A HOTLY tipped Manchester-based singer makes her Blackpool at The Galleon tonight.
Ruby-Ann Patterson has been a regular on the Manchester scene since she was 15, preferring to make her way on the traditional route rather than fast tracking with a hard luck story on the X Factor.
“Mum’s a childminder and dad’s an engineer who made all the tyres for the trams in Manchester so there’s no sob story there,” she said.
She saves her emotions for song-writing, dealing in, as one reviewer said: “Reflective wisdom infused with natural optimism and unselfconscious emotion.”
Her soulful vocals – she grew up with diverse musical influences, her Jamaican dad is into reggae and ska and her mum into folk and classical – are matched by her haunting talents on piano and guitar.
”A lot of people tell me I ought to be on X Factor,” she says. “But I believe true confidence in performing comes from working at it. It’s not something you can achieve overnight and a lot of people on there just aren’t ready for it. I much prefer to write and work with my own material.”
Still in her late teens she’s about to take A Levels in English Literature (she’s a huge fan of Thomas Hardy), Language and Fine Art at Manchester College and intends going to university.
“I’m 100 per cent happy at the moment,” she says. “I’m finishing my A-Levels, I’ve got a lot to look forward to. I wanted to prove to people that I could study and do my music at the same time. Coming from a working class background and not being musically trained I never dreamed I would get here.”
“Here” is under the protective wing of Simon Phinn, music director at Lion Eyes TV – a production company which works with the likes of Peter Kay.
Simon spotted Ruby-Ann when she sang live in last year’s C4 documentary Orchestra United which created the Harmony Halle Youth Orchestra from a cross-section of talented Manchester youngsters from diverse cultural and ethnic communities.
“She was amazing,” he enthuses. “She played them a song and the conductor just went ‘Wow!’. Her singing and lyrics create such powerful emotions. If there’s any justice Ruby-Ann will be massive.”
Support tonight from Hayley Collins, Luke Peters and Calum Vernon.