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Sophie talks to ShowBiz Ireland... talks to the singing sensation Sophie Ellis Bextor about her upcoming single and life on the road with her first major tour.

So, how is the life thesedays for you - what have you been doing?

"I had a very bad night's sleep on the tour bus so I'm a bit tired. I was travelling over night from London. The tour busses are like little coffin beds, so I was experimenting with different positions and none of them really worked so I've got sore shoulders and legs and head and neck. I haven't toured for three and a half years. You do get into it actually. By the end of the tour I'll be loving it and you get to personalise your little bunk. Mine's already messy."

How did you choose the songs for the album and the singles?

"I think B-sides should be a chance for songs that have got a merit and that are good. I think I learned a lot from bands like Oasis, with their B-sides. Do you remember that was a really big thing with Oasis, that their B-sides were really good, and people used to buy all their singles?"

Do you think maybe that was a ploy to get people to buy the singles?

"A ploy, but also a benefit. It's a bit cheeky just to ask people to do it because, you know, please I need a chart position. There should be something in it for people. There should be a bit of the extra music."

Did Murder On The Dancefloor go to No1?

"No. Number 2. I've had two of them, like Take Me Home. Number one can be a bit of a burden to be honest. There's nothing wrong with being a slow burn. Don't display yourself too early and that type of thing... Exactly! That's one of my main philosophies."

Why did you call the album Read My Lips?

"I did pick it for a few reasons. I thought it was quite a good poppy title. I'm very interested in the look of things and having the make up and I always have quite strong lipstick, especially for the album artwork and the first video. It's also kind of a way of emphasising the fact that I do care about what I'm singing. I quite like that double thing. Also there isn't a song called Read My Lips. I don't like it when there's an album track called the title. I think it's like singling one out to be better than the others. Read My Lips was originally a lyric for Take Me Home that I discarded. It's the opening lyric to Universe Is You."

There are people who sing because they love it, and then there are those who do it for the fame and I think I read that you do it for both. Have you always wanted to be famous?

"What I mean by that is I really enjoy the other tools of what I do that aren't necessarily the singing and the writing. I love performing, I love showing off in front of other people, I love doing the videos and all of that kind of thing. I think it's all fantastic. Not all the time, I wouldn't like to do any part of it nonstop I think. But I love the variety. Now a days, because there is such an obsession with celebrity, some people, musicians, think it's kind of a bit ugly to say that you're interested in any aspect of celebrity. But I think the moment you do interviews or do photos or appear in your own videos, you're courting it to a certain extent. So I think it's better to embrace it rather than dismiss it. I'm really not someone that is particularly interested in fame. It's funny, when I was about 15 I remember thinking that it might be a good idea, but my mum (Janet Ellis - Blue Peter presenter 1983 - 1987) said 'no, as you get older your perspective changes'. And she was so right, you do, you get older and you're just not that fussed. Now I kind of shy away from a lot of it. I don't really go to any sort of parties and film premieres. I dabbled in it right at the beginning. I've been to three, which isn't very many, but it's weird because you go to one and you see the pictures all the time. It's quite scary actually. But it really wasn't for me, I don't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I'm quite private really about that."

Tell me about the break up of the audience (first band she was involved with) because it seemed that, as a band, you had potential and were on the up.

"It didn't end in the best way. Billy (Reeves, founder of the Audience and the guy that picked S E-B as the lead vocalist) desperately wanted the audience to go well. It was his thing and he plotted the whole thing and he was very uneasy when A. people in the band had other ideas of what to do, or B. the thing just started to get a bit bigger than his plan really. I think he kind of sabotaged his role in it from the inside."

You were 16 when you first got involved with the Audience. You recently turned 23 and have achieved a lot. Do you think it helped you to start off early?

"Well I didn't leave school till I was 18, after I did my A-levels. But, yeah I've crammed a lot in and yeah I think it does help. Especially having the bit where it went badly actually. I think it stands you in good stead even if it doesn't feel like it."

Do you feel more mature?

"No, no I don't. Not more mature but I think my priorities and my perspective is different. But I don't think that necessarily means I'm more mature. I just means I have a different outlook."

After the audience you doodled around with a novel. Will we ever see that novel?

"I didn't get very far with that. I did maybe two or three chapters. Quite long chapters though! I don't know, I love words but I think that was a kind of a mental exercise just to keep my head busy because there was nothing else happening. It was either daytime TV or writing. Daytime TV I did for a long time then I reached my threshold. Open House with Gloria Hunniford. I was getting quite desperate! It's good though. Magazine shows, I still watch them from time to time! They were pretty bad because they were jokey teenage things. One of my lyrics was this thing about 'the kamikaze part of me is dying to be with you' which is just horrific really! Quite funny though! I think I'd just discovered the word kamikaze!"

Sophie's new single 'Get Over You' is due for release in June.

Interview by Wayne Cronin.

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