INTERVIEW: Wicked Witch of Pop Nicki French on her fab new album, panto and Eurovision security

How does it feel to have recorded one of the best pop albums of the year?

  • Read on for reasons including where to see the Wicked Witch of Pop in panto this year

We’re chatting to Nicki French on the day next year’s contestants for Swedish Eurovision selection show Melodifestivalen are revealed and the night before rehearsals begin for her new pantomime.

And the opening paragraph is our 1st question about Nicki’s new album Glitter To The Neon Lights which is out now and includes November’s Single Of The Month On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away.

‘That’s very kind of you to say. I’m absolutely dumbfounded by the response to it, everyone seems really pleased with it. I was listening in the car to it and I’m actually so proud. It’s a real credit to the whole team who has helped with it.’

Most recent single On Your Marks (watch below) is the perfect calling card for the album because it’s a soaraway, Stock Aitken Waterman-sounding blast of unashamed pop with a lyric about defiance in the face of adversity.

The album’s 12 tracks burst with pop fun and feature 4 covers including, perhaps unexpectedly, Alice Cooper’s Poison and Foreigner’s Cold As Ice. ‘I’ve sung them both in panto in recent years,’ says Nicki. ‘And when the Energise (Nicki’s record company) guys came to see me they said the songs must be on the album.’

We’re calling Nicki the Wicked Witch of Pop because it’s those roles that she has played in recent years and does so again this year for 34 performances at  the Sands Centre in Carlisle opposite Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler and her dog Sully.

When we last interviewed Nicki she explained how much she relishes the wicked roles and she feels similarly now. Why should we come along? ‘You’ll see me with a green face, there are lots of funny lines and I just love playing the baddie roles. It’s just so much more enjoyable.’

Nicki has her family roots in Carlisle and has fond memories of local radio station CFM from when her cover of Total Eclipse Of the Heart (see her on Top Of The Pops below) went global in the 90s.

Regular readers of monstagigz will know what Eurovision fans we are and Nicki famously represented the UK in Stockholm in 2000. What did she think of this year’s entry Storm by SuRie?

‘I host the London Eurovision Party and so I met her there and she was lovely. I liked the song and finally this was her chance to shine after being involved in the Belgian entry for the show for 2 years.

‘I think they need to reassess security because of the idiot who got up on stage and ruined it for her. It just wasn’t fair for her.’

The future’s bright for Nicki however who has a Christmas single out 10/12, several ideas for the next album, a pantomime about to launch – and that fabulously fun pop album out now. On your marks, get set … get in.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Nicki French. Tickets
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