Interview: Gabrielle opens up on her Rise tour

The legendary soul singer is hitting the road in celebration of her iconic album.

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In 1993, London-born Gabrielle announced her arrival with her debut single Dreams; an ode to following your heart that captured the British public’s imagination and rocketed straight to the top of the Official UK Singles Chart, igniting the career of one of the UK’s most beloved pop stars.

The track is the lead single from her debut album Find Your Way – released later that year – which was then followed up by her sophomore release, 1996’s Gabrielle. 

Whilst the first two albums made her dreams come true, it’s Gabrielle’s third album release Rise that has cemented her place in British chart history.

Written during well-publicised difficulties – which Gabrielle herself alludes to below – the album became her first to hit No.1 and came to signify a triumphant return to the spotlight. On a more personal level, it helped to pull her out of the darkness.

Twenty years on from Rise, Gabrielle will head out on tour later this year to perform the record in full, for what is sure to be an emotional run of headline shows.

Ahead of the dates, we caught up with the star to discuss the album, what fans coming to her upcoming gigs can expect, and what her future plans are.

You are heading out on tour across the UK in November 2020 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Rise. Can you put in to words just how special this album is to you?

It’s incredibly special to me because it got me through such a difficult place in my life. I have been talking more and more about it recently in preparation for the tour and it’s almost like I had forgotten where this album came from and what it’s all about, which shows just how far I have come from that place. Over the last 20 years, I have had so many chats with fans about this album and they say they’re loving the new stuff, but they need me to come back and sing the classics and I am ready.

Gabrielle - Sunshine

Due to the emotional connection that you and your fans have with this album and these tracks, how does it feel for you to be performing these tracks live? Do the emotions come rushing straight back to you?

The original energy and raw emotion that went into the writing, creating and performing these tracks has turned into joy over the past 20 years. That place of turmoil and unhappiness has been replaced by feeling fun, happy and joyful about singing these songs to people. I love the response they get also. Speaking to people and hearing about how these songs have helped them through tough times in their lives has helped me also. All of us have turned negatives into positives.

Your last release was Under My Skin in 2018. Which songs from this album are your favourite to perform live?

I have a few but one of my faves has to be Put Up a Fight. People don’t expect it almost; it’s a bit rocky, it’s fast, it has attitude. I get a clap going in the crowd to get the atmosphere rising and it’s something you wouldn’t expect from a Gabrielle show. Another favourite of mine from this album has to be Shine as it gets such a great reception and it’s so much fun to have everyone singing back to me on that one. However, on this tour, we are going straight for the classics!

Gabrielle - Shine (Official Video)

Can we expect any new music from you soon?

Most definitely! I am currently writing in-between shows leading up to the tour. I’ve been back and forward from the studio and will be all summer long as I am determined not to make people wait 11 years like last time. But, I have been so positively inspired with this new album and it’s coming from such a happy place so fans can expect some happier songs! I cannot confirm dates yet, but I can assure you it won’t be another 11 years.

Finally, What can fans expect from these live shows?

We are definitely going coast to coast on Rise! But the idea of throwing a few little gems in there is quite intriguing to me so watch this space. You’re going to have to come along to the shows to check it out. I won’t disappoint, we are going to have a party and I can’t wait to see you all!

Gabrielle - Dreams

Gabrielle 2020 UK and Ireland tour dates

9 November 2020 – Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth,
11 November 2020 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
12 November 2020 – Sage, Gateshead
13 November 2020 – Barbican, York
15 November 2020 – The Lowry, Salford
16 November 2020 – Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
17 November 2020 – Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
19 November 2020 – St David’s Hall, Cardiff
20 November 2020 – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
21 November 2020 – Town Hall, Birmingham
23 November 2020 – De Montfort Hall, Leicester
24 November 2020 – Brighton Dome
25 November 2020 – Indigo at The O2, London
27 November 2020 – Olympia, Dublin
28 November 2020 – Olympia, Dublin
29 November 2020 – Ulster Hall, Belfast
1 December 2020 – Forum, Bath
2 December 2020 – G Live, Guildford

Tickets to see Gabrielle live on tour are available now through