Interviewer Do you think it was inevitable that you’d become a professional musician?
Eliza Well, if you if you were ever to ask any of us, were it- we would definitely have all said no. I wanted to be,
I wanted to be a writer; my mum certainly didn’t want me to go on the road. My mum retired in 1966 -65/66 from professional touring to raise me. I mean, the road is a difficult place, whether you’re travelling with your family or with a band or on your own, and she certainly didn’t want that for me. My dad also probably never thought that I would do it, but I ended up following- exactly following his footsteps and quitting school when I was 17 and going on the road, and I’ve been on the road ever since.
I Can you tell us about your first public performance?
E My dad says that my first public performance was at the Fylde Folk Music Festival in Fleetwood in Lancashire when I was six,and we were at the Marine Hall and they were singing, The Watersons, the family- the family group were, were singing, and I asked if I could- I asked if I could go up on stage with them, and I was six. A nd Dad said, ‘Well, you know, you probably don’t know everything so just stand next to me on stage and we’ll start singing and if you, if you know the song just pull on my leg and I’ll lift you up to the microphone and you can, you can join in.’God, I must have been awful! But yes, apparently I just- the first song they started up singing, tugged on his leg, and he picked me up and held me to the microphone and I sang that, and he was like, ‘Did you enjoy that?’ ‘Yes, I did!’ Put me down again and they started singing the next one, tugged on his leg, same thing! And he just ended up doing the whole concert with me sitting on his hip! Which er- now I have a six-year-old and I know how heavy she is-it must have been quite difficult, God bless him!
I Has having children yourself changed your approach to your career?
E Er, yes, in a way. Yes, in a way it has. I’ve just reordered my working year because my eldest daughter has just started school, so I, you know-I’m, I’m not free to, to take the children with me on the road anymore and, and I’m now bound by the school terms. So I try to work only on the weekends and in school holidays now and I try to, to be Mummy from Monday to Friday, taking them to school, bringing them back again. I’m not getting a great deal of sleep, but then I don’t know many mothers of- many mothers of six- and four-year- olds that are getting a great deal of sleep!