Singer comes home to launch solo career

IT may not have the profile of music cities like Liverpool or Sheffield but one song-smith has returned to her roots in a Suffolk market town to inspire her new album.

Will Clarke

IT may not have the profile of music cities like Liverpool or Sheffield but one song-smith has returned to her roots in a Suffolk market town to inspire her new album.

Kate Jackson made her name in the indie band The Long Blondes, living and performing in Sheffield - the city which produced Pulp and Arctic Monkeys.

The dreamy gables and spires may not be the same backdrop as the smoky Steel City but the 29-year-old Suffolk school girl turned fashion icon always knew she was going to return home.


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Even before the critically acclaimed band, which has produced two hit albums - including Couples in 2008 - split last year, a return to Bury was on the cards.

“It was good but I was stuck in a rut,” confessed Miss Jackson. “I missed the south and I missed Bury - my boyfriend and friends are from here.

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“When I was 15 there was nothing in Bury and the big cities seemed more interesting but actually when I went there, although I did meet great people, it wasn't much different to here - it was just bigger.

“I just wanted to come home again.”

The split in October may have been on the cards for some time but when guitarist Dorian Cox, 27, experienced a debilitating stroke leaving him unable to play the guitar the decision was inevitable.

And although The Long Blondes haven't ruled out a reunion one day for now Miss Jackson is focusing on a new album collaborating with Bernard Butler of 90s indie giants Suede.

She said: “We were going to see how things were after touring and everyone in the band looked like they were going in different directions - with all of us living in different corners of the country even before we had any idea what was going to happen.

“Dorian is undergoing intensive physiotherapy and he's getting better but it is a slow process. He was in hospital for three months and he lost the use of his right arm completely. But he is writing again and hopefully he will get back into playing.

“For me working with Bernard Butler has been brilliant and the band is still in touch; it was an amicable separation.

“I love living in Bury and just being able to walk into town and seeing people I know. It is very relaxing for writing and no one hassles me.”

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