Jacqui Dankworth: ‘I need deadlines otherwise I can drift’

Singer Jacqui Dankworth is currently thinking about her next album. In the meantime, she plays The Capitol, Horsham, on February 27.

Jacqui Dankworth
Jacqui Dankworth

“We are just gathering material at the moment really,” she says. “We have got about two thirds of it. I am just finalising an idea to hang the whole thing on.

“You don’t really need something like that, but it is useful when you are doing the theatre shows. I am just trying to box-clever with it at the moment.

“It’s a little bit too soon to say what, but I think it is going to be a standards album. It is not going to be lots of original material. It is going to be a classic-sounding album of songs that mean a lot to me.

“It has been a little while since the last album, nearly two years, so it is time for another one, I think. It’s good to keep up that creative energy and get the next lot of new songs out and have some different musicians. It’s good for the audience, and it is good for me. You have to do it. Pressure can be good. I need deadlines otherwise I can drift.”

Jacqui reckons it will be album number five: “With my first husband, I did two or three albums as part of a band, and then I did a lot of my own albums, maybe three or four. And I have also guested on a lot of albums, so this will be my fifth – over about 30 years.

“I started off acting when I was 21 or 22. I did a hell of a lot. I worked with the RSC and the National and I toured over the UK and I toured India. I did a lot of repertory theatre work, not too much TV. And then I got into singing. I married my first husband, and we formed a band together, and the acting took second place.

“But I have continued to do little bits of acting. I did a bit of the Borgias series with Jeremy Irons, and I did a bit of Les Mis.

“I have done little day’s shoots here and there, but it is quite hard to balance the two, the singing and the acting. With music you tend to have to book up six to nine months in advance, and with theatre, they need to cast you and then it is for something like two months ahead. There is a clash of time tables. I am working on it with my new agent. I would like to do both.”

Jacqui has actually just finished producing her husband Charlie Wood’s new album New Souvenirs: “It’s rather beautiful. It is out already. It came out at the end of last year.

“You can only really have one big project like that on the go at any one time, and now it is my turn! He can produce my album! It works because you don’t have to pay the producer, but actually he has had rave reviews so we must have been doing something right. But actually people think there is some kind of mystery to producing an album. I think a lot of albums are best where the artist just gets on and does it.

“The problem is the artist might not be the best person to know what is going to make money, but this project wasn’t about being commercial.

“It was designed to be an album he could be very proud of. And hopefully the product will be around for a long time. It is not like a pop album that just comes out and then disappears!”

Tickets for the concert cost £19.50. Call 01403 750220 or visit www.thecapitolhorsham.com.