It’s been 3 long years since we last saw Emma Stevens, funnily enough, the last time we saw her was in the exact same venue but with a different guitarist. We chatted to Emma ahead of the show about when she supported Simply Red earlier this year, how excited she was to be sharing the stage with Wet Wet Wet at three of their UK headline shows in July and her plans for Summer festivals, read on to find out more.
When I saw you last in Totnes, you had a guitar player with you called Sam, I note that the guitarist you have with you this evening is also called Sam but I’m sure it’s not the same person….
It is a different Sam! The other Sam that played last time you saw me is my other half, when I’m on stage with both Sams, I’m in a Sam-wich…. They’re both incredible musicians so I’m very lucky.
You also play with a full band?
I do, tonight is the last night of my tour but because I’m having to whizz off to do Dogfest tomorrow, I’m not able to bring the entire band for the show, I do make every effort to get the band along to all festival appearances though, it just depends on their availability at the time.
You opened for Albert Lee in London in March, this is someone whose style you studied whilst at music college learning guitar, what did you chat about at the show?
Yes, he was a very busy man, he had hundreds of people wanting to chat with him so my time was somewhat limited, I did mention to him what an honour it was to meet him, he was really complimentary and humble.
Was he impressed that you had studied his musical style?
He was but he did ask why on earth would I want to do that! He’s quite a joker!
Your June tour took you all over the place, London, Bristol, Manchester, Midlands, Scotland and Devon, you’ve no doubt played all these places before, but which held the best memories for you?
Some of the places I’ve played on this tour I’ve been to before but we’ve visited different venues, I love playing in Glasgow and Manchester, the Northern venues just seem to be more fun, the audiences just seem to let go a little more and relax. It’s as if the further North you go, the more ‘up for it’ they are!
What about audiences overseas?
I’ve only played a few gigs in Holland and they come across as a very attentive audience, they were quite wild in America! I am definitely looking to get to Europe a lot more this year so watch this space!
I see you supported Simply Red last year, how was the experience?
Amazing, it was a lovely receptive audience, they were really into what I was playing. I saw the band actually watching me whilst I was playing which is great, you don’t often get that!
Did you meet Mick Hucknall?
We didn’t, he had his own dressing room so we didn’t really see a lot of him other than on stage!
A company called Twilight Trees has sponsored the stage for each night of the tour, tell me more about them and how they came to do this for you
I thought that as it was my “To My Roots” tour, I thought it would be great to have a glowing tree on stage with me (as you do), I found this amazing company called Twilight Treesand they were happy to provide a couple for me to use on the tour. They’re the same colour as the leaf I use on the album cover so it all ties together nicely!
Your new album is out on July 21st but I see there were copies on the merch table downstairs….explain please!
It’s only available now to anyone who pledged or has come to see me on the tour, I thought it would be a nice way of offering them something exclusive as a thank you for coming to see me or having given up their money so that I could raise the funds required to get the album recorded in the first place!
You really have gone all out with the goodies available via your Pledge Music campaign (Shopping trip to London, Day trip to Paris, Treetop adventures and a guitar lesson via Skype to name just a few), how did you come up with all these ideas?
I just thought they were cool things that I always wanted to do so thought I could combine it with the campaign and kill two birds with the same stone! The maddest one I did was last week which was the Treetop Adventure, it was absolutely terrifying, 50ft up in the air but great fun! I did about 3 Skype guitar lessons with pledgers which was great fun, I just wanted to offer something unique that people would remember!
You’re supporting Wet Wet Wet in July (not once but three times!), how did this come about and how did you feel when you got the gig?
They just asked if I’d be up for it and obviously I said yes, just look at the venues, Hammersmith Apollo, Rochester Castle and Edinburgh Castle, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Of the festivals you’re playing this Summer, which are you particularly excited about?
I’m really looking forward to Henley Festival, that’s going to be beautiful, it’s black tie and there are floating stages on the river, I’m really excited about that!
Are you watching any of Glastonbury on the TV this weekend?
We will be, I’ve set the record thingy and will be catching up once I’m back from Dogfest tomorrow!
Lastly, if you could create your very own SUPERGROUP, who would be in it and why?
Oh that’s a great idea, hmmm, let me think, I love Jason Mraz, he’d be in it, Imogen Heap, maybe Albert Lee….. Rascal Flatts as they have such a great punchy sound, John Mayer would be up there and maybe another woman…… ask me again in a years time and I’ll probably have a different set of answers for you!
We'd like to thank Emma for sparing her time to chat to us ahead of the final show of her UK tour and we look forward to seeing her again (hopefully we won't have to wait another 3 years to do so!) Her new album To My Roots is available to purchase and download from July 21st, check her social media for more information.