‘We rehearsed our first gigs here, it’s a place close to our hearts’

Corinne Drewery, together with Andy Connell, brings Swing Out Sister to Islington for a much-anticip

Corinne Drewery, together with Andy Connell, brings Swing Out Sister to Islington for a much-anticipated gig in November - Credit: Archant

Ahead of Swing Out Sister’s first London gig in six years, we speak with Corinne Drewery about the band’s close ties with Islington

It’s fitting that Swing Out Sister’s first London gig in six years will take place in Islington. The soul/jazz duo – who first announced themselves with smash hit single Breakout in the 80s – have a deep-rooted and cherished link to this community.

“Islington is our manor, we go back a long way,” says Corinne Drewery, who speaks with the velvety-warm tone that her singing voice hints at.

“We rehearsed for our very first gigs in Market Road, so it’s close to our hearts. Islington Assembly Hall (the venue for their upcoming gig) is a special place, it’s a great venue and I think it ties in with the fact that Islington is such a hotspot for music.

“There’s also a familiarity for us northerners; coming in on the train to King’s Cross from Nottingham, Islington is where I first landed.”

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Swing Out Sister’s return to the capital’s gig scene on Tuesday November 13 follows the release of their tenth studio album, Almost Persuaded, in June. The record was three years in the making and was written almost exclusively by Drewery and bandmate Andy Connell.

Drewery adds: “Almost Persuaded is like every album we finish – we feel that it is the ultimate, and the best we’ve ever made!

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“It’s probably a little bit more confident, it is our tenth studio album and so there’s a lifetime worth of experience in there. If you want a description of the music, you’ll have to buy it or come to the gig,” she jokes.

Swing Out Sister achieved mainstream success in 1986, when first Breakout and then Surrender reached the top 10 in the charts.

Success was amplified a year later, when debut album It’s Better To Travel reached number one in the UK and built the foundations for a solid and longstanding fanbase around the world.

Jazz FM DJ Jeff Young will open November’s show, which paves the way for further live dates around the UK, Italy and Japan in the spring. Fans can expect a blend of the classics and new tunes from Swing Out Sister’s Islington appearance.

“There will be some from the new album, but we can’t forget our old faithful swing-outs that have served us so well,” continues Drewery.

“We’ve got a great band together, we team up every few years and some have been touring with us over the years. We like to experiment, we like to try different things, but at the heart of it all you’ve got to stay true to yourself.

“It’s a great feeling once rehearsals are done, to go on stage, have fun and share it with the audience.”

Swing Out Sister play Islington Assembly Hall on Tuesday November 13. For tickets, visit islingtonassemblyhall.co.uk

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