The outstanding Gabrielle – By John Earls
In all honesty, the name of Gabrielle isn’t an obvious one for The Ivor Novello Awards to have given Outstanding Song Collection to. Think about it, however, and it makes sense. She’s had two No 1s, eight other Top 10 hits and her pop style masks an under-rated writer of the best kind of commercial radio faves.
Not that Gabrielle herself ever expected to win, as she tells PS…
Gabrielle admits she hadn’t even heard of her Outstanding Song Collection prize when tipped off about her win.
“I was going ‘The outstanding what?’,” she guffaws. “This is the first thing I’ve ever won, and it’s straight into a lifetime achievement prize. I was like ‘Oh, come back in another 10 years.’
“It’s a really heavy trophy too. I’ll be doing weight-training down the gym with it for a week to show off.”
Rarely seen at awards ceremonies, Gabrielle says it was good to go to the Ivors, as it recognises songwriting.
“The other reason is that you see people you haven’t seen in years,” she admits. “Some of them might be people you’ve made songs with.
“Actually, there’s a guy here I really fancied 13 years ago. It’s tragic – now I’m an old bag, and he’s an even older old bag.”
Next up for Gabrielle is her first foray behind the scenes, writing songs for a mystery new artist.
“It was really good to get asked to do something like that, as the pressure isn’t on so much,” admits Gabrielle, real name Louise Bobb.
“I’ve got my children and it’s good that I can work without having to tour and do promotion. But I’ll still throw everything I’ve got into the songs.”
Why can’t Gabrielle name the singer she’s working with?
“Because I know how the industry works,” she explains. “The singer is much cooler than I’ll ever be, and – miaow! – much younger.
“So I’ll stay in the background, and people might not find out at first I’m writing songs. But of course I want people to know it’s me – I can’t wait to leap out and go ‘Ta-da!'”
The move doesn’t mean the end of Gabrielle the performer.
“I look up to people like Dionne Warwick and Madonna, for managing to keep careers going for so long. I’m not that far behind Madonna, really,” says Gabrielle, 38.
“It’d be great to be making music like those old birds. God, ‘old birds’. Listen to me, I’m plainly really, really jealous!”