“At the age of three, there were two things in the world that I would go absolutely nuts about: cement mixer lorries and pianos. If I saw a cement mixer lorry driving down the road with its mixer turning, I, apparently ( actually I remember!), would jump up and down clapping my hands asking for one. I felt exactly the same when I heard or saw pianos. Our flat, above my nan and grandad’s transport cafe, was always full of a brilliantly eclectic mix of music, and some of it would literally make me ‘fizz’ – big bands, orchestras, The Beatles, John Coltrane, Motown, everything was on all the time.
“I went to a piano teacher for a try out and took to it very quickly and enthusiastically. We couldn’t afford a piano, so I would go down the road to Auntie Ada and Uncle Bill’s house to practice (they were both very hard of hearing luckily). On my fifth birthday I received a matchbox cement mixer lorry, and then in the lounge was an ancient secondhand piano with candlesticks attached. The happiest day of my life, until I was 14, and was skiving off school at a mate’s house, and her dad had The First Songs record by Laura Nyro. That changed everything for me and to this day she remains my biggest influence. I went straight home and played what I could remember from hearing the album that day. Consequently I got in a lot of trouble for keeping on skiving to go and listen to her music.
“The first gig I ever did with a band called Gemini when I was 14, I sang my interpretation of Billy’s Blues and He’s A Runner both by Laura. I never got to see her live unfortunately but love and admire her music and soul forever.”
Thanks to Liane Carroll for the latest in our series of artist blogs. Liane’s new album Up And Down is out next Monday on Quiet Money Recordings. The launch gig, also on 27th June, is at Hideaway, Streatham, London. Liane has regular dates at Porter’s Wine Bar in Hastings and is appearing at various jazz festivals over the summer as well as guesting with John Etheridge at London’s Pizza Express, Soho on 7th July 2011. Check out the rest of her tour dates online.