Clare Teal is one of the UK’s biggest selling Jazz Singers. Extremely talented, extremely down to earth and extremely funny, Simon Savidge had the pleasure of catching up with her… and laughing a lot.
Why did you choose ‘All for Love’ as the first single?
I dunno, probably cos it’s quite camp (laughs). It’s very jolly and I love that period in the 50’s when lounge was king; You had people like Peggy Lee and Doris Day singing fantastic songs of nonsense like ‘Ole’.
Your last album ‘Paradisi Carousel’ was quite ‘Pop’ and now you have gone back to the more jazzy side with some classic standards amongst new material. How did the direction change for this album?
You’re right the last album was my dalliance with pop. I learnt a lot during that phase. Sony was merged and my Jazz label was no more, and suddenly I was in this adult music section, this pop world. That record gave me a chance to try so many different things. (Laughs) But for whatever reason no one seemed bothered in me trying new things. So I scuttled as fast as my little legs would carry back to jazz.
Do you ever pinch yourself…
… to see how far you’ve come?
All the blooming time, I justify it that I have worked and grafted so hard to be here, but I am still just Clare. It’s great I have worked with Buble, and ‘The Winehouse’.
How was The Winehouse?
Madhouse… I have so much respect for her. What’s happened to her is shocking. That’s what pop can be like, after dipping my toe in that world its vicious there is so much pressure how too look, what you weigh. When the crazy dust settles you’re on your own… again (cackles). I got very down but working with my partner she told me to get back up again, and after writing some Christmas songs and stuff here I am.
Everyone who meets you says you are very funny, and there are a lot of comparisons to Victoria Wood.
We do have a similar accent, I think she’s great. When I started shows I tried the serious ‘I’m Clare Teal ladies and gentlemen’, then at a jazz festival I asked them ‘what did you have for your tea… did you try the faggots?’ and its now part of it, having a laugh with the audience. It’s about being real and entertaining people and I love it.
You used to write jingles, could you write on for Bent Magazine?
Oh I’ll have a go… I can’t do it on the spot; I’ll work on it and let you know.
Clare’s brilliant new album ‘Get Happy’ is out now.