Conversations with Kate Rusby (2)
The year so far (3)

Conversations with Kate Rusby (3)

In her own words, Kate Rusby is a nattery sort of lass. The previous two postings at Salut! Live perhaps prove she has got herself bang to rights with that phrase.

I hope you agree with me that her answers to my questions offered a warm and revealing insight into the life of a woman who has done so much to make folk music entertaining without ever threatening to diminish its integrity.

But amid all that natteriness - a word she used, the first time we ever met, to sum up what she loved about her fellow Tykes - it is still possible to pin Kate down to short and sweet answers.

Read on and you will learn a little more about her from a quickfire Q&A session that I decided to bolt on - a bonus track, as it were - to my article for her own website (it was not yet live there, but is now; follow this link and you may read Kate Rusby on the "rare diamond" that is folk).

Let's call it here, as I did for her site, Potted Kate.........

Earliest childhood memory…..

Playing with my doll in our back garden

Where school was…..

Oxspring until I was eight, Cawthorne until I was 11, Penistone High until I was 13 and then Shelley High School, which was fab

Good pupil/bad pupil…..

OK pupil. Good when I fancied, so I suppose that makes me bad!

Best subject…..

History and Biology, found both fascinating

Best school memory…..
Play school actually, bouncing on the trampoline then being told there was milk and biscuits. What a luxurious place, I thought

Worst school memory….
Fainting playing netball ‘cos I hadn’t had breakfast. I did have an extra 10 minutes in bed though

Career high…..
The many occasions, sitting working songs out with John McCusker

Career low…..
Cancelling Harrogate gig ‘cos I lost my voice

Favourite traditional song…..
The Blind Harper

Favourite own song…..

The Bitter Boy

State of folk…..
A very exciting time. I heard a girl recently called Ruth Notman, I thought she was fantastic, really special

Dodgy listens……

If I like it, I like it. Doesn’t have to be okayed by NME! Idlewild’s new record - so much energy. And Arcade Fire, Aqualung, Tony Rose, Maps, Ryan Adams, Ricky Scaggs, and totally love Regina Spektor

Happiest when…..

I see my dog in the morning

Relax most easily by…..

Sorting things out

Cure for fear of flying……


Easy, moderate or tough……

Anything. Whatever’s on offer

Best venue…..

The Lowry in Salford, joint favourite with Sheffield City Hall

Favourite all-time album…..

Nic Jones’s Penguin Eggs

Biggest inspiration…..
Nic Jones and Dolly Parton

Sexiest man in folk…..


If you had one wish…..

To be happier

Where I want to be 10 years from now……
Body boarding in the Cornish sea

* Earlier in this series, you can read more about Kate Rusby's "dodgy taste in pop music" and having to prove she's old enough to drink.

** Because I had agreed to write for Kate's site, I thought it appropriate - as I did with The Girl Who Couldn't Fly - to declare an interest and decline to review Awkward Annie for the Daily Telegraph. It would have been a rave review, since I honestly believe it is a great album, but readers would have been entitled to detect a conflict of interest. So the DT gave the record to Helen Brown to review. Helen is a very good writer, but she and I often reach different conclusions on the same records (proving yet again, as I keep saying, that reviewers are essentially just fans with platforms). Anyway, guess what - she loved it, too. You can get Awkward Annie here for under - if only just - £9, but you'll need to add another album to your order if you want it postage free.


Craig McGinty

Hi Colin, many thanks for this interview.

Kate has a new fan, I've just spent the past half hour listening to clips on her site and YouTube.

Think I'll have to pick up her new CD in the next few days.

All the best, Craig

Pete Sixsmith

I think it's her best album for a long time. I love the way she is working with brass bands and her own songs are developing well. I was worried about Village Green because I think it is such a great song and so Ray Davies. Would Kate be sardonic enough to carry it off? She puts a different take on it and it is an outstanding track. Keep pushing the boundaries Kate, there's a lot of great music out there for you to work on.


Got the album (am I allowed to call it that rather than a CD) and am completely in love with it. It's not so far removed from some of the other quieter music in my collection. It seems criminal that such a talent should be so relatively unknown. Anyway, thanks for steering me towards this. Now for Martin Simpson...

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