Saturday 16 December 2017

Celebrity Diary: London on Monday, Dublin on Wednesday so today it must be New York

I will be spending most of today somewhere over the Atlantic ocean as, believe it or not, I have to fly to and from New York in the one day to record some material.

It's quite a long journey to take for such a short time, but I'm kind of used to it at this stage. That's the way my life is going and I'm not going to complain. I just drink loads and loads of coffee to help me function.

My actual base nowadays is in London, but I'm very much living out of my suitcase at the moment because I'm on the road so much.

I'm very lucky in that my husband Darrel Higham is the guitarist with the band or otherwise I'd never see him. Thankfully, we don't have to spend weeks or months apart like some people in the industry, as I can imagine it would be tough.

I get questions all the time about whether we plan to start a family soon and my answer is always that it lies in God's lap.

We'll see what happens, but yes hopefully that will be on the horizon for us down the line. At least we'll be well prepared for the sleepless nights.

Like me, Darrel is used to functioning on very little sleep these days with our hectic schedule and this week seems to have been particularly busy.

We just finished a tour of England last weekend and then it was straight back into a full work schedule as I had been signed up to appear on Later With Jools Holland on Tuesday night.

Even though the show itself is only an hour long we had to be there quite early for rehearsals, having been there for a while on Monday as well.


Basically, on the day, you arrive there at about 2 o'clock and meet all the other guests and Jools himself.

Then you spend a couple of hours checking cameras, sound and lighting, that kind of thing. In between all that I was busy trying to take phone calls and catch up on all my emails before it was show time.

The programme went out on BBC 2 at 10pm and then the second part of the show will be aired tonight at 11.50pm, also on BBC2.

It was a real honour to be invited to perform as there were a lot of other big names there as well.

Everyone from The Ting Tings to Mumford and Sons to The Chapels to John Legend were there.

And, of course, the iconic Cyndi Lauper was there as well.

I wouldn't really get star struck anymore but it was definitely nice to meet her.

They were all just very nice down-to-earth people. There was a really good atmosphere and a good camaraderie between all the guests. We all took some pictures together and enjoyed each other's company.

Afterwards, Darrel and I went for dinner with Jools and his wife and also had a couple of drinks to relax which was nice.

He's been very good to me since my career began taking off so I'm very fond of him.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much time for a lie-in the next day as I had to be up bright and early to get on a flight to Dublin for my gig at the O2 on Wednesday night.

We had only had about four hours sleep in total the night before but I was very much running on adrenaline and excitement.

I always love any opportunity to come home and perform in my home city as I think it's very important not to forget your roots and the people who supported you at the very beginning.

I always said I would come home and play for all my neighbours and friends and family who supported me in the local area and I had the opportunity to do that last year when I played two nights at Vicar Street.

When I got the invitation to play at the O2 this week it was another dream come true.

It was a small, intimate gig for just a couple of hundred people which included everyone from fans to competition winners to members of my family.

They were all there in the audience cheering me on as I performed a mixture of tracks old and new. There were quite a few from my first album Love Tattoo including Big Bad Handsome Man and Falling in Love With You Again and, of course, some from my new album Mayhem.

The gig was also streamed on the internet, similar to the one Westlife did there recently and Republic of Loose the week before, so that made it extra special.

There's something nice about knowing some of your fans are sitting at home in their sitting room watching you sing to them.

I did catch up with my family for a while afterwards, but we couldn't stay out late as I was due up early again yesterday for Ryan Tubridy's radio show.

I was performing with the RTE concert orchestra so we had to be out at the studios bright and early for rehearsals before going on air.

I didn't have much time to hang around and have a proper chat with Ryan as myself and the band had to get straight to the airport to go back to London for another radio interview.

This time it was with the BBC, where I performed on Jo Whiley's show live with the band.

My new album Mayhem has just come out recently in England and it's already gone in quite high in the charts which I'm delighted about.


I'm starting to build quite a profile in the UK, although there's still that level of anonymity, which is nice.

The album has been out in Ireland just over a month and it's doing very well there as well so it's all good news.

The plan for the weekend is very much just to relax and try and recover from my jetlag before it all takes off again next week.

I wouldn't have it any other way though.

Imelda's gig from The O2 is now available to watch on 02blueroom.ie

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