What could be more glamorous than chatting to one of your music heroes in a dingy portacabin in a field in Inverness?
That’s exactly how it played out when I interviewed Sharleen Spiteri ahead of her show in the Highland capital last weekend.
She joked: “I apologise for the portacabin, but I tell you what, this is a really nice portacabin to be really honest with you! This one has actually got white walls and windows. And a red glittery rug! I mean, they must have known I was coming…”
This is the kind of brilliant sarcasm that oozes out of Sharleen as soon as you meet her. She is hilarious, but you wouldn’t mess with her – and that’s why I love her.
She swapped hairdressing for hitting the road with Texas in 1986 and hasn’t looked back. Texas released their tenth studio album, Hi, last year and continue to sell out arenas and festivals around the world.
But it’s homecoming shows, like her forthcoming July 14 gig at Edinburgh Castle, that mean the most.
“It’s always very emotional to play back in Scotland,” she said. “You grow up here and I love that the audience are looking at you going ‘ok, we know that you’ve been playing these fancy shows, impress us’. And I will work my backside off to try and do that.”
Sharleen gives her absolute all to the crowd and expects them to pay attention in return, recently calling out fans who were late for her Hydro show, with a bit of that cheeky Spiteri spark.
“If you just want to listen to the songs, go listen to the record,” she said.
“It’s about entertaining people, it’s about having fun, it’s about the exchange between the audience and you.
“If you are just going to go on and stare at your feet and rattle through a set – personally if I was buying a ticket for that, I’d be like ‘don’t waste my time’. So, for me, it’s exciting to communicate with the audience and laugh and then have those moments when you’re in a song and it’s really emotional – that’s, for me, what being in a band is.”
When I was growing up, Sharleen was a hero of mine. As a young girl with an awkward fringe who felt a bit different, she was the first musician I remember who made looking different cool.
In a completely uncool move, I told her this and she laughed. “I was not pretty! I was such a geek, I still am a geek. I was a geek at school, I was a geek growing up and that is why I became a musician.”
The choice of career has served her well, but she’s not ashamed to unleash that inner geek when it comes to talking about one of her favourite bands – ABBA!
Having been to the opening night of ABBA Voyage in London recently, she admitted: “I love them. When my husband [the chef Bryn Williams] proposed, there were two conditions: that we had a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake and an ABBA tribute band.
Of course, Sharleen got her way. I’d expect nothing less!
We rounded of our chat by looking ahead to HebCelt festival and Fringe by the Sea, where Texas will perform in the coming weeks, as well as a hotly anticipated show at Edinburgh Castle.
Fitting for one of the queens of music of our time.
Watch the full interview on What’s on Scotland on STV at 7pm or catch up with the STV Player.