Christine Collister: Photocredit Neil KingChristine Collister

#N You've got some Runic tattoos.

#C I have.

#N Are they a random selection or does each one have a meaning for you?

#C They've got meaning. The two on my left shoulder I had done one at a time, the others I had done as a pair.

#N The reason that I asked was that if you look around folk clubs and festivals, there's more and more Celtic and Runic tattoos all the time.

#C Well, the Isle Of Man was run by Scandinavians for a long time, so I've had more exposure to it than festivals and folk clubs, though not a lot more. I've not gone very deeply into it. It was a cabaret singer that got me into it. I've lost touch with it a bit. I've got Tarot cards and I really love all of that. It's helped me trust my own intuition.

#N Have you been aware of it on the circuit?

#C I haven't really done a lot on the folk circuit recently. I mainly play arts centres and small theatres. I haven't really done the clubs for three or four years. I've really being trying to get my act together. I did the Daphnes Flight thing. I worked with Helen Watson. I admire her a lot. Her song writing is consistent and comes from a very deep place. The performance is so sincere, her phrasing is immaculate, her choice of words so….and so many people don't get it. People don't listen to it and it's so amazing.

#N When it's just you on stage surely people can't help but listen?

#C Actually you can also be quite easy to ignore. It's just one person and I've heard it before(laughs).

#N There also seems to be a bit of affection for the blues in your sound.

#C Yes, but it's not direct. I don't listen to a lot of blues, it's too masoginistic for a start. It's too rife with patriarchal crap. It's not anyones fault, it's a collective, but I can't bring myself to sing that stuff directly. I love the sound of it.

#N You only right the occasional song yourself.

#C I'm a singer first and foremost. I love singing, I'm not folk singer or a country singer, I'm a singer. I will sing whatever attracts me. The writing is something…because of the material I use, I know it's difficult to rise to that standard. I'm not going to sing substandard songs just because I've written them.

#N You've worked with female artist recently. Are there plans to work with male artists again?

#C I work with Richard whenever I can. I'd like to get up with Loudon whilst I'm here. It seems to go in cycles. There was a time when I was working mainly with men. There's nothing in mind to form a partnership with anyone at the moment, I really want to concentrate on my solo work.

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