Here's the December instalment of the Official Catch Up
Hi Sophie, how are you?
I’m not too bad, thanks.
What have you been up to?
Well, I’ve had some nice trips. Richard and I have done a couple of DJ gigs abroad, which has been quite fun. We went to Kiev and Moscow, which was a giggle. And we went to Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1, because I did a couple of shows around that.
How was that?
It was cool, actually. I think if Richard hadn’t come with me it would’ve all been a bit lost on me. Not that he’s particularly into Formula 1, but because we were there together and being shown around garages and stuff it made it more fun. And seeing everything up close does make it more exciting.
Did you meet any drivers?
We did, actually. We met Lewis Hamilton really briefly before the race, and he was such a sweetheart - really friendly and smiley. It was good, because it meant I was really rooting for him and then he won.
How was the show?
Well, it was at this club thing called the Amber Lounge which travels around with Formula 1 doing all the after-show parties. I sung a couple of songs there on two of the nights. It was really fun. And it was nice to get some sunshine out there too. It’s a pretty amazing place, where pretty much everything seems to be new. We went to this hotel which cost $3.5 billion and it’s actually done pretty nicely, but they’ve got fresh flowers everywhere that are flown in from 10 different countries and replaced every 6-7 hours!
Crikey. That seems a bit wasteful.
Yeah, we were like, "Where do the old ones go?!" And they said they just throw them away. We were all really dismayed about that. I’m not sure that’s the reaction they were expecting.
What else have you been doing?
Yesterday I was at St Thomas’s hospital, because I do quite a lot of work with Tommy’s, the charity. I went along to meet the scientists and consultants who work for them, to see the work they’re doing for complications in pregnancy. It was really fascinating. It makes you feel so lucky to have been born in a country where you have access to treatment. I met a girl there who’s just come back from Somalia where they’re trying to find a way to get solar-powered blood pressure monitors, because people aren’t trained to use the old-fashioned ones and batteries get stolen. You just don’t think about things like that if you live somewhere like the UK.
That sounds like a worthwhile visit.
It really was. It was nice of them to give me their time, because I had loads of questions!
Sticking with charity initiatives, you read stories to a bunch of children at Ikea recently.
I did indeed. It was really sweet, actually. That was with Unicef and Save The Children. Ikea have been working with them for a while, I think. They’re trying to raise something like £12m, by giving a percentage of the money from all the books and toys they sell. So I just popped along and read a couple of stories for the kids.
Quite a few kids!
I know! When I got there, I asked how many children there would be, thinking they’d say 8 to 12, or something. And the lady was like, "Oh, maybe 50"! But they were actually very sweet. I thought I’d get kids wandering off and heckling, but they were very good. And they did that thing that kids do where they start off really spaced apart, and then gradually creep really close to you! I really enjoyed it.
Of course, you also currently have an unborn child inside you!
Haha! Yes I do.
How’s that all going?
Yeah, I’m in the good bit now - the middle section where you feel pretty happy and you’re enjoying it. The first 12 or 14 weeks were quite hard work. That was when I was doing Australia and Jakarta and Istanbul and Beirut. I just didn’t really stop. I think from the time I found I was pregnant until the point I could tell people I went to over 20 different cities. And also in the beginning bit I was feeling quite icky. It makes you feel like you’re hungover.
Exactly. And, as when you’re hungover, you’re craving things like toast and baked potatoes and all the carbohydrates and comfort food. But you can’t really get toast and Marmite in Jakarta! But now I’m in the middle bit, I feel like myself again.
And it’s all going well?
Yep, at the moment. All good. I think I’m in safe hands.
So your unborn child is certainly a very well travelled baby.
It certainly is! And I’m travelling right up to New Year’s Eve, which is my last booked gig. I’m going to Thailand, which is amazing. I’m so excited about that.
You’ve had such a year of travelling to amazing places.
I know. I’ve been really lucky. Every year you start off the year wondering what it will bring, but it’s been as good now as ever.
What are you doing in Thailand?
A fully live show with my band in Phuket. I’ve got three nights there, which should be quite cool. I’ve only been to Bangkok, but I’ve looked online and Phuket looks incredibly beautiful.
You were also in Barcelona recently.
Yes, with a DJ called Brian Cross that I’ve been working with a bit. He’s lovely. I think that was my fourth show with him.
So you sing during his set?
Exactly. He does a show called Popstars - in fact he’s bringing out an album next year - and he’s recorded a song with me. So he does this big show and then halfway through I pop out and do a few songs. He’s a really nice guy.
The other big news is that you’re singing on a new song by Bob Sinclar - with the somewhat sweary title of 'Fuck With You'.
Haha! Yes. The perfect song for someone who’s about to have their third baby, I think.
How did that come about?
Well, I was obviously already aware of Bob Sinclar, and when I got sent the email about that track my first thought was that I wasn’t going to sing a song called that! But when I heard it I actually thought it was really playful and fun. So I thought, why not? And I take the view that the girl isn’t doing it in a sexy way. It’s more like, I want to mess with you, sort of thing. She’s kind of making fun of the guy. And I think the track is very upbeat and skippy. rather than a Love To Love You Baby sensual sort of song. The rap is pretty filthy, though!
And it’ll be on Bob Sinclar’s album?
Exactly. I’ve got no idea what’ll happen with it. I thought it wasn’t coming out until next summer, but then it popped up online recently. I think it’s in an Italian film, or something.
Are you making a video? That could be interesting.
Ha! There’s talk of doing it in the spring, after I’ve had my baby.
So what we need you to do Sophie is just leave your clothes there...
Haha! I won’t do anything that I don’t feel comfortable with. But I think Bob has some ideas.
But the plan is to promote it?
Yeah, I think so, although the plans are pretty vague. At the moment I’ve got January and February down for songwriting - I just want to knuckle down and try and get the album as shipshape as I can so that I can come back in the summer time and do some summer shows and bring out some new material. That’s about the shape of it.
So you’re still working on new stuff?
Yeah, although it’s been quite hard because I’ve been away so much. But I’ve got lots of lovely people lined up to work with in the new year, so I’m just going to knuckle down. Songwriting is the perfect thing to do in new year in any case, let alone if you can’t really be travelling. I think it’s going to be pretty ideal.
You’ve also done a cameo in Ricky Gervais’s new show.
Oh yes. I filmed that a while ago. It’s in the last episode of the series, I think.
Was that fun to do?
It was actually. It was very easy. I’m just playing myself, so it wasn’t too big a stretch. But it was a nice part and it’s just fun to be involved in something a bit different like that. The main guy - Warwick Davies - was really nice, so he put me at ease.
Do you have acting ambitions?
Well I think there’s always been a big crossover between performing on stage and in videos and acting. I think a lot of singers do a bit of both. So it’s not something I’m actively chasing, but I’m open-minded. If you’d asked me when I was 14 or 15, then acting was what I wanted to do. But singing is definitely my day job.
And with The Stone Roses getting back together, presumably discussions have begun for the big theaudience reunion?
Yeah, that’s very similar! Golly. No. I don’t think so.
Some day you’ll bow to the inevitable.
Hahaha! I’ll wait for the petition.
And are you all set for Christmas?
Pretty much. I think I’ve done 80% of my shopping. I’ve had to be really organised because I’m not really here in December that much. And I’ve ordered my turkey, because we’ve got everyone coming here again.
How many people are you cooking for?
I think there’ll be about 15 of us, with my mum and family, plus Richard’s folks. Actually my mum has ordered me some pre-peeled potatoes to make it a bit easier for me. I peeled about 60 last year and it really did my head in, so that was very sweet of her. But I like having it at home. I’m really looking forward to it.