Interview: Shelly Poole

By Talia Last edited 224 months ago

Last Updated 11 October 2005

Interview: Shelly Poole
Shelly Poole

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Back in those heady days known as the nineties lurking behind the Spice Girls and the All Saints, was a much quieter, melodic, band formed by two sisters from Barking. Discovered by Dave Stewart, Shelly & Karen Poole became Alisha’s Attic (named after their imaginary childhood friend) and went on to have 8 top 40 hits between 1996 and 2001. Since then both Shelly and Karen have been writing for other artists such as Rachel Stevens, Janet Jackson & Liberty X.

Finally Shelly Poole is back with her own debut solo album full of melodies which really get under your skin. We at the Londonist Music Dungeon caught up with her last week to find out a little bit more. Not only that but she gave us some goodies, one of which you can win by reading the interview and answering the question at the end!

Artist name:

Shelly Poole

Describe your sound to us:

Gentle , pretty ,complex, melodic and soulful

What made you want to start releasing as a solo artist?

It’s just what I do – I’ve got too many tunes in my head and too much to say!

Who are your influences?

Neil Diamond, Prince, Paul Simon , Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega, and lots and lots of world music and classical stuff.

What's the state of play with you as an artist at the moment?

I have written and recorded an album on an independent label called the Transistor Project called Hard Time For The Dreamer. I’m promoting now and going to do some more gigs too.

Where can we hear / see you next?

I don’t know if its confirmed yet but we are trying to do another gig with the Wire Daisies on 14th November at Borderline.

What's the big game plan for you?

To get a new studio room and to get some ideas together for future music. Also to get to as many people as possible with this album. I really want to release it abroad as well.

What's your ultimate label to be on?

I have no idea and don’t really care as long as they love what I do and the people are enthusiastic and competent (transistor tick these boxes so lets say them!)

What's the best gig you've ever been to?

Simon and Garfunkel reunion in hyde park

Prince 1999 tour in wembley and Neil Diamond in earls court 2002.

Also loved the Be Good Tanyas at the Royal Festival Hall - it’s up there with my greats!

Oooh god nearly forgot Bowie at the astoria ...awesome! was holy!

Best gig - its too hard!

Any great stories from the road?

There are lots but they stay in the camp! We made a rule on our first Alisha’s attic tour that what happens on tour stays on tour. There’s loads to blackmail people with if anyone ever tells any of mine!

Recommend one album to our readers you don't think they will have discovered:

Hope Sandoval - bavarian fruitbread

Why should Londonist readers go and see you?

I’m from london and I’m good !

What's your favourite...

...venue to play In London?

I loved doing wembley we were supporting INXS. It’s an institution.

...venue to go to in London?

The monarch, which is now the Barfly, I live up the road so it’s easy and it’s not too hot. I also love the Borderline as lots of my favourite people play there. For a fancy night I always feel special at the Royal Albert Hall.

...record store?

I like some of the smaller ones in Camden but there are fewer of them now. The massive Borders at Brent Cross before you get on the M1 is quite eventful but the one I use most is probably the big Virgin store at Piccadilly Circus. (non-music)?

Blackout Two, a vintage clothes shop in Endell Street W1, and Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street.

Camden at the mo. I come and go between going loads to Portabello or Camden but I’m back loving Camden again for a while . to people-watch?

From the 1st floor window in Soho House. You can see all the people queuing for the theatre opposite ..... to chill-out?

Calmia Marylebone, I get massages and use the gorgeous meditation room there. Also China Dream, my local restaurant, in Hampstead. to get lashed?

I like my local pub - the Hollybush. I also love Costa Dorados on Hanway Street for cheap food , sangria and salsa. for a post-gig kebab?

I don’t eat meat but always finish in Bar Italia having a tomato mozzarella and basil ciabatta and a slice of cheesecake.

...view in London?

from the bar in the National Portrait Gallery or outdoors from Primrose Hill.

...form of public transport?

I don’t like public transport, I walk everywhere.

What advice would you give Ken Livingstone?

Put the person who invented the road hump in prison!

What London place or thing would you declare a landmark?

The Royal Opera House, it’s beautiful.

The world is ending in 24 hours. How would you spend your last day in London?

I’d walk through Regents Park and then go sit in St Martins, Leicester Square because during the day they rehearse all of their concerts and its fascinating and free! Then I’d go to Regents Park Open Air Theatre if it was a sunny last day or I’d go to the Everyman cinema in Hampstead. They only show great movies there and they have big comfy sofas upstairs where you can take your wine.

Greatest thing ever to come out of London?


What advice would you give to someone new to London getting on a night bus for the first time?

Don’t sit upstairs! That’s where the ones in for the long haul sit and usually piss themselves or vomit!

If you wrote a song about London what would it be?

It would be a folky protest song about local councils and how they spend our money.

And finally...

Sum up London in just one word


Shelly gave us a copy of her album sampler to give away to one lucky Londonist reader

To enter email [email protected] with 'Shelly' in the subject line and your address in the body, as well as the answer to this question:

What band is Shelly's husband Ally in?

A: Pulp

B: Texas

C: Blur

Please note that the address you supply must be in the UK and entries must be received by 11.59pm on Sunday 16th October.