Sarah Jane Morris, an English singer and songwriter, chats with Kevin Cooper about her love and admiration for the late Miriam Makebe, joining The Communards, her latest album The Sisterhood and her appearance at the Cadogan Hall in October 2023.

Sarah Jane Morris is an English singer and songwriter.

In 1982 she joined The Republic, a London based Afro-Caribbean-Latin band, as lead singer. Whilst the band received enormous publicity, they were deemed too political for radio play, with the exception of Capital Radio. Despite releasing an EP and two singles, success did not follow and the band split up in 1984.

Morris then sang with The Happy End who explored protest music from Africa, Ireland and Latin America. They released two albums on the Cooking Vinyl label.

In 1986 she found fame with The Communards. She featured prominently on many of their tracks, her low and deep vocal range contrasting with Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto. Their best known hit was Don’t Leave Me This Way.

She has also recorded as a solo artist releasing seventeen albums since 1989 which have enjoyed most popularity in Italy and Greece.

Whilst busy working on her latest project, The Sisterhood, and preparing for her appearance at the Cadogan Hall, she took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what she had to say.

Sarah Jane good afternoon, how are you feeling today?

Hello there Kevin, I’ve just this minute got back from Suffolk where I did a gig last night, so I have to applaud you on your timing (laughter). More to the point how are you?

I’m very well thank you for asking, and I have to ask, just how did the concert go last night?

It went really well, thank you. It was the Ipswich Jazz Blues Festival.

We are all waiting for you to come up this way and play in the Midlands and in particular Nottingham.

It would be great to come back to Nottingham, so let’s just hope that in the tour that we are planning for next spring that we can do that. I have to admit that it is not that often that I get to play up there in Nottingham. It’s silly really as I lived in the Midlands for a large part of my growing up.

So, it was us here in the Midlands that spoilt you (laughter).

(Hysterical laughter) yes it must have been you all up there in Nottingham that spoilt me all those years ago (laughter). I often hear people complaining that there are now far too many students in Nottingham but, then again, that is brilliant because that is youth, and they really are our future. You can complain about it but actually you need it.

I totally agree with you, the students are actually the lifeblood of the music scene here in Nottingham.

Yes, they are, of course.

With regard to the music scene here in Nottingham, we really are spoilt because if you want to go and enjoy music there is something happening here seven days a week.

Nottingham has also got a lovely old part to it as well. I remember that one of my very first boyfriends came from Nottingham, and we used to go back there in order to visit his family. That was back in 1981 so it was at the time that Sir Paul Smith was starting to establish himself. I remember that he came from Nottingham, and it was all very exciting. And back in 1986 I came up to Nottingham with The Communards (laughter). I have six brothers, but one of them, Rob went to the Nottingham Trent University and studied photography there, and Rob is now a filmmaker,

So, with your long-standing affiliation to, and your knowledge of, our fair city you must be familiar with Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (laughter).

Yes, I am but let’s not go there now, it brings back far too many memories of far too many headaches (laughter).

In that case, moving swiftly on, just how is life treating you at this moment in time?

Well, I have to be totally honest with you and say that life at the moment really is a very exciting time for me because I have been developing this project, The Sisterhood, which I have to say, started in lockdown which was a way of keeping me sane and occupied (laughter). I don’t have a television, so I do a hell of a lot of reading, and my husband and I read to each other. So, I find myself about to launch a project which has taken all of lockdown. And I have to say that I think that it is the best thing that I have ever been a part of.

So, I personally find it a very exciting time. Having said all of that, I am exhausted because I am busy earning the money to make all of this happen. I have launched a press campaign, a radio campaign, I have overseen the pressing up of the album together with all of the artwork, so as you can see, I am involved in every part of it. Also, I manage myself, I agent myself, and I run my own little label, so it is all very time consuming, but it is very fulfilling. The album is all pressed up and is currently on its way back to me, which really is fantastic.

All of the artists who I speak to all tell me that it can now take anything up to eighteen months to get an album pressed up. Did you encounter any such problems?

There were a few small hiccups, but nothing on the scale that I am constantly hearing about. I found that there were problems because the big major artists realised last year that vinyl was once again the biggest selling thing and so suddenly, you had got the really big artists literally taking over all of the available pressing plants, for their Christmas albums. There was such a backlog for that, and you are right, there was an eighteen months waiting list, which meant that the small fry like myself, simply didn’t have a chance simply because these huge major artists had bought out everything. It’s interesting, isn’t it that it is vinyl that people are buying now. People are buying record players once again, and CDs are on the way out which is a great shame because obviously, one still makes CDs and sells them at concerts, but vinyl is the one that everyone seems to currently be interested it.

I interviewed Gary Davies recently and I asked him if he was using CDs or vinyl on his current road show to which he replied, ‘neither, I’m streaming’ which I found astonishing. I find it so annoying when a recording artist puts their heart and soul into recording an album and cuts it in a way that they would like the listener to hear it, but instead they simply stream the odd track or two from the album and don’t even listen to the other tracks on there. It’s amazing.

I know exactly what you mean, and it is such a shame because you make an album in order to take the listener on a musical journey. You are already thinking of the order, and you do that for good reason. You want them to be taken on this musical journey. Unfortunately, streaming is now a part of this whole digital age, and the fact that people are no longer encouraged to have an attention span. Everything now has to be immediate.

Whenever you find a good piece of music you really do need to sit down with it, with something good to drink, alcoholic or not, just so that you can be in the moment, just like you and I used to. We saved up our hard-earned wages and pocket money, or whatever it was, in order to go out and buy that single or the vinyl album that we had been longing for. You would go home, sit there, and play it first, you would get so excited about it, and then you would have to play it hundreds of times so that you knew every single word and note of it (laughter).

That, in my opinion, is how to enjoy music, allow it its space. Be in the moment with it, don’t cluster the moment with lots of other things, just enjoy the moment. Go on that journey that those artists have wanted you to go on.

The sad thing is that the majority of the kids today will never experience that.

I know what you mean but some of them will. Some of them have luckily had contact with someone whether it be their parents or somewhere along the way, someone has introduced them to the idea of vinyl, and to sit down and listen. So, fortunately, not everyone falls into that trap. It really is a great shame that people do not experience it, because to be properly in the moment with anything is just how it should be.

A little bird tells me that you were once big into Northern Soul, is that right?

(Laughter) and just who is this little bird prey tell (laughter). Yes, I have to be totally honest with you and say that yes that is absolutely correct. I would often tell my mum that I was going to stay with a school friend overnight when in reality I would be on a coach or bus on my way up to an all-nighter at Wigan Casino (laughter). I had the most fantastic collection and then my brother, who is a year older than me, when he was eighteen, he became a DJ for a short while, and he ‘borrowed’ my whole collection and I never ever saw it again. I had a lot of those wonderful records that you have most probably got but they haven’t been in my collection for a very long time (laughter).

You have briefly mentioned The Sisterhood and I have to say that I have been playing it now for a few weeks and I absolutely love it. I think that it is a totally wonderful piece of work.

Thank you so much. I have loved the making of it. It literally came about because I didn’t know how to get through the second lockdown. One of my knees was supposed to be replaced just before Covid. I had walked it down by trying to stay fit, and I have actually had a new knee since. I am now six months in and do you know the name of my new knee, its Nina Simone (laughter). That is classic for this project is it not (laughter).

What exactly is The Sisterhood?

It is the title of my album. I have chosen ten female singers who have had the greatest influence upon my life and I have written a song for each of them in their own individual style.

Was this a project that you have wanted to do for some time now?

Yes, it is a fact that I have wanted to do a project about women within the music industry for some time now. One does notice that it is always the men that we know about. However, we do not know about the journeys of those pioneering women, who in reality really were trail blazers. Some of the singers that I have written about have allowed someone like me to become, because of what they did.

How hard was it for you to choose just ten artists for the album?

(Laughter) it was extremely hard for me to choose just ten because there were at least fifty that deserved to be written about and that was just out of my love of music. I know that the ten artists featured on the album will not be everybody’s choice, and in fact, there are quite a few on the album that lots of people that I know have never heard of. Having said that, the ten artists on the album were the back drop to my life.

For instance, we really wouldn’t have the music industry that we have today without Bessie Smith. Bessie Smith in the 1920s was the most successful blues singer; she put the blues on the map. We are led to believe that it was men, but it really was her. It was the sales of her records to the black population that made Columbia Records such a big name. It was all down to her. She learned her craft in a very difficult time. It was the time of segregation, and she was busking on the streets and had been since she was nine years old. Both of her parents were dead by that point, so she was feeding her family by busking on the streets.

She joined Gertrude “Ma” Rainey’s Travelling Circus, so it was playing in Vaudeville where she learnt her craft. It wasn’t long before Bessie Smith became far bigger than that. At that time, as a black artist she couldn’t stay in a hotel, or eat in a restaurant, what she did was she bought a Pullman train.

She and her whole troupe travelled all around America that way but within the backdrop you had the Ku Klux Klan firing bullets at their train as they passed by. It was a bullet ridden train.

Also, she was a black lesbian. Can you imagine just how brave she was announcing that to the world back in the 1920s. She really was phenomenal. She was managed by her husband, who obviously took all of her money, put it all into promoting another artist who he was having an affair with, then the depression came, and that kind of music was suddenly on a back-burner. It had been taken over during that depression by Jazz. She did pave the way for Billie Holiday (Lady Day) but she was no longer in vogue.

So, she had to totally recreate herself. She had to travel to concerts with her musicians in a car. It was no longer the glamour that it had been. She died when a biscuit lorry ran into her car when she was on her way to a gig. The lorry severed her arm, and three hospitals refused to admit her. She died a pauper because her bastard ex-husband had taken all of her money. She was buried in an unmarked grave. Now this is where one of the artists comes into connection with her. Thirty-three years later, Janis Joplin signed with Columbia Records, which had been put on the map because of Bessie, she talks to the press about how one of its biggest influences is Bessie Smith.

Bessie Smiths maid who would have been a young girl at that point heard this, contacted Janice Joplin, told her that she knew where Bessie was buried, but there was no gravestone. Janice wrote out a cheque and sent it to her in order to pay for a gravestone. The ironic thing about all of this is that Janice Joplin died that year. So, there is already a Sisterhood going on, the passing of the torch. So, once I chose these ten, I chose them because they were in my head, they were passing the torch from generation to generation. They were all totally different musically, they all had very difficult lives, with the exception of Kate Bush, but she was exceptional too.

Kate is one year older than me, and in my head, she passes the torch to me, so that I can pass it on. At the point that I started the project, I was just trying to find out what had been their lives journey. I sent off for biographies and autobiographies; I listened to so much music on YouTube, I watched any video that I could find which had been made in relation to these artists, I really did absorb myself into their lives. I really did fall in love with their live stories. They were amazing. So very respectfully, with my husband, we were reading to each other, we were making notes from reading to each other, and then backwards and forwards we wrote these life stories together.

And then Tony Remy, who is my right-hand man and who I write a great deal with, had worked with Annie Lennox for many years, being her lead guitarist. He came down to see me during that period where we were allowed to see other people provided that we stayed at least three meters apart. So, Tony sat on Marks sofa, I had bought myself a decent mic during lockdown because I was doing a few lockdown concerts with my son who had moved back home. He’s a singer songwriter so we were doing a few songs together.

So, I sat on my sofa with my mic and the lyrics, my son sat on his, during the first lockdown he had learnt how to use logic recording on his laptop, which was very handy for this, plus he had bought with him his mini keyboard and his guitar. My brother, who is a filmmaker, was sitting behind a chair three meters from us both documenting the whole event (laughter). It was then that I happened to say to Tony, “I want to redo the story about Rickie Lee Jones” and that was the very first one that we did. As I was reading it, I suddenly stopped and we both said at the same time, “why don’t we write each song in the genre of the artist that we have written about”.

And I have to say that it was at that point that things started to become really interesting, because musically, it called upon everything that we had ever learnt because we had been in South African townships, we had been in rock bands, Latin bands, folk bands, pop bands and soul bands, we had done all of those things along the way, so we already had it at our fingertips. We knew all of the musical references that we needed. And I have to be totally honest with you and say that we actually wrote each song within an hour. The whole process was really quick. I knew the way that the whole thing would roll because I had identified choruses and verses and we knew where we should go immediately with each track.

As Tony was putting down another guitar part, I would be putting down another backing vocal line. The only reason that we weren’t able to release the demos was the fact that before Covid we had moved into a converted shop in St Leonards-on-Sea and the shop was our front room. We had all the bins for the local area stacked directly across the road from us, and the bin men come to empty them twice a day and I only had one pair of headphones, so it all bled into my vocals (laughter). We found ourselves recording all of the noise of the bin lorries, them reversing, braking, and dumping, and it was at that point that I knew that this was a good project.

Tell me how you went about financing the project?

Now that really is another story (laughter). I own my own record label. I do it all myself, but I didn’t have any money put aside because Brexit had totally destroyed my career in Europe, which is where I earn most of my money. So, I didn’t have the money in my account that I normally would have, and therefore I was not able to put fifty percent into the making of the next album, as I would normally. Plus, as you are well aware, there were no concerts during Covid. I slipped through the net; I was one of those people who didn’t get anything, so I had to think very left of the field.

I thought, ‘okay I know that this is a great project’ so I went along to the studio in Eastbourne, where I had recorded my last album, trying to work out just how many days we would need to lay down the tracks. I reckoned it to be four because I know just how quickly we work as a band together. So, I asked how much it was going to cost. I then knew exactly how much I needed to raise. I booked the studio a month later, and I thought, ‘right, I now know just how much I need to raise, and what I needed to do.’ (laughter).

I thought, ‘what I have got to do is ask people for money that I can give back’. I have been asked for years and years if I would give people singing lessons, but I have avoided it like the plague because I was never taught music. I have never had a music lesson in my entire life, I don’t know what I am doing (laughter). I have been making it up as I go along, and I have been getting away with it. So, I must know a lot, but I don’t know what I know (laughter). I knew that was what people wanted from me but how do I package that so that people don’t feel short changed?

So, what I did was, I went round all of my friends in the neighbourhood in both Hastings and St. Leonards-On-Sea, anyone I knew who had a spare room, and asked them if they would put up the people wanting singing lessons and do it for fifty quid a night, if I provided the croissants, the jam, and the butter, so that they could provide the breakfast. So, I knew exactly just how many rooms I had got. A friend of mine had moved into a converted bank and had turned it into a recording studio, so I knew how much that was going to cost to rent.

My husband was going to do all of the cooking; he’s a great cook as well as being an artist, as well as co-writing all of the songs with me (laughter). I then put an advert on Facebook saying, ‘does anyone want to come and sing with me for a weekend where I will teach you three part backing vocals for four of my songs’ which they would then a month later come and sing at Ronnie Scott’s with me.’ I was thinking all of the time that this was going to be so embarrassing and that no one would say yes. It sold out within one hour (laughter).

Out of lockdown, people hadn’t been able to get together for so long. The combination of twenty voices, some of whom had never sung before, was the uplifting feeling of being next to someone together with the power of song. I have to tell you that there were a lot of tears. It really was such an emotional thing. They all came and sung at Ronnie’s, and it provided the money for those first four days of recording. From then on, I once again had to think outside the box. Someone had kindly given me a sewing machine, so I taught myself how to make a few very basic things which I then sold on eBay and the local market place.

I also up styled various pieces of furniture and sold that. All of that paid for some of the musicians. Anything that I couldn’t make professionally enough, my friend Wendy May the DJ who is a very good friend of mine would do whatever I couldn’t do (laughter). We did everything from song writing weekends, where people would come and stay with me for the weekend, where Tony and I would help them with their songs. My husband Mark did a few fine art weekends where people came along to learn how to draw and paint. Mark did drawings of each of the singers which we framed and sold.

I held another couple of master classes and one of those paid for the mastering of the record. I did a ‘Go Fund Me’ where I asked people to pre-order the CD which actually managed to raise some money for me, Tony, and my brother Rod, to enable us to travel to South Africa to record and film the Soweto Gospel Choir, on the song that we had written for Miriam Makeba. We actually recorded on the day that she would have turned ninety if she had lived. We did a pop-up concert in South Africa, and I had never been there before, but that raised the money for the rest of our stay and the changing of our flights.

It was the Italian community in Cape Town that sold out the concert because apparently, I am big in Italy (laughter). Who would have thought that we would find Italian beauty in Cape Town. Every part of making this album has truly been a joy. Having said that there have been many nights where I have laid in bed thinking, ‘now just where am I going to get the money for that’ and in July, August, and September of this year I said yes to guesting with everyone over there in Italy which paid for the press campaign together with the radio campaign.

I am doing a master class just before I perform the world premiere, where I have twenty-five singers coming, some of them from Europe, and they will come and sing some of the songs from The Sisterhood on the stage at the Cadogan Hall on Friday 6th October when I will perform the world premiere. That will raise the money for me to pay the brass section, and the professional backing vocals. I never stop trying to find different ways of raising the money to ensure that everyone gets paid and to ensure that I can do the best possible package that I can because this project deserves to fly.

You have briefly mentioned performing the world premiere at the Cadogan Hall. Are you looking forward to that?

Yes, I am, I am very much looking forward to playing the Cadogan Hall. It is a big venue and I have to be totally honest with you and tell you that when I was booking the hall, I was absolutely terrified (laughter). I suddenly thought, ‘this isn’t a one woman show which I usually perform in Edinburgh, this really is big’ (laughter). I’ve got movie actresses, theatre, television, and other singers involved in this. This really is a multi-media event.

I want it to hit big, so that when people come away, even if they are big fans of one or two of those singers, they come away knowing more about that artist than they did when they came in. I want them to go out with a very positive feeling that, ‘yes, those women did it, thank you to those women, we can do it and we can change things’. Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just about women, because a lot of men have been involved in this project. A lot of love and support has come from men, but it is about women empowering women, with the help of wonderful men.

I personally think that you have captured that feeling exceptionally well.

Thank you for saying that, that is very much appreciated, thank you. It is not just a live performance, it is not just a record or CD, it is also a radio documentary, a television documentary, and it is a theatre music piece. I’m letting this very first concert happen, together with the album release happen first but all of those other things associated with The Sisterhood are being developed as we speak. As you will no doubt be aware I also have to raise the money for those other parts of this project to come to fruition.

I will wait until I have delivered this wonderful concert at the Cadogan Hall on 6th October and then I will allow myself to breath, and then start thinking, ‘how do I make that radio show happen’ and ‘how do I make that television documentary happen’ (laughter). We have documented every single part of this journey; my brother has been in the studio with us every step of the way. I have to say that he has got some wonderful footage from South Africa.

Tell me about your love and admiration for one of the featured artists on the album, the late Miriam Makeba.

Miriam Makeba really is a very big part of my own personal journey. I got involved in music because when I left drama school, a black South African actor who I had become friends with who was with The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, whose name was John Machacuta, had been asked to help write the lyrics to this new ten-piece band called The Republic, which was a Caribbean/Latin band and was basically World Music but a long time before anyone ever used that term.

We were quite political, and John had been asked to write some music for the band because he was also a journalist. And that is how I started singing. I didn’t know if I was any good really, up until that point. Johns’ dad had written King Kong The Musical which bought Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela to the UK. I got involved with Artists Against Apartheid in the mid-eighties really due to Jerry Dammers who helped set it up along with Dali Tambo.

I actually went out with Dali Tambo once I had joined Artists Against Apartheid and Dali Tambo was the son of Oliver Tambo who was the head of the African National Congress the whole time that Nelson Mandela was in prison. So, we stayed with Dali Tambo and his family when we went over to South Africa. We landed in Tambo airport, named after his dad and we stayed with the Tambos, and I have to say that it really was extraordinary.

I first became aware of Miriam Makeba back in April 1987 when she was part of Paul Simon’s Graceland tour at the NEC in Birmingham when she sang The Retreat Song, Soweto Blues and Amampondo.

That’s right; you have a good memory (laughter). Paul Simon had broken the boycott by going to South Africa so, the way that he could make amends for that, and I have to say that Graceland is an utterly brilliant album, the way that he could make amends was for him to use and utilise all of those fantastic South African musicians and let them be a part of the show and also have their own song too. It was the Graceland tour that took Miriam back to South Africa; she was in exile up until that point.

Miriam went over to America, and it was there that she got herself back onto the map. Before every concert she would say, “I am not free until my people are free”. She then went to the United Nations, learnt exactly how the system worked, so when she visited for a second time, she had written a speech to give which helped convince the United Nations to boycott South Africa. So she really is hugely important in political history as well as musical history.

I was a safe house in Brixton and Mervin Africa who had played with both Miriam and Hugh when he was living in Cape Town, who actually played on the Miriam track on the album; he asked me if I would become a safe house. So he and I were the very first ports of call whenever black South African artists arrived here in England, being in exile from South Africa. I used to sing Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika outside South Africa House with a megaphone nearly every Friday and Saturday which was all a part of my journey, so her song is very important to me.

I can’t speak to you without mentioning 1986 and The Communards. How did you get the call?

Well, as you know Jimmy (Sommerville) at the tail end of Bronski Beat was very involved with the miner’s strike. His best friend Mark Ashton is the person who they made the song Pride about, and he is the lead character in that film. I was also very involved with the miner’s strike, and I was in a band called The Happy End, and we recorded a version of Coal Not Dole which became the anthem of the miner’s strike.

Richard (Coles) had been at drama college two years after me when one of my six brothers had done the same course, the brother who is now a film maker. He and Richard became very good friends, and Richard would often come along to my early gigs. One of The Republic songs that I had recorded became very big in the gay clubs, which had a very Middle Eastern dance beat. Richard said to Jimmy, who already had a copy of this album, “why don’t you come along and meet Sarah” so Richard brought Jimmy along to a miner’s benefit gig.

I already knew the two of them from Bronski Beat and I already knew what an incredible voice Jimmy possessed. Jimmy and I both laughed about the fact that we were both redheads. I was the tall woman with the deep voice whilst he was the petite man with the high voice (laughter). We just got on like a house on fire. The two of them were going to be playing a benefit gig right across the road from where I lived in a venue called The Fridge. They were doing it a couple of weeks hence, and they asked me if I would go along and do a duet with Jimmy.

This was all taking place long before mobile phones, so it was just a case of trying to get someone at home on the phone. At this point they were both very busy trying to promote their first single You Are My World. I eventually got hold of Jimmy, but it was a matter of days before he and I were supposed to do this gig on my own turf in The Fridge (laughter). I had opened that particular venue with The Happy End, so it was quite important to me that we got it right.

I managed to track them down on the phone and said, “so what shall we do, I’ve got this idea why don’t we sing Billie Holiday’s Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) both of us singing about the same man?” I thought that it would be very amusing if nothing else. They both said yes to that. Richard ordered the music because this was way before downloads, and Jimmy didn’t have the time to learn the song so there we were passing the lyrics back and forth between us on stage; it was all very camp (laughter).

The record company reps were in the audience as the two of them were about to fly off to the States in order to record their album and the reps saw just what a great combination this was. And suddenly I’m invited to go over to America and we also recorded Don’t Leave Me This Way. Jimmy and I recorded two duets; we did record Lover Man and we also recorded Don’t Leave Me This Way and my life changed from that very moment. I didn’t even know at that point that a record company would pay for my flight. I was busy trying to save up my wages from cleaning jobs and the like in order to pay for my flight. I had no idea that all of that came as a part of the package (laughter).

Were you all aware of the two other versions of the song that were readily available?

Yes, we were, and I was particularly aware of the version by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes which I believe was the first version released. So, Don’t Leave Me This Way and the song that I went on to have a number one hit throughout Europe with, which for some reason was banned in England, my version of Billy Paul’s Me And Mrs Jones. Both of those songs were written by the same writers, Gamble and Huff. Both of my hit singles were both written by the same writers (laughter).

What is Jimmy like to work with?

What can I say; Jimmy is an absolute joy to work with. He is a very natural musician, he’s got great rhythm, he has got a huge vocal range, everybody knows him for the high notes, but he also has a wonderful low baritone voice. I have carried on performing with him at the Rewind Festivals every year and it’s great whenever I get up on stage and sing Don’t Leave Me This Way with Jimmy. So, I have continued the friendship with Jimmy. Richard has moved to within half an hour down the road from me. He came round for supper not so long ago and he came along to one of my gigs a couple of weeks ago now. Jimmy, myself, and Richard all live within an hour of one another.

June Miles-Kingston lives in Brighton too, so we are all on the South coast. What I love about Jimmy is that he really does practice what he preaches; he’s never moved away from politics, he is a supporter of the arts, and he puts time back in people. He is always the one that you will see in the soup kitchen helping out. He really is a good man, as is Richard. We have remained good friends.

Testing your memory, what was the first record that you bought?

The first record that I bought was Rocket Man by Elton John.

Who did you first see performing live?

I saw Santana at the Birmingham Odeon, and it was magical.

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

That was Liane Carroll singing Seaside which was written by Joe Stilgoe.

On that note Sarah Jane, let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me, it’s been absolutely delightful. You take care and good luck with Cadogan Hall.

Thank you, Kevin; it’s been lovely to talk to you darling. You take care and speak again sometime soon.