The last time Miranda Sykes, singer and bassist with Show of Hands, was due to perform in the area, she was rushed to hospital and the gig was pulled.
Now she is back – and back as a mum, baby Wilfrid safely delivered.
“Wilfrid was being monitored very, very closely…. And he made his presence known a bit earlier than expected! He was born three weeks early on October 25 last year. And I was touring with him when he was three months old,” Miranda says. “I was back on the road by the end of January.”
Her travels now bring her back to Sussex again.
Miranda will be performing on Saturday, September 7 at Selsey Folk & Music Club at 8pm (tickets £11 on 07721 532711 or selseyfolkandmusicclub.co.uk). She will back in the area again on Saturday, September 14 at the Tuppenny Barn, Southbourne at 8pm (tickets £12 on 01243 377780 or www.tuppennybarn.co.uk).
Building on the success of her Borrowed Places tour, she is back with a completely new project: her new album Behind The Wall.
Just as she started out, she is touring solo – one woman, one bass and one guitar.
And one new sense of freedom.
“I have found becoming a mother just so liberating,” she says.
“It has changed completely how I am. I don’t have time to over-consider what I am going to say on stage as far as the patter between the songs is concerned.
“It just feels like my whole being has been switched.
“It has just been very, very liberating, certainly as a performer.
“I don’t know what happened. Performing just seems to come so much more easily, and I know that sounds crazy.”
Miranda and her husband share the childcare – and the setting up the show. Baby Wilfrid will sometimes now join her for the signings afterwards.
“Because he has been on the road with me, I can leave him with anybody. He won’t miss me!
“But yes, you just feel that it changes you forever.
“I don’t write. I interpret other people’s songs, but songs like What’s The Use Of Wings If You Can’t Fly, songs I have been singing for years… well, when you sing them as a mother, you just think ‘Oh my goodness!’
“And also, I would say that I am more emotional than I was… and I think that that is good. People like to see a little emotion in performance. I think it makes you more real.
“I lost a pregnancy on my 40th birthday, actually on the day, and that was really tough.
“I was talking to Steve Knightley (Show of Hands frontman), and I was saying I was worried I might cry, and he just said don’t be afraid; he said to allow your feelings to show.
“I just took a bit of time out and we rescheduled a few gigs.”
But with the new baby, with the new album, with the new tour, and with the prospect of going back on the road with Show of Hands later this autumn, Miranda knows she is in a very good place now.
“I am just so lucky at the way it has all worked out.”
The Show of Hands tour is a particularly appealing prospect.
“It feels a long, long time since I have worked with them. Show of Hands took the summer off, and we haven’t toured for a while together, and now in October/November, we will be touring as a four-piece.”