'M People's Heather Small's buzz at joining '80s stars at Rewind Scotland' - Perthshire Advertiser article:
M People star Heather Small loved rubbing shoulders with her heroes at Rewind. The singer, who has sold more than 10 million albums, made her name in the ‘90s but said she was “honoured” to join legends from the previous decade like Soul II Soul, Andrew Roachford and Rick Astley at Scone Palace.
“I enjoyed myself – properly. The crowd were absolutely amazing, I couldn’t have asked for better. I’m all buzzing but beforehand I was terrified, my hands were shaking. I get very nervous. But getting on the stage and doing my thing before an audience like that – 15,000 people, no space whatsoever, all good-spirited – you can’t knock it. It’s what I do, you know?”
Heather, who delighted the Rewind fans with bouncing versions of M People hits One Night In Heaven and Moving On Up, said she had no qualms about signing up for a ‘retro’ festival.
“I like the feel so I’m happy to be here. And the festival? With all the different bands, it’s fantastic and it’s good company to keep so I don’t mind. Music is music no matter the era. I’ve admired Soul II Soul for a long time. They really changed music in the sense that they had a sound that translated worldwide and they brought everything that there was to be African-Caribbean and from London. I take my hat off to them for that. Their sound was created in London and it spread everywhere. I did the mardi gras in Australia and went to see them do their thing. They’re brilliant and they love to do what they do. And now that Caron Wheeler’s back it’s a match made in heaven.”
And the 48-year-old star reckoned performing in such illustrious company had brought out the best in her.
“I always go on stage thinking I’ve got to up my game. No matter who’s on the bill or who’s not on the bill. If I’m the only act I’ve got to up my game. And I want people to think it’s not about the others, it’s about me. Being asked to perform with great bands can only be a good thing. I don’t see it as competition, I see it as more of a collective. I saw Rick backstage and he hugged me, saw Jazzie and Caron, and Carol (Decker). It’s people that I admire and I grew up singing their songs so it’s fun."
Heather said the friendly atmosphere – and the Scone venue – had ensured a memorable Rewind.
“I did it last year (at Henley-on-Thames), and if it wasn’t a good vibe and I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t have come back. It’s beautiful here, but quite peaceful even though there’s all the music going on. It’s got a real higher ground, other-worldly kind of feel to it – it’s lovely. Every venue teaches you something, every audience teaches you something so you learn – always. I always said I’m a bit too Caribbean to be a festival-goer. Out in the cold and the wind and the rain – no showers! Terrifying for me! But I’ve played quite a few, and in the next few weeks I’ve got a festival a week so that’s brilliant. The good thing is there are so many different festivals happening now. Young people don’t really want to pay loads to buy music but they will pay their money to see live acts. I love to do these things because I love to sing. There’s a beauty in all of it, playing live – big gigs and small gigs. That’s what I like. I’m not going to play gigs on my own now that are 15,000 people, so a couple of thousand is also good. But coming out with it not all resting on your shoulders you have to do your part. You can’t be the weak link – I didn’t come to be the weak link!”