Diva’s happy with an iron in her hand
GABRIELLE let out a shriek so high it was likely to split an iceberg somewhere.
When I returned the phone to my ear the British soul star explained herself: “I’ve just seen a picture of myself in OK magazine when I got papped at a Girls Aloud party.
“I never get papped. And I’m eating! Trust them to catch me eating. See, this is why I don’t go out?”
Gabrielle isn’t agoraphobic, she just doesn’t do the celebrity diva thing and the paparazzi are an occupational hazard generally avoided.
She is one of those performers who lets the music speak for itself without playing the media merry-go-round of tabloid tattle and TV shows.
“I don’t like talky things on TV,” said the former club singer from Brockley in South London.
“Never Mind The Buzzcocks is a great programme but it’s not me, I’m not witty like that, so I turned it down.
“All I want to do is sing, where’s my music on that show?
“But sometimes you have to play the devil’s game in this industry so if you ever see me on those things you know I am doing it under protest.”
She worries that her reluctance to engage in the celebrity lifestyle makes her seem boring and has previously labelled herself “The Steve Davis of pop”.
“I much prefer a night indoors with loads of choccy and whatever film my kids want to watch on TV, maybe with a peach schnapps and pineapple juice,” she laughed.
“On the last tour we used to have parties but they would be in the hotel room, me and all the band would play Connect 4.
“In fact I particularly remember the games we had in Cardiff because we were at a hotel in the Bay and we had got some fish and chips from Harry Ramsden’s, which is my favourite, from across the road.
“My vice is really food and I’m a bit of a tart when it comes to chocolate. I’ll eat anything, sometimes a whole chocolate orange to myself.”
Louise Gabrielle Bobb, now 37, is more concerned with her family than fame and works hard to ensure she maintains her home schedule along with her career.
On the day we spoke she woke up at 4am to pack her son Jordan’s bag for school and iron his trousers before she was picked up at 6am for her day of press duties. “Its a mad mother thing I know,” she excuses, “but I’m convinced no-one can iron his trousers like I can.
“He is really cool though, he is 12 but looks like he’s 17 and it’s funny when he is recommending what the beats might be for mum to use on her album.”
However, while her balanced attitude to life ensures she is a very down-to-earth person, it has perhaps begun to cause problems in promoting her music.
When she released Why, the first single from her latest album Always, it became her second consecutive single to chart outside the top 40.
“I was gutted, completely gutted,” said a singer, who has previously scored No 1 hits with Rise and Dreams as well as enjoying eight other top 10 singles.
“You have to go down the path if you feel it’s right and that single felt right to me.
“Now other people might not think it was right, but I don’t want to do only what other people think is right.
“If people don’t like that song then I’ll find one that they do like because I have done it before and I’ll do it again. That old saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’, well that’s me, because I’m a fighter not a quitter.”
Gabrielle performs at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, on Monday, February 18. Tickets cost £27.50 from 029 2087 8444.