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Observer JACK FLASH

Ph 1800 231 311 Fx 1800 231 312

WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2014

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ISSN 1447 4611

S TATE EDITION Vol 46 No 1554 SERVING VICTORIA SINCE 1969

Details of latest packages on Page 2

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Page 2 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - Page 3

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Page 4 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Mark Richardson ♥ Straight from the heart

E-Mail: mark@localmedia.com.au

Evening escape with Petula Clark ■ When you connect with dual Grammy Award recipient Petula Clark just before she heads to bed in her home in Geneva , Switzerland, you may expect some of her responses to a little quick to the point, tiresome or even unenthusiastic. Surprisingly she was full of engaging beans. Having just walked in from a long day in the recording studio and writing new songs in preparation for an upcoming concert in London, it wasn't long until Petula had me laughing and my notepad of prepared questions closed at, 'Hello Mark! I'm going to bed,' mixed with a mighty dose of her contagious laughter. Petula's remarkable recording career, with successes spanning continents and decades with hit songs appearing on charts both before and after I was born, it's little wonder I had spent hours preparing interview questions. With my notepad closed we initially chatted about her 'deep affection' for Australia, her love for Sydney's Manly ferry, her passion for country style French cuisine, theatre productions, films, television, BBC Radio and how she accidently appeared in John Lennon's song, Give Peace A Chance. "OK Petula, it's been lovely chatting before 'lightsout', but I had better start taking notes." When doing the media rounds, do you ever get tired of re-telling the same stories about your life and career? I'm not quite sure how to tell the story of my career because I've told it many times. It's like singing the same songs. I've sung a lot of the hits over and over again, but I always try to add something fresh. The audience is always fresh too. Each interview is sort of different but essentially I tell the same story. Being on your 'Bedtime' Porch now, I'll try and ask a 'fresh' question that hopefully you haven't been asked before. What's one aspect of your life you wished a reporter would ask you about? That is a good question. During my off time (when I'm not working; some people seem to be under the impression that I never stop working) I love to just hang out. I'm very good at just hanging out. What do you enjoy doing when you're just hanging out? I like going to see other people perform, listen to music, writing music

Bedtime Porch Thoughts

(I love to write), I love going to the opera and being out in the countryside. We have a chalet in the French Alps and love being up there enjoying the beauty of nature. I just do stuff like other people. I don't like giving the impression that I'm a workaholic because I'm not. You have sold in excess of 68 million records, awarded two Grammy Awards and now released another album. You have so many hit songs that people still love to hear you perform. How hard is it for you to select the songs to perform on your tours? It's a little tricky because I want to sing as many of the hits, such as Downtown, I Know A Place, Don't Sleep In The Subway, I Couldn't Live Without Your Love; all those great Tony Hatch songs, and of course I will sing them. I also happen to love them all too. It's never a chore for me. How do you include new songs mixed in with the popular favourites? That's another group of songs. I'm also asked to consider performing some Gershwin and also a couple of songs I've written and then playing piano. If I wanted to do all the songs I really love, I'd be up there for hours. I really must whittle it down to the ones I feel really must be performed. It's enjoyable for me. If it's enjoyable for me, it might be enjoyable for the audience … hopefully. Your hit song Downtown is really about loneliness in many respects. When you have a bit of an off day yourself or perhaps feeling down, where do you consider your Downtown to be? That can be absolutely anywhere. When I've been on tour in the United States performing in theatrical productions such as Blood Brothers and Sunset Boulevard, I was the only English person in the craft. I would think; hang on a minute, what am I

doing here on my own? I would then go out and be with other people on the streets. Sometimes that can actually work to take your mind off your problems. Apart from the streets in the company of strangers, these days, do you have other forms of a Downtown escape? Yes. I can get into some really good music by putting my headphones on and escape that way. Snap out of it, do something else, maybe do something for somebody else. Downtown is a great song and you're absolutely right about its meaning. I've sung it, maybe a thousand times! Downtown is a song with a universal message. Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza (Jason Alexander) tried to unravel the project given to him by his boss by using the lines in the song? Yes I did. I love Seinfeld! I thought it was hilarious! I loved the whole series. It just goes to show how universal the song is and they could sit in the diner and have this whole conversation about Downtown and everybody knew exactly what

● Petula Clark they're talking about. It was great to watch. Among other songs, you have rerecorded a new rendition of Downtown on your album and it's become a completely different song. How would you describe your latest version? We took the tempo all the way down and we did it in a totally different way. It's a very different song when you take the beat out of it. It's a very, very good song. It is a song about loneliness and I think we've all felt that way. My life hasn't always been as it looks from the outside absolute perfection; it certainly hasn't and we all have our down moments. I think in this new version, you can certainly feel it quite deeply. You have also done a version of Gnarls Barkley's hit song Crazy from his fibe-time Grammy-nominated album St. Elsewhere. When I read about this I initially thought you had lost your mind, but you made it your own song. Was this an easy decision to record this song? I didn't decide to record it; it was my producer who said I should do it. I didn't know if that song was for me. They put a backing track on

and I said, "OK here we go" and I have to tell you, to be honest, it's probably one of my favourite songs right now. When I sing it on stage, I absolutely love it. I'll definitely be singing it in Melbourne and I'll be singing Reflections as and also Imagine. Where does your seemingly never-ending supply of energy come from? I really can't tell you. I'm just am fortunate and just the way I'm made and energised by what I do, by music, by being on stage is a pretty good feeling and if you've got a good bunch of musicians behind you and a good sound engineer out there with some decent lighting, that's about as good as it gets. And it's fun. What is your Porch Thought for the day? "Live it with love. That is my philosophy. Love!" - Mark Richardson ● Petula Clark performs one show only in Melbourne at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne - Friday (May 9) 2014. For more information www.artscentremelbourne. com.au


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