Lisa Stansfield looks ahead to getting her music career back on track

Lisa Stansfield

Rochdale's Lisa Stansfield - Credit: Lytham Festival

Rochdale’s Lisa Stansfield has a wild time when she’s not in the studio 

 Lisa Stansfield has always made a refreshing change to the identikit pop stars who have dominated the music scene she burst into the charts more than 30 years ago. 

While many choose to hide their roots, the Rochdale-born star has proudly retained her love of the town, her strong accent and her house and studio there. 

Her breakthough solo hit in 1989, All Around The World, reached number one well, all around the world, but the 56-year-old is still happiest close to home. 

Take, for example, her plans for the afternoon after her chat with Lancashire Life. 

‘I’m going to Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary to tickle the pigs. They’ve got massive pigs and they love being stroked and I absolutely love it there. They come over and I tickle their ears and they roll over. It’s great.’ 

Rumour has it Madonna does much the same in her free time. 

Boris the pig

Boris the pig at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

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And musicians have had a lot of free time in the last couple of years, since Covid stopped live shows. Lisa spent much of the first lockdown working on a new album, writing and recording at her home in Rochdale or her flat in London. 

‘We have gone back to the way we worked when we first started and it’s been quite liberating,’ she said. ‘You don’t really need a lot of space, a lot of people are making incredible music in tiny spaces. Imagination is the most important thing. 

‘In lockdown, I walked and walked and walked and that’s great thinking time for me, it seems to make my brain work. I go walking in the countryside around Rochdale or in the town centre and things come into my head – it's the waiting for them to come to me that’s the worst part. When words do come to me, then I need to work out what I’m going on about and make sense of it all. 

'Putting the new album together is like doing a jigsaw. Some of it is quite recent stuff and some of it is from about for years ago. It’s a proper soul, R&B album. We’ve come full circle, back to our roots where we started right at the beginning of our journey.’ 

And one of the next stops on that journey will be this summer’s Lytham Festival where Lisa will appear on the same night as Manchester’s Simply Red. It will be her first live gig since a show in Munich in December 2019. 

HOLLYWOOD PROMS LYTHAM FESTIVAL

Lytham Festival draws huge crowds - Credit: Lytham Festival

‘Musicians are used to having time on our hands but the last couple of years have been a bit much and we’re champing at the bit to get back to doing live stuff again,’ she said. 

‘I get more nervous when it’s a gig closer to home because I always want to impress people more – I know I should treat every gig the same, but it is different when it’s close to home and there will be a few more butterflies in the stomach before we start. 

‘I have all the same nerves as I did when I was in my 20s but when I’ve been on stage for a couple of minutes, it’s all fine. I think those nerves are a good thing – if they weren’t there it would be time for me to stop because I wouldn’t be finding it exciting any more.’ 

And she added: ‘I’m looking forward to the Lytham Festival. We just want everyone to have a good time. We’ll do the songs people will want to hear and some more recent ones as well, but nothing from the new album, we’re not ready to unveil that yet.’ 

The Lytham line-up 

Lytham Festival will draw huge crowds to the famous mile-long Green for 10 nights from June 28-July 10.

Simply Red

Simply Red - Credit: Lytham Festival

June 28: Diana Ross, Jack Savoretti 

June 29: Lewis Capaldi, JP Saxe, Luke La Volpa 

June 30: Snow Patrol, Kodaline, Jade Bird 

July 1: Duran Duran, Goldfrapp, Walt Disco 

July 2: Nile Rodgers and Chic, TLC, Soul II Soul, Craig Charles DJ set 

July 6: Simply Red, Lisa Stansfield, Marisha Wallace 

July 7: Elbow, Richard Hawley 

July 8: The Strokes, Fontaines DC 

July 9: Tears for Fears, Alison Moyet, Natalie Imbruglia 

July 10: Paul Weller, The Charlatans, Lottery Winners, Nia Wyn 

A happy home 

When Olive Lomas saved a donkey named Maudie from slaughter in the 1950s, she sowed the seed for the Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary. She went on to offer a home to thousands of animals. 

It is now one of the biggest animal sanctuaries in the North West and its 55 acre site at Edenfield near Ramsbottom is home to 350 creatures. They care for dogs, cats and a range of farm animals, including five pigs Lisa Stansfield loves to visit; Harold, Madge, Jamie, Tilly and Boris. bleakholt.org