Newsletter August 2010

This month is special as Corinne Drewery of Swing Out Sister and a fellow 'sister' performing on Reclaim The Song, has written the newsletter. From the very beginning of the project I asked Coriine to act as General on my behalf. She came well recommended by Wayne Hemingway and I trusted that I could rely on her to represent and take responsibilty for the artists on stage. She was the most able and delightful person to work with. Organised, inspired, creative, hilariously funny and 100% looking out for me. I will be eternally grateful for her support. I could never have made my first major live stage appearance in 25 years without the support of all the wonderful lady guests on the show. They have no idea how much they gave me.

Let General Drewery tell her own tale...

Sandie@Vintage@ Goodwood

Friday 13th- and it looked set to rain on our parade.Sandie's first performance in 25 years was looking like it may be a washout......but the forecast couldn't have been more wrong. From the very first note the show was amazing- Beryl Marsden, longtime friend of Sandie and one of the best singers to emerge from the Merseybeat sound, kicked of the show with a rousing version of the Temptation's Get Ready, segued into Here Come The Girls, during which Sandie made her grand entrance wrapped in a Union Jack and wearing a dress to match. How fantastic to see Sandie four decades on and every bit as much the Brit girl style icon as she was in the sixties. Behind the scenes for the previous few months Sandie had been hard at work putting together a great gathering of girls, and great set consisting of performances of songs originally sung by men.This made for some interesting choices, from Jealous Guy to Leave your Hat on, from Under My Thumb to No Woman No Cry, all of these songs having their own sometimes poignant, sometimes funny twist when sung from a female perspective.

I first met Sandie with some trepidation. It was after seeing her on Ready Steady Go as a young girl that I decided I wanted to be a singer when I grew up, so I didn't want this first meeting with my mentor to end in disillusionment! I arrived at her offices early - unheard of for me - and gobsmacked to be greeted by - "Corinne - I have heard you are really organised - you can be my general!" I tried to explain that she had a completely wrong impression of me but I think this was mistaken for false modesty...So, no messing, we cracked on. The girls that agreed to take part were fabulous, great sports, overcoming all kinds of obstacles (Natasha Marsh was four months pregnant with twins, Linda Lewis was in the middle of moving house, Katherine Williams.... well that's another story!), which was all reflected in Sandie's caring and nurturing spirit, not to mention sense of humour...

Our dressing room backstage before the show was a little cramped to say the least, with eleven girls all putting on make up and frocks, and trying to decide whether or not to brave the squelchy path to the stage in heels or wellies... Sandie didn't seem to have a hint of nerves, and if she did, certainly didn't show it. Amidst the chaos she kept us calm, got us chanting, had us all laughing....what a girl! Waiting in the wings was a great experience- hearing all of the songs finally come to life with such great orchestration was very emotional, but nothing as emotional as when Sandie came to do her final songs. As she began her performance of Girl Don't Come I tried to stifle my tears, not wanting to smudge my make up knowing we were all to come back onstage to join her in the encore of Always Something There to Remind Me, but like a proud sibling I was too overcome to stop. Thank you Mica for lending me a shoulder to cry on. And well done Sandie - thank you for being the big sister I never had.

Corinne Drewery,

Swing Out Sister.