ACCLAIMED Scottish singer-songwriter Isla Grant returns to the Civic Theatre stage next week.
The performance is part of Grant’s tour of New Zealand and Australia, where she is being accompanied by her husband Al Grant and singer and instrumentalist Glen Flynn.
Speaking from Australia, Grant said the tour had been going very well.
“The reaction has been incredible,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to New Zealand, it’s one of our favourite parts in the world.”
Grant said she last visited the country in 2015, and tried to come here to perform every couple of years.
This year, the concert features songs from Grant’s new album I’m A Survivor.
“People’s favourites are still in the programme, a few from the new album and some I haven’t even recorded yet.”
She will also be sharing stories with the audience about the songs’ origins.
“There will be a lot of laughs and that through the show. We just hope everyone enjoys it.”
Along with I’m A Survivor, Grant said she had also recorded a new Christmas album, A Winter’s Tale.
The album included a variety of seasonal songs.
“There are some real happy, jolly ones as well. It’s a happy time.
“So far there has been a fantastic reaction to the album… I’m really pleased.”
Grant said she wrote most of her own music. After dabbling with songwriting when she was younger, she said she began to take it seriously about 30 years ago.
“I really realised that people were wanting to hear the original material.
“I’m very, very grateful that people enjoy listening to them.”
She said she was inspired by things such as what was happening in her own life, stories she heard in the news and also stories from meeting people.
“It’s a good way to get a little statement out about how you feel about what’s going on in the world at the moment as well.”
Her style was difficult to pigeonhole, she said, but was best described as a crossover between folk and country, with some gospel as well.
Artists who have influenced her include Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Merle Haggard.
“I think the way that Haggard wrote had a big influence on me because he was a very honest writer. He sort of told it like it is and I’ve tried to do the same thing in my songs as well.”
Grant said she started singing with her husband about 35 years ago, and this year’s tour would be a special one for the couple.
“This is a special year because we’re actually celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.”
She said it was nice to be able to share the experience of touring and performing together.
“He’s always there for me and I’m always there for him when he’s doing his own shows as well. And it’s lovely because it’s a hard enough job without having someone you can lean on when you’re away.”