NORTHALLERTON Forum is hosting Emily Clark in Dusty And The Shades of the 60s later this month, What's On catches up with Emily ahead of the show

When did you discover the music of Dusty Springfield?

Music was a huge part of my childhood; Dusty was one of my favourite female vocalists who I listened to growing up – another was the amazing Madonna who was a huge inspiration; her look, her sound, and the strong woman she portrayed literally pushed me forward to become a professional singer.

What do you particularly admire/like about Dusty’s legacy?

My admiration for Dusty is not only for her as a singer but as a record producer. She didn't mind being different and was out to create her own soulful sound; she absolutely loved music, particularly the American soul music that was filtering over to the UK and she really knew her stuff.

Tell us about some of your earlier professional performances?

I started my career in Spain in a song and dance show; I sang with a few girl groups, formed my own Pink tribute act then moved into musical theatre. I toured with two of Steve Steinman’s absolutely brilliant musical shows: ‘Vampires Rock’ with Twisted Sister’s guitarist Eddie Ojeda and punk queen Toyah Wilcox and ‘Bat The Symphony’ with the National Orchestra of Great Britain. I had such a blast! Then I played the young Dolly Parton in the show ‘Dolly’ and the female lead in the rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza ‘Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom’ which is an Australian production that originally starred Russell Crowe! I’ve also performed in China in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and I’m really looking forward to taking the lead in ‘Dusty and the Shades of the 60s’ in 2018.

Name three favourite songs you perform onstage and what you like about them?

One of my ultimate favourites has to be 'Natural Woman' – I love soul and Motown and I can’t wait to perform it! 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' is one of my favourite Dusty songs; with its dramatic sound and the build up at the end, it is musically so moving. The reaction of the crowd is always incredible. I can't help but love it! My third song choice is a bit different: Guns ‘n’ Roses 1987 classic rocker 'Sweet Child of Mine' has to be up there musically and vocally as a big favourite of mine. Every part of this song makes me want to rock out and I get to show off my vocal range with some belting notes!

Tell us about your image on this tour?

My image for the tour will be very much featured around Dusty's iconic look. Although nobody can BE Dusty, I am there to represent her so there will be some specific references including the beehive, the smoky eyes and the flamboyant glamour. For the Dusty fans there is a particular dress I get to wear which is quite iconic - you'll have to wait until the show to see it. There are a LOT of sequins!

What do you think audiences will enjoy most about the show?

We'll be taking them on a musical journey back to the 60s. We always get comments that our shows bring back personal memories of good times in the 60s. I think most will be surprised about what they enjoy most as the show isn't just Dusty's album music, it's a journey through her career, including a lot of songs that she covered and ones that inspired her. There were a lot of greats in Dusty's life and they're all featured in the show. Like the Burt Bacharach section.

And what do you like best about being on the road?

Every show has a different feel, live entertainment allows us to feel what the audience are feeling and that's exciting every day. Also, being able to perform in such beautiful venues and visiting different parts of the country is a massive plus!

Give us a list of FIVE things you take on tour that you can’t do without?

  • Coffee - needed for the long journeys
  • A paper Diary - I'm a writer not a typist and without it I wouldn't have a clue what I'm doing!
  • Hairspray - if only that beehive stayed up on its own…
  • A picture of my dog
  • A pillow – then it's like sleeping in my own bed!

Dusty and the shades of the '60s, Northallerton, The Forum, Sunday, September 23. Go to for more information or call the box office on 01609 776230.