Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeelll!!!! Lulu has lots to Shout about as she celebrates 50-years in show business with a UK tour next year including a return to Sheffield, as she told Graham Walker.
She is also promising fans a new album of soulful rock and pop - which she will be performing live along with hits which have defined her career, including her Sixties signature song Shout and her chart-topping Take That collaboration, Relight My Fire.
But in an exclsuive chat she explained why she won’t be singing her 1969 Eurovision song contest winner, Boom Bang-A-Bang.
She was just 15 when she belted out her trademark anthem and smashed her way into the charts with a raucous Lulu & the Luvvers version of The Isley Brothers’ Shout, back in 1964.
The Scottish pop princess, actress and TV is internationally identified, especially by North American audiences, with the song To Sir with Love from the Sidney Poitier film of the same name.
She also sung possibly the raunchiest of all James Bond theme songs, The Man with the Golden Gun.
Now the woman with the golden voice is back in the recording studio and has announced her first solo UK tour in over 10 years, when she plays a series of live dates in May.
Her 18 date tour, including a stop at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday, May 23, will coincide with a brand new album; her first since 2005.
The Grammy-nominated songwriter told us how she is currently writing and recording the album which will showcase a return to her roots, being both the music which initially inspired her to perform and her enduring passion.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our full interview with Lulu - including an impromptu performance of Shout!
The 66-year-old has the boundless energy and looks of a woman decades younger - up close she remains a great endorsement for Time Bomb, the range of night creams, day serums, polishing pads, body lotions and secret oils she designed to halt the ageing process.
But as we talk she’s more concerned about the inner soul and hopes her music will give her the chance to reconnect, not only with the music she loves, but also with fans who haven’t seen her tour solo in the UK since 2004..
Over the last decade, this national treasure has played hugely successful club dates in the US and UK, including a sold-out gig at B.B. King’s in New York City, toured with Jools Holland and headlined the sold-out Here Come The Girls tours.
Earlier this year she was chosen to perform Shout at the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Lulu, born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, said: “I’ve never been away but I’m back again.
“I’m certainly getting on in years but I’ve still got a lot of energy and my passion - the thing that excites me is music and it always has done, since I was a child.
“ I haven’t done a solo tour for over 10-years. I did a couple of club gigs in New York last year - and they wanted to know whenI was touring. That’s what did it. We’ve been planning this ever since.
“I went back into the studio, working and writing with a lot of young musicians. And I’ve kind of got this new energy.This is what I love. I live for music.”
There are no plans yet to collaborate on the forthcoming album with the stars she admires today. But she would be keen.
“I’ve been described as having a soulful, rock and roll voice. And that’s it. I’m not one thing or the other. I love anything Calvin Harris does. I love Paloma Faith, Jessie J, Rita Ora and Sam Smith,” she said.
“They are all influenced by the same sort of stuff I was influenced and inspired by as a kid. That’s the kind of music I’m writing. I don’t say I’m trying to be young. But it’s that soulful rock and roll. The tour is going to be like that with certain hits I feel is in that genre and some inspiring songs from the past.
“I’m all fired up and ready to go.
“The album idea has started off with maybe half old songs I was inspired by and half new. But because I’m working with very talented young guys and girls, the new songs are pouring out.and I think the album is going to be 90 per cent new - the rest is going to be one or two gems.It will coincide with the tour next May.”
Fans can expect her classic hits -but she won’t be doing her Eurovision winner, Boom Bang-A-Bang.
The song, which remains a favourite with Eurovision fans, was the joint winner with three other entries, from Spain, the Netherlands and France.
But Lulu says the song isn’t what she’s about these days.
“ I couldn’t sing those lyrics with any real emotion. Look at the lyrics. Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang - it’s not really the rock and soul. I have a lot of other songs,” she smiles.
Lulu breaks into her crowd pleaser as she demonstrates.
“I could not do Shout. People ask if I still do it the same. I can do it any way,” she adds.
“I’ll be doing The Man Who Sold The World and I’ll be singing a different version of the song that I wrote for Tina Turner, I Don’t Wanna Fight. I’ll be doing Shout. And I’ll do the whole of Relight My Fire.”
Shortly after her number one with Take That she also went on to have a hit with Independence, which was the first success for Gary Barlow’s best pal - Sheffield producer Eliot Kennedy. She has fond memories of working with him at the Steelworks.
She said of the time: “ He’s got his finger in a lot of pies, that Eliot!
“I remember when I was first asked do Relight My Fire with a young boyband, called Take That. I said, ‘those little boys and me?’ Then they mentioned the old Dan Hartman song, Relight My Fire. Of course I knew it, from the 7Os and the rest is history. But I was dubious to start with and thank God I was proven to be, well surprised.”
* Tickets for her Sheffield City Hall date are from £28.50, booking fees may apply. Buy in person, call 0114 2789 789 or visit www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.
UK tour dates 2015:
Fri 1 May 15 Letterkenny – Ireland
Sun 3 May 15 Castlebar – Ireland
Mon 4 May 15 Killarney – Ireland
Wed 6 May 15 Dublin – Ireland
Thu 7 May 15 Belfast – Ireland
Sun 10 May 15 Salford Lowry
Mon 11 May 15 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Tue 12 May 15 Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
Thu 14 May 15 York Barbican
Fri 15 May 15 Gateshead Sage
Sun 17 May 15 London Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Mon 18 May 15 Cardiff St Davis Hall
Tue 19 May 15 Birmingham Symphony Hall
Thu 21 May 15 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Fri 22 May 15 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Sat 23 May 15 Sheffield City Hall
Mon 25 May 15 Ipswich Regent
Tue 26 May 15 Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre