Summer of hope

Pauline Blackburn
Pauline Blackburn
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FOR singer-songwriter Pauline Blackburn a successful summer promoting her music will be a case of keeping it in the family.

Pauline, who wrote her first song aged ten and whose mum Joan runs Wigan Folk Club, is starting to make a name for herself with her original, roots-influenced acoustic music.

Many Wigan music fans will already have heard Pauline supporting popular folk-rockers Merry Hell at their recent gigs around the borough, and she is now planning further live appearances across the North West.

While her sound is based around the folk music she grew up with and singer-songwriters such as Alanis Morrisette, Pauline is also influenced by a diverse range of artists and bands, from The Cranberries to Morcheeba and Portishead.

Pauline, 33, said: “I like a huge range of music, but my biggest influences are groups from the 1990s which I grew up listening to, and the folk music that has always been around our house.

“Whatever I write is based around my abilities on the guitar, and how far I can take my instrumental playing. When I’m writing I always try and put a positive spin on things, even though there’s a lot of negative things going on in the world.

“Recently I’ve been getting a lot more confidence in my playing, so hopefully things will continue to go well.”

Pauline has also started working in the studio with Merry Hell’s John Kettle to record her songs for a forthcoming EP.

She said: “It’s been a learning curve, but also exciting working with John. I want to play around with the arrangements of my songs to give them greater depth than just me and the acoustic guitar.

“John has been helping out with a lot of backing parts and the first couple of songs we’ve done are sounding really good. It’s really opening up the possibilities in the songs I’ve written.

“I really like the idea of working with guest musicians in the future as well. One of my ambitions is to put on a concert of my songs with a bigger line-up and full arrangements.”