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mailmusic: I'LL KNOW I'VE MADE IT WHEN I'M IN OOR WULLIE; GIGS.

Byline: Edited by MICKEY McMONAGLE

SCOTS singer Eddi Reader has an army of fans and been awarded an MBE - but she'll only think she's a star when she's in our nation's most beloved cartoon. Her new album Peacetime is out now and she plays Perth Concert Hall tonight.

Tell us about your new album, Peacetime.

I wanted something more relaxed.

Because I did the Robert Burns album I knew all these traditional players. They love their music but are very free with it in terms of improvisation.

So I've got things like Baron's Air, which is an old song they introduced me to, Aye Waukin-O, which is an obscure Burns song and Mary And The Soldier, an old Scottish song. I wanted to make it sound like it was just music rather than a traditional album.

Where did you record it?

In the middle of this field in Barnsley. I was surrounded by sheep, which led to songs like The Shepherd's Song. It felt really lovely and peaceful. We wrote Safe As Houses on the day of the London bombing. It felt like the end of the world and it was for some people. But it was enriching in that I realised we all have a capacity of concern for one another.

The album is called Peacetime - are you at peace just now?

Absolutely but there are days when it is pretty hectic. It's lovely to see the world and play to people but there's also this sublime beauty in just sitting talking to your ma about curtains.

What was it like to get an MBE?

I realised there's more to be gained. I'd done the No.1 thing, the travelling the world, the having children and I'm experiencing what it feels like to get a wee bit more of myself back.

Getting something like the MBE was removed from me. It felt like somebody from another planet beaming me up for a wee second.

It's something I get reminded of occasionally. Like having a laugh with someone, it'll be: "Aye but I've got an MBE so you shut up."

Phil Cunningham said to me: "You huvnae got a BITOW. "I'm like, "What the hell's that?" It's a Been In The Our Wullie. Phil has been in the Our Wullie, so has Aly Bain. I'm determined to work out how to get in there.

What's been your biggest achievement?

Just being appreciated. And having a love for something and expressing myself and folk actually saying, 'That was good, I like that.'

I got a letter from a guy from Arran who is in Iraq. He's in his tent hearing mortars being fired over him, so he puts on my Robert Burns album and it makes him want to come home.

It breaks my heart and makes it personal for me. I want everybody to be safe and I want peace. But it may take a while. Avril Cadden

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Eddi won't be at peace until she stars in Scotland's favourite cartoon
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 2007
Words:502
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