SINGER Beverley Craven is back doing what she loves best - just playing and having a laugh (Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Friday, April 8).
“I am just thoroughly enjoying it now,” she says. “I used to have a real problem playing live. I used to have terrible nerves being signed to a huge corporation like Sony.
“It’s a can of worms, but in many ways that all heavy production schedule and pressure does kill it. When you have got a record company breathing down your neck, you just have to go on and sing - but it does kill the joy at the end of the day.
“What used to really get me was going to do TV shows and not actually singing and just miming at a dummy piano. It was soul-destroying really.
“But there were fantastic times with Sony. I did a show with Audrey Hepburn and Roger Moore.
“We were playing with orchestras. There were moments when you just had to prick yourself,” recalls Beverley who was The Brit Awards’ Best British Newcomer in 1991 and had hits including Promise Me and Woman To Woman.
Things didn’t take off straight away for her: “The album was released in 89 or early 90 and not a lot happened in the UK. A couple of DJs picked it up but it really only took off in Europe. It started really in the Netherlands. I was out there promoting for a year, and then they re-released the album in the UK a while later and then second-time around it took off.
“I was in the eye of the storm, really. I was just working my **** off really. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that it hit me really. I just had to get on with it. But then I fell pregnant with my first child who is now 19. She’s at Nottingham University.
“It was just as I was about to promote in the States. I was on a flight to JFK. I just thought this is the longest travel sickness I have ever had, but it wasn’t. I was pregnant - and that put the kybosh on the whole States thing. But I had worked so hard in Europe and the UK.
“I got back to the UK and had to tour when I was five and a half months pregnant. And then it was time to focus on becoming a mother. I had two more children after that.”
But now she’s back, with renewed enjoyment: “I have got a few really good musicians, and it is just a laugh. It’s my favourite thing to do.
“If somebody said to me what would you like to do, it would be doing this!”