- Sarah Jane
- Albums/ Singles/ Shop
I first met Eddi Reader in 1983 when we were both taking part in a day of world music at Clapham Common, organised by Charlie Gillet. The band I was fronting was called ‘The Republic’ and we were a multi-cultural band writing and performing music influenced by ‘Soca’, ‘Calypso’, ‘High Life’ and more. The band was led by John Glyn and Tim Fienburgh. We were at this time signed to Charlies label ‘Oval Records’.
Eddi was one of two singers fronting the Ghanaian band ‘Fu Fu and Lightsoup’, which I would later sing for.
Due to it being a Winters Day we were an array of charity shop overcoats, bunched at the waist by elastic belts.
I was taken immediately by Eddi and her quirky look and exquisite voice. Eddi had just landed the job of backing vocalist on the next ‘Eurythmics’ tour and we were mightily impressed.
A year later I was invited round for tea by Eddi, with my then partner Bill who was a neighbour and friend of Eddi’s. We established our friendship.
A few years later both Eddi’s and my career had taken off, hers by being the lead singer of the chart topping ‘Fairground Attraction’ and mine by duetting with Jimmy Sommerville. Eddi’s band mates were friends of mine and had originally played with ‘The Republic’ in the early 80s. Roy Dodds was on drums, Simon Edwards on bass and Mark Nevin was the writer of many of the songs. I’d originally met Mark when he was playing guitar with Sandy Shaw for the ‘Red Wedge Womens’ tour, which I helped to put together.
In 1990 Eddi, Ian Shaw and myself were asked to perform with Jools Holland for his TV show ‘The Happening’, which was recorded ‘Live’ at ‘The Astoria Theatre’. We called ourselves ‘The Trio of Enormous Love’. We each sung lead on a song and sung each other’s backing vocals. I sung ‘I Wish I Knew’, made famous by Nina Simone and Eddi performed ‘Moon of Kentucky’ and Ian ‘Loves in Need’.
Earlier this year when Tony and I were planning our album to pay homage to John Martyns’ music I immediately thought of Eddi to duet ‘May You Never’. Eddi performed several times with John and they became friends.
We recorded the album in Eastbourne at ‘Echo Zoo’ but travelled to Glasgow to record Eddi and myself singing our vocals at the Gorbals Sound, as Eddi had often recorded her albums there.
My brother Rod Morris, a film maker, came and filmed us and we interviewed Eddi about John Martyn for our touring multimedia show ‘Sweet Little Mystery,’ which was directed by Mark Thomas, the activist and comedian. We took the show to ‘The Edinburgh Festival’ this year and were awarded the ‘Lustrum Award’ for best of the festival.
Rod has put together a video of the recording session to give a visual to this great John Martyn classic.
I hope you enjoy the music.
Love Sarah Jane xxx