant future ahead of her. They wanted
her to go to Broadway and play Topsy in Uncle Tomís cabin. I think
Iíve got something here on Irish notepaper saying what a rich
soprano voice sheíd got. And she trained at The Guildhall School
Of Music for years and my dad, of course, got it off of her. He
toured with the London Operatic Society as Boy Caruso. She missed
him and said to my granddad ďI want him back.Ē So they got him
back and it could have been much different, probably, if he hadn't
been called-up and gone to Arnhem. But when I go out, thatís the
thing that spurs me on. Because Iíve got a brother and a sister,
she canít sing and he can but heís very shy and won't go on
stage. And I suppose Iím kind of flying the flag and every time I
go on stage Iím thinking of my dad and heíd be very proud.
Digger: Itís like an X Factor story.
Lynsey: I suppose it is.
Digger: The difference is, you have the talent and are doing all the
graft. The modern thing is that they want instant fame for
fameís sake. They want to famous in five minutes and it doesnít
work that way, does it?
Lynsey: No, well when I finish a gig each night I know Iíve given my
best. Alan says ďI never have to tell you to smile or do this or
do that." Because heís very critical.
Digger: I'm sure he's also very complimentary when you do well, I should
Lynsey: Well he loves me very much and heíll tell anyone that
heís one of the luckiest fellows alive, and it was the best thing
we ever did when we got together. But heís also my biggest critic
and he does like things right. Alan and I (and people smile
when I say this) never fall out, we spend 24/7 together and we
donít argue. Itís good when you think about it. He thinks itís
so sad when you see famous artists miming. It angers me and I
wouldnít dream of doing it.
Digger: It devalues everything. I just hope that the people who go to see
your show appreciate it that youíre doing it properly.
Lynsey: I think they do, you know, and they say they can hear every word.
This modern stuff, you canít tell what theyíre singing.
Digger: I went to see the Bacharach tribute the other day Ė three
female singers and a band and Chris Dean - and you could hear all
the lyrics. There were a couple of fluffs in there but I thought
that was great, not in a nasty way but because it made it more real.
Lynsey: Sometimes your brain says one thing but something else comes out of
your mouth and I say ďWell, it is live, you know.Ē And people
love it. In the nicest way because itís something to smile about.
ĎCos Alan does all sorts of naughty things while Iím on stage
like Iíll be describing one song and heíll put another one on.
But heís like that at home, Iíll go to put my shoes on and
heís put stuff in my shoes or I go to put a coat on and heís
tied the sleeves together. (Both laugh) And this is how we live our
lives. It has always been fun and it will always be that way.
Digger: Do you ever pay him back?
Lynsey: Oh certainly yes and weíll laugh and Iíll say heís got
to pack his carrier bag because I wonít give him a suitcase,
people love the banter. When I get on and do a new club you tell the
audience you are nervous i.e. Iím a bit nervous as Iíve never
played here before so will you look after me? That normally gets
them on side, although I feel so at home doing the stuff I love, I
donít really get nervous.
Digger: That first thirty seconds to get people on your side is really
Yes, yes it is. And to a certain degree, and I don't know why it is,
but because I love my music so much when I'm singing I'm in a kind
of world of my own and I'm out there and loving that song and the
audience. It's strange because my partner Kas is confident and full
of patter, but when we do a new venue she feels sick. I don't. You'd
think it was the other way round on stage as she comes across as so
hear that a lot that many pros are ill before a performance.
Although I come from a musical background I've only been doing this
professionally for six years in May. We were on holiday in Gran
Canaria at one of the Princess hotels. We couldn't afford it now but
we could when it first started-up. It was a five-star and I always
remember this fellow playing on a piano and he was on his own. A huge,
beautiful room and I went in and started to chat to him, as you do,
and he told me about himself. And I sat beside him on the stool and
said "Do you know so-and-so song?" and he said "Yes, but I
haven't got the words." And I pointed to my head to say that I
knew them. And he played it and I started singing and the next thing
you know, because I'd got lost in it, the room was absolutely full
of people. These two people from London asked Alan if I was a
professional singer and he said "No" and they said
"Well, she should be doing this professionally." A few more years went by
and my family grew up and then, probably about eight years ago, we
started to go to Tenerife. There was this guy from Norfolk who ran a bar
there and I got up doing a bit of karaoke. I did my own slant on
it and he also said I should be doing it professionally. So, when I
came home I thought "I'll have a go at this." And I
remember going on stage the first time, 'cos it's one thing doing a
karaoke but it's another holding a whole night. My feet were
stuck to the floor and I was thinking "Oh my God!" But
eventually I got over that. I think dad's memory helps me and gives
me this edge. But even now, after doing this for some years, and my
dad's been gone since I was five, the oldies still sometimes come
and say "I remember your dad, he'd got a super
a lovely thing to carry around with you.
Lynsey with pipers
Cliffs Of Dover (Vera Lynn)
Down Your Arms
Time Goes By
Me Call You Sweetheart
Forever Blowing Bubbles
In Love Again
to Watch over Me
On A Star
Are My Sunshine
Boat to China
Made Me Love You
Me Luck as You Wave Goodbye
Me Goodnight Sgt Major
Is the Army Mr Jones
out Your Washing on the Seigfried Line
Much Is That Doggie In The Window
Made Me Love You
Lynsey Leigh-Davies and her forties/wartime show March 2010.
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