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Taking on the world

with Amy Macdonald (...)

By • Feb 24th, 2019 • Category: Feature

Of course, we’re supposed to be talking music – but speaking the day after Scotland’s crucial win over Israel, it’s inevitable that we get onto the subject of football with Amy Macdonald.

The singer is is still as patriotic as ever – despite getting some online stick for forgetting a couple of words when she previously sang the pre-match national anthem. “They’ve have asked me to do it every time,“ she reveals. “I was really proud and loved doing it but sometimes it’s not worth it for your mental wellbeing.”

The crowd at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend in May was rather more welcoming – and that show in Perth provided her with the inspiration for her new ‘hits’ album.

“I had 30-40 minutes to come up with the best setlist – which was quite difficult, but I had fun doing it, and it ended up one of those gigs that felt really special.”

And those songs form the basis for her new compilation album, which celebrates a dozen years of hit-making.

“I’m a bit embarrassed calling it a ‘best of’,” confesses the Bishopbriggs-born songwriter. “You think of albums by Madonna, Abba, Springsteen, and I’m nowhere near – I prefer thinking of it as a collection of the most representative songs from the last 12 years.”

“There’s not that many artists that stick about,” she continues, “and sometimes you need to bang your own drum; say ‘look what I’ve done’ and feel proud, so it’s a celebration, a thanks to all the fans that’ve been there all that time.”

And those fans will have their own opinions on the ‘best of’ Amy Macdonald.

“You don’t leave stuff out to annoy people,” she laughs. “A setlist has to flow so certain songs don’t work.”

She tells the tale of a “super-cute wee boy” with his banner requesting ‘Leap of Faith’ – which the band hadn’t rehearsed. Happily when he appeared in the front row again a year later, they were able to oblige.

‘Woman of the World’ is the new 16 song long-player – an autobiographical title for a collection that charts her rise from playing tiny Scottish venues to international success? “Definitely,” she insists. “When I wrote that song, a few years ago, I was just thinking of myself. It’s a hard industry to be in no matter what, but it’s harder to be a female, there’s so many more challenges – constantly having to look your best, having hair and makeup done, outfits picked out – you’re not judged as much for your looks if you’re male.

And that’s not all that’s changed over the span of her career so far – the very way we consume music is very different. “I had to wait for Xmas and for Nana and Grandad to gift me a tenner for for an album – in fact, that was when albums were £15, so there were two gifts to wait for!” she laughs.

And as well as a stocking filler for fans, the new release will provide a break in the endless songwriting and recording cycle. Although, she says, she’s not under as much pressure to produce new material as in her earlier career.

“A lot of the pressure came at the second or third albums,” she reveals. “The industry was at a crossroads and didn’t know where it was going next, but Spotify and Apple Music have alleviated some of the pressure mainly because labels are making money again.”

With no tour to promote the album her next audience will be a bit different – the Sleep in the Park events on December 8th which will see
Macdonald, along with KT Tunstall, play in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

“What’s great about charities like Social Bite is they’re big and bold and people relate to them,” she enthuses. “The last Sleep in the Park raised £400,000, and they built the first homeless village in Edinburgh.

“Sometimes a lot of big charities can be a bit faceless and you don’t really know where your money is going… Social Bite is the opposite – (the endorsement of) Clooney and DiCaprio ultimately spreads the word.

“They think outside the box, and I like that they set their mind to something and really go for it.”

‘Woman of the World’ is out now. More at

out now. This article originally appeared in the .

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