Festival Q&A:
Lisa Mills

The Southern soul, Americana and gospel blues singer and musician plays Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival (30 June-2 July)

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Who else are you excited to see? 
I am very excited to see Kaz Hawkins again. She and I met this past October at the O2 when we both played the BB King blues stage. Kaz is amazing!

What’s your best festival memory?

So many great festival memories. One that comes to mind is when I played the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne several years with my friend Ian Jennings on double bass. We were on in between two full blues bands and I was a bit nervous, but the show was absolutely magical. Beautiful venue, looking out at the people in the balconies, such a rush of energy. In the middle of the set, my guitar string broke and Ian changed if for me backstage while I sang Dock of the Bay a cappella. Afterwards, there was a huge line at the merchandise table. What a night!

What are your festival essentials?
Lots of sleep the night before, lots of water to stay hydrated, food to keep the energy levels good, a bit of exercise, and if I can get a warm tube amp for my arch top guitar, I’m happy! Oh yeah, a nice glass of wine and snacks backstage for a quiet moment are always appreciated.

How does playing a festival differ from playing your own gig?

You get to be a part of something much bigger and there’s the chance to mix and mingle with other artists. There’s almost a family atmosphere to festivals. So exciting!

What’s your favourite part of playing a festival?

The festive atmosphere. The buzz of excitement, the variety.

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Lisa Mills

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