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Preview: Heather Peace at Islington Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:51 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:51 15 March 2013

Singer Heather Pearce. Picture: Andrew Whitton

Singer Heather Pearce. Picture: Andrew Whitton

Copyright held by photographer. Andrew Whitton Photography 2011

»Heather Peace is just back from a sell-out tour in Australia, where she has been catapulted to fame on the back of her role in drama Lip Service about a group of lesbians living in Glasgow.

The 37-year-old, who is best-known in the UK for her role as Sally “Gracie” Fields in London’s Burning and her current role as Nicki Boston in Waterloo Road, is finding growing recognition as a singer-songwriter.

“It’s been completely organic,” she said. “It’s like it has come from the grassroots up.”

Peace has always had a passion for music as well as theatre, having trained as a classical pianist from the age of six.

Acting dried up

“I always did music. I’m Catholic, so I used to lead the congregation as a cantor.”

She describes her music as pop with “a classical piano-esque edge”.

Three years ago, during a year-long period when the acting work dried up, she began gigging.

“There are not many roles around when women hit their thirties. The age range from 30 to 35 is really tricky with acting. You’re too old to play young romantic leads and you’re not old enough to play the matriarch.

“I started performing at 50-seater venues which started selling out after Lip Service came out,” Peace said.

“My manager said, ‘Stop booking small venues. Let’s start booking big ones’. They also started selling out and I did my first proper UK tour in 2011.

“Last year I was playing at 500 to 600-seater venues, this year it’s more like 700 to 900-seater venues.”

Also last year, she produced her first album, Fairytales, which she describes as “a diary of events”.

Peace added: “It was a bad couple of years after I met my current partner.

“The album charts my life from my darkest days, when I wasn’t working and trying to make ends meet, to love going wrong. It also deals with the notion of self-sabotage, that you don’t deserve it and you screw things up yourself.”

Fortunately, her dark days are now behind her.

“I’m writing my second album and am much happier. I’ve totally grown up in the last two years. I’ve done a lot of looking at myself, had some therapy sessions and done some reading. A lot of times, you make excuses to yourself.”

She says she’s looking forward to performing at Islington Assembly Halls on March 21, adding: “It will be tough to top last year’s tour when I did a duet with Alison Moyet there.”

n Tickets start at £21.50. The event is from 8pm, at Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1. To hear her new single, Fight, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJQqNz8aikg.

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