AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

Vic: Thanks for coming all this way Annie, I know you should have been sitting in Crouch End today having a pint with Joni Mitchell

Annie: Van is such a good word it rhymes with nearly everything.

Vic: Yeah, right. Do you think a lot in terms of rhyming? I mean I like a rhyme but they can be heady stuff, a distraction that leads into melody and the pace of the line and before you know it your of on a sing-song.

Annie: Everything is a melody to me. If I touch something I hear a sound - the silk lining of a jacket will whisper a set of notes, the sole of my shoe sets up a counterpoint and before I know it itıs like listening to a band play.

Vic: What I really want to talk about is the elitism of singing. Virtually anyone can speak and say anything , itıs egalitarian, it informs., whereas a song, often trite and oblique, is simply wordplay for the sake of it. This in itself is fine but then we get these nit-wit singers coming along and their only iintention is to turn the voice into another instrument. .

Annie: Maybe but I think it was also do the reedy quality, I could always stretch words and be a kind of human oboe

Vic : You were born on Christmas day yet youıre a buddhist. Monks do a lot of singing and chanting but they also take vows of silence and enter orders where speech is kept to a minimum. Donıt you see this as further oppression of the speaking classes?

Annie: I Donıt think I ever was. As a child I was always wittering on and was more aware of the sound of words than what they meant

Vic: The difference between dreaming in colour or black and white could be compared to the difference between singing and talking. On 'Sweet Dreams' you almost recite the songs title rather than sing it. Was it a black and white dream , or maybe a sepia tinted one?

Annie: Cher? Well she needs something doing to her voice. As they say Œyou canıt polish a turd'.

Vic: I first saw you sing with the tourists in 1982 and you were wearing gloves, occasionally since then Iıve seen you wear gloves when you sing. donıt you find they muffle your voice? Is this why you graduated to the lacy sort?

Annie: With a bit of luck, though, and a lot of grit, you can turn these bad experiences into something creative. I do believe in self-improvement and don't think one is always a victim, not at all.

Vic: I know you have always been passionate about scottish folk songs, when you were seventeen you worked in a fish cannery in Aberdeen. Did you sing much there, the various smells suggesting notes or words or was it too noisy.

Annie: I realize that quitting was a very cowardly thing to do,but at the time it seemed like an extremely dramatic and positive action and I was determined to make an impact.""Stevie Wonder seemed to have a new definition of perfection, instead of the precision with the flute that the school had drilled into me

Vic: Dylan Thomas, the great writer, poet and man of the spoken word on visiting Rosselli Beach declared ³Lets build a house on the cliff and live here for ever like kings.² Is this how you felt when Dave Stewart asked you to marry him

Annie: Writing and singing and speaking are seperate activities to me. Like wimming, walking and something else. I do enjoy the spoken word enormously. My early songs were written as Hiaku.

Vic:Your father was a boilermaker and your mother was a school dinner lady. If I edited this interview and mixed it with Bert Weedonıs ŒGuitar Boogie Shuffleı would this make you want to visit Aberdeen again?

Annie: It was so tacky and sad. There are thousands of no-hopers in those situations, still dreaming of stardom in some seedy, clapped-out pub doing Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel cover versions. God rest their weary heads

Vic: Does your head get weary? Does Dave read to you at night ? Maybe you sing him lullabys?

Annie: Actually I'm feeling weary now, I think I'll get the bus home .

Vic: Okay Annie, bye then.

Annie: Bye Vic