by Margaret Chrystall
WHEN it comes to a love of living in the moment, Scottish singer Eddi Reader is a believer.
She’s just back from a tour of Ireland and Australia and just days away from starting her UK tour – bringing her to Eden Court on Monday.
But though the plans for her physical movements are set for the next few weeks, Eddi’s mind spins free as different topics fly past in our phone interview.
And in just a few minutes, Eddi has covered the teen start of her early music career, the challenges of the world’s political future and on to new songs, planning a setlist and a book she has been writing about her uncle.
And if the past keeps pulling her back to her beginnings in music, Eddi’s got every excuse.
Just a year ago, her 30-track ‘best of’ album was released with a body of work that is an impressive record of her career so far.
On the album cover is a picture of the young Eddi and she admits she has been looking deep in the eyes of her teenage self.
Eddi laughed: "I look in her eyes and I go ‘I know you’re SO shy to be getting this picture taken, I can tell’.
"But I was trying my best to be cool," Eddi recalled.
"Back then I thought I could maybe make music, or become an actress – I don’t know what I was going to be.
"That photo was taken under the tunnel at Kilmarnock station where there was a fella who took pictures, so I just got it together and paid for it."
Eddi paused: "I’m looking at her and thinking to myself ‘What would I say to her now?’
"Everything for me is in the moment, like all the songs on that ‘best of’.
"When I listen to it, it’s like a little journey and you suddenly feel all the things you felt then.
"It’s kind of a nice point to look back at life and see what I did and if it stands up to something that I’ll leave behind me – and be proud of," Eddi revealed.
"And I think I am.
The early Fairground Attraction years after Eddi’s move to London as session singer for a Gang Of Four TV appearance led on to singing with everyone from the Eurythmics to Alison Moyet – included the band’s number one Perfect, two albums and the split.
Eddi has notched up 11 other albums -– her Robert Burns collection in 2003 was a departure that captured the public’s imagination. Her awards include a best single BRIT for Perfect and best album for Fairground Attraction’s first album, plus her MBE awarded for outstanding contributions to the arts in 2006.
But Eddi feels she has plenty more to do.
"In January I started recording about 15 different pieces.
"I’m not sure what I am going to do with them," she laughed. "But I will take them individually and see if I can shake them up into some kind of magic picture."
"Spontaneous" is her view of the tour setlist.
"I have lots of paper at my feet on the stage and there are titles that glisten out at me like little diamonds.
"I do get frustrated sometimes because I want to really get out there and do things right in the moment, sing things that haven’t even been recorded – and I will do that on this tour, there are things I’m going to mess around with," the singer promised.
"People say ‘What are you going to do at your gig tonight?’
And I say ‘Who knows?’.
"I just get there and I feel it."
Eddi Reader plays Eden Court on Monday, April 17