Artist Spotlight: Duffy
In the first of a new series of interviews with acts playing at this year’s Festival, we called up Welsh songster Duffy who’s shot to worldwide success with the retro-tinged sound of her ‘Rockferry’ album. She plays the Other Stage on Saturday June 28th.
Hi Duffy. Will Glastonbury be the first festival you’ve performed at?
No, I played at Coachella this year, in the stifling desert heat. It was quite prim and well-behaved, to be honest. I’m not expecting that at Glastonbury.
Have you been to Glastonbury before?
What are your impressions of it?
It looks massive and I get a sense of good ethics. And everyone goes there to have a blinder. People seem to work the whole year round just to have that weekend off for Glasto.
Are you going for the whole weekend?
Absolutely. I’m gonna pitch my tent, take my wellies and get knee deep.
Yes! Although, they have booked a posh hotel for me too. But out of principle, I’m only going to go there to wash my lady bits. Camping at Glastonbury is a must! So I’m gonna get myself a funky tent. And, I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ll probably be having a couple of parties in it.
Do you have much camping experience?
Slim to none.
Have you ever slept in a tent?
Um, no. I’ve always wanted a guy to take me away on a camping weekend, but I’ve never been invited on one. People assume that I’m not into that stuff, but I’m actually slightly rough around the edges! Camping is my ideal holiday. The guy gets to be all macho and if it’s raining outside you can snuggle up in the tent. I’m not really into sun-bathing and all that.
As you’re staying for the whole weekend, are you planning to see a lot of bands?
Without a shadow of a doubt.
Is there anyone you’re particularly looking forward to?
Jay-Z. I genuinely think he’s a great musician.
Has it surprised you that there’s been criticism of his appearance?
Well, nothing surprises me any more, but I was quite intrigued by it. It hadn’t really crossed my mind that his appearance might be a problem. I’ve seen him live and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.
Where did you see him?
At the Royal Albert Hall in London. He had these great string arrangements and was just an amazing showman. It was really fun and you left feeling good. I’m completely excited about seeing him again.
Anyone else you’re looking forward to?
They’re on at exactly the same time as you.
Oh no! What were the chances?! How about MGMT?
They’re on the Friday night, so you can see them.
I’m gonna try to get to that then. Apparently I’ve got a crush on the lead singer. Or so it said in print somewhere.
Is that true?
Well, I suppose there is an element of truth to it.
Is it odd reading about yourself in the papers?
I don’t even read it, I hear about it from other people. They’ll be like, "I didn’t know you snogged that guy from Gavin And Stacey".
Did you snog that guy from Gavin And Stacey?
No! I didn’t even meet him. I’ve never clapped eyes on him, let alone plonked my lips on him.
Anyway, back to Glastonbury. Do you decide which festivals you play at?
Definitely. I get a say in everything I do. But I often have actual physical fights with my diary. It’s like mud wrestling.
Well, it’s a dirty job dealing with the diary and it’s also very physical and strenuous.
Right. So, what’s the biggest crowd you’ve played to so far?
I think it was about 12,000 people at Big Weekend. I really enjoyed that.
There could well be double that for your Other Stage gig.
Really? That’s massive.
Are you confident playing to huge crowds like that?
Well, I’m always nervous, because I don’t quite think of myself as a performer yet, y’know? I still think of myself as a singer. I’ll just have to see how it goes. It is always slightly scary playing live, cos you just don’t know what response you’re gonna get.
Is it nice seeing people singing your songs back to you, now that you’ve had hits?
Oh, that’s the highlight. That’s what makes it all worth doing. The reason I make music is so that it can become part of people’s lives. And at a festival, you get the opportunity to play to an audience that maybe wouldn’t listen to your stuff otherwise.
There are rumours that you may be appearing elsewhere on the site during the weekend.
Possibly. There may be some secret Duffy moments. But I can’t tell you about them.
Hopefully it will be very sunny, but are you prepared for bad weather? Can you deal with rain and mud?
Oh, coming from Wales, I embrace that stuff. I love a bit of proper British weather. I was raised on a farm, afterall.
Yes. So don’t be expecting any sparkly wellies like Ms Bassey from me. I’ll be the one clad in an all-in-one farmer’s rain suit!