ANY music fan from the 1980s will remember Mari Wilson’s beehive hairdo, as well as her vocal skill.
When the single Just What I Always Wanted propelled her into the Top 10, her reputation as the Neasden Queen of Soul seemed assured and Mari and her backing band The Wilsations were a fixture on TV and radio.
Since those days, she has gradually morphed towards a jazzier sound and is still writing and recording at the age of 64.
Her latest album, Pop Deluxe, was recorded with Alistair Gavin. “I’ve been touring that for three-and-a-half years now,” she says. “I was singing some Dusty Springfield songs and, as they’re mainly ballads, I found myself wanting to perform my own interpretation of them.
“It was from this that led me to doing shows featuring some of my other, favourite, female artists like Dusty, and Sandie Shaw, and Cilla Black.” says Mari.
Along with other songs from her extensive back catalogue Mari is now back on tour with her current band, the New Wilsations, promising an energetic live show.
“It’s a great show,” she says. “I’ll be telling some really good stories and, if you’ve not been and seen me before, I’m often told that people are surprised by my vocals – so just come along and have yourselves a good old sing-a-long.”
Mari Wilson plays at the Electric Theatre in Guildford, tomorrow night (Friday 1 November).
For the full story get the 31 October edition of the News & Mail