The Poozies are returning to UK stages this month – their first tour since founder member Sally Barker’s success on BBC1’s The Voice UK. Having won her way to the final of the primetime competition – and into the hearts of the general public, and a certain Sir Tom Jones – Sally remains the lead vocalist and guitar player in the band that she co-founded over 20 years ago.
The Poozies burst on the folk scene in the early 1990s, turning heads as they crossed the genre with pop, rock, soul and many other varying influences. It is this winning formula that has seen them stand the test of time; remaining one of the most exciting and pioneering live acts on the scene.
Since The Voice, the band – also featuring fellow co-founder Mary Macmaster, and Eilidh Shaw and Mairearad Green – has been working on their upcoming album, to be released in 2015. Many of the tracks will be included in their live sets – offering audiences the first chance to hear their new material, before the CD release.
The four-strong group have also played a handful of summer festivals this year, however the November tour is their first concentrated run back together.
Looking ahead to the dates, Sally said:
“I can’t wait to get back on the road with The Poozies. I loved being on The Voice, and was gob-smacked when Universal offered me a record deal afterwards, but the terms meant that I wouldn’t have been able to tour or record with The Poozies – so I declined, and opted to stay with the girls. With the new album coming out in the spring, we’ve exciting times ahead!”
The Poozies’ tour kicks off in Kendal, at the Brewery Arts Centre, on Thursday 13th November, followed by The Tolbooth in Stirling on Friday 14th November and then Peebles’ Eastgate Theatre on Saturday 15th.
The following week they play Sally’s hometown of Leicester, on Monday 17th, at The Musician, then move on to mac in Birmingham on Tuesday 18th, before heading south to Bridport Arts Centre (20th), The Spring in Havant (21st) and Newbury’s Arlington Arts Centre (22nd). The tour concludes on Sunday 23rd, at the Sage Gateshead.
Highly regarded as masters of intricate arrangements – and boasting a powerful combination of rhythmic, punching acoustic guitar, the growling electro-harp, dexterous fiddle and accordion, and spine-tingling songs in four-part harmony – The Poozies draw material not only from a multitude of genres; their own compositions, the rich vein of traditional Scottish Gaelic culture, contemporary folk and pop, and, in their words, “any enticing genre”.
Whilst Sally has played a number of summer dates opening for Sir Tom Jones – her mentor on The Voice¬ – as well as touring as a solo artist, her back catalogue features tours with Robert Plant and Bob Dylan. Of her band mates; Edinburgh-based Mary Macmaster has appeared with Sting, Eliza Carthy and June Tabor, amongst many others, whilst younger members Mairearad Green, from Achiltibuie, and Eilidh Shaw, from Taynuilt, boast a back catalogue including Tony Christie, Karen Matheson, Eddi Reader and Karine Polwart.
Reflecting on the band’s current position, Eilidh said:
“Although the band has been going for a long time, everything feels really fresh, and something very exciting is happening – like we are on the crest of a wave on the sparkly sea!”
November Tour Dates
13 – Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
14 – Stirling, Tolbooth
15 – Peebles, Eastgate Theatre
17 – Leicester, The Musician
18 – Birmingham, mac
20 – Bridport, Arts Centre
21 – Havant, The Spring
22 – Newbury, Arlington Arts Centre
23 – Gateshead, Sage Gateshead