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ENGLISH actress-turned-singer-songwriter Heather Peace made her first Australian visit in 2012, performing songs from her debut album Fairytales at concerts across Australia, including Mardi Gras. The openly-gay star of lesbian drama seres Lip Service felt such a warm reception, she’s back again in February. We caught up with Peace to find out why she just can’t stay away from Australia.
Q: You’ll be playing at Mardi Gras and ChillOut on your upcoming tour. Do big gay festival gigs like that feel particularly special for you?
A: Yes, absolutely. They always feel a little bit different to my own shows and it’s exciting looking out into the sea of faces from the stage. Somehow I feel very relaxed at festival shows and I like being able to check out other acts too. My gay fan base totally rock too, so it always good to perform for them.
Q: It’s been 18 months now since you released Fairytales. How has the reaction been to the record?
A: I was really nervous about releasing that record; we made the whole thing ourselves and it was a real dream coming true actually seeing it out there in the racks of music stores. Even if just 100 [people] bought it, I would have been happy. As it was, I was overwhelmed by the support and by how many people told me they liked it and came to see me on tour off the back of hearing it. I’ll be forever thankful I’m now very excited about recording my second album; we go into studio next week.
Q: Considering you released your debut a little later than most artists [Peace is 38], is there a sense of making up for lost time?
A: It will be two years later by the time album two is released next spring. I’m going at a pace I’m really comfortable with. There are no time constraints and there’s no one putting any pressure on me and I needed to be sure that the songs are good enough before going into the studio. It’s so important that this next record is as strong as it could possibly be. It’s been really hard choosing the final 10 tracks, I’ve had to let go of some songs I really like and that’s been harsh.
Q: . Is your acting career taking a backseat nowadays, or do you have any projects in the works?
A: It’s ever-moveable. I’ve been doing a show on BBC One in the UK called Waterloo Road for almost two years now and that required a lot of commitment which didn’t allow for much music so I’ve just finished filming there and I won’t be doing another long running series for a while. But every now and then a little gem of a drama comes in and then i would just see if I could make it work alongside the music. The music is priority for the next while.
Q: What’s one thing you’re most looking forward to about coming back to Australia?
A: Seeing my good friends Prue & Ronnie. I stay with them in Sydney and they have kayaks right on the harbour! Brilliant. I love being outdoors all day. I love the people, the food and the I love the gig audiences there, they are so vibey and warm. I just can’t wait to get out there again.
Info: Heather Peace tours Australia from Feb 28. Dates at www.heatherpeace.com/live-dates/

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