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GEORGINALANGFORDfinds out howSharleen Spiteri and her Texas bandmates re-imagined their stellar back catalogue for newalbum Texas 25

UK tour to hail huge milestone for Texas

WHEN Texas started work on their new record, they didn’t begin by writing songs – in fact, they put their guitars to one side and dug out some old photo albums. “Twenty-five years already

felt like a really significant anniversary, but it was only when we looked at all the old photos things felt so much more real,” explains Sharleen Spiteri, who formed Texas when she was a 17-year-old hairdresser with her friend Johnny McElhone. “With this album, we didn’t


just want to make a Great- est Hits again – that can be a bit lazy,” the straight-talking Scottish singer laughs. “We wanted to document our histo- ry – 25 years, as a band, when you think about it, that’s like ‘woah!’ “Also, it’s important, be- cause there are really not that many female-fronted bands who make that.” Those photo albums – filled

with snaps of Sharleen taken by world-famous photogra- phers Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller and Rankin, among others – inspired the band to completely revisit the most iconic songs from their discography. “We play these songs all the

time, so nowthey just feel like part of my everyday life and routine,” explains Spiteri, but this anniversary prompt- ed the musicians to listen to their tracks with ‘fresh ears’. As soon as they hit on this idea, Spiteri knew exactly who to call. “I’d already worked with the producers Truth and Soul on my solo album Melody, and I really loved the way that they put a record together,” she says. “I knew they would have a great approach to this

Vamps out for festival date

THE Vamps is the latest act announced as part of For- est Live, the summer music series organised by the For- estry Commission. The Vamps formed when

the band members found one another via their re- spective YouTube channels. The Vamps plus guests

will perform on Sunday, June 21 at Westonbirt Ar- boretum, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Tickets £32.50 (plus £3.25 booking fee) now on sale from Forestry Commission box office on 03000 680400 and also online at: forestry.

PERFORMANCE: Sharleen Spiteri of Texas will be in Cardiff as part of the UK tour

album, because although our fans and people who know us have grown up with these songs, the Truth and Soul guys hadn’t heard them be- fore we went into the studio with them. So when we played I Don’t Want A Lover to them, it could have been a demo, for all they knew.” The band worked with the producers in their Brooklyn, New York studio to rework their hits, and this collabo- rative process gave Spiteri a chance to rehear the songs she has been performing for a quarter of a century. “The songs took on a whole

new meaning for me, be- cause we considered them so much more. Parts of the songs which might not have seemed so important sudden-

ly became so poignant to me, I suppose because I was sing- ing them with a whole new perspective now,” she reflects. Another contributing factor

to Texas’ new approach was the involvement of new song- writing collaborators, Jack Townes and Karen Anne, who worked on the new single, Start a Family. “When we are all writing to- gether, different parts of each song mean different things to each of us. And then that changes again when I sing the songs; when words come out of my mouth, they can mean something totally different again. It’s natural because I’m going to add my own emotion to them,” Spiteri says. She appears in the video for the track with actor Alan

Rickman, who is a long-time Texas fan – and who previ- ously danced the tango with Spiteri in the video for In De- mand, back in 2000. The haunting single is a melancholy, contemplative track. Spiteri explains the thought process behind their new offering: “Start a Fam- ily, to me, is about choosing different paths. It is about all the different paths in life and the various choices you can make. I definitely consider personal choices to do with life and love with more expe- rience now.” The singer will be sharing

some of that wisdom and ex- perience when Texas hit the road in April, for a UK tour with a difference. The inter- active set up of An Evening

With Texas will give the audi- ence the chance to pick the set list for each show, with Spiteri sharing stories and anecdotes between the songs. With 25 years’ worth of hits

to choose from, the shows will be a true homage to Texas’ successful quarter century of making music together. As Spiteri puts it: “We’ve

had a real ‘producer’ moment in music over the last year or so, with people like Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson doing so well. With this album and tour, we really wanted to get back to songwriting, so that is exactly what this is: a celebration of songwriting.” Texas 25 is available now. Catch Texas at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on May 5. Tick- ets at

3 Music


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