Irish Star Is Set To Shine In City

By Breea McGinness
From Glasgow Evening Times

FRANCES BLACK is not your typical folk singer. Aside from preparing for the release of new album, This Love Will Carry, next month, she is also in her final year of a diploma course at college, studying to become an addiction counsellor.

And as if all that wasn't enough, the Irish singer is also preparing to embark on a 20-date tour, taking in a return performance at Celtic Connections.

Most of the tour dates will be in Ireland, but Frances made sure that she added the Glasgow festival to the list, playing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Monday.

"I played at the Strathclyde Suite in the Royal Concert Hall last year, which is my favourite room, and I had an absolute ball," Frances said, speaking from her home in Dublin.

"Celtic Connections is a fantastic festival. The audience was amazing. They're really good singers as well - I like to hear the crowd singing along and they sounded really good!"

Frances has become one of the biggest selling and best loved artists in Ireland over the past decade. Her latest album will be her seventh solo offering, although she started her musical career with her siblings as part of renowned The Black Family and recently reunited with them to record new album, Our Time Together.

Although music remains her main passion, Frances is currently fufilling a life-long ambition by training to become an addiction counsellor. Frances has overcome an alcohol problem herself, and is keen to help others do the same.

"It's always been a dream of mine to train as an addiction counsellor," she says. "I want to help people, whether it be with alcohol, drug or food addictions.

"I am a bit worried about facing clients in case they recognise me but that might be a help rather than a hindrance. I'm hoping that they might open up to me more but they could be like, 'Who do you think you are?' I'll have to wait and see."

While working towards her new qualification, Frances's future plans are still focused on music. After her current tour she hopes to perform at a few festivals in the summer, before heading to America and Australia later in the year ahead of recording a new album. But she hopes to continue managing to juggle both aspects of her work.

"I want to work as a counsellor at an addiction centre. I want to learn as much as I can about being a counsellor and one day I hope to open my own addiction centre. But I'm not giving up on my music - I'll be doing that until the bitter end!"