Wednesday, 24th March, 2004_

News Menu Button All things bright and beautiful - Part Two

By Gareth Bicknell, Daily Post

KATHERINE JenkinsIt is an apt time to think of her parents, as today is Mother's Day. Mum Susan hasn't come up to Llandudno to see the gig - she works for Breast Test Wales, travelling the country screening women for breast cancer - but Katherine is looking forward to seeing her when she performs in Cardiff's St David's Hall next Sunday. "I've asked her if I can postpone Mother's Day," she jokes. "I've sent her a card, and I've sent her some toiletry things, but I'm not going to see her until I go to Cardiff. So I've arranged for her to come to London with me after the Cardiff gig, and I'm going to take her out shopping."

Her London gig at the end of March will also give her a chance to see her musician boyfriend Steve Hart, who she shares a house with in the capital. They fell in love three years ago, after they met through a mutual friend. Katherine says they hit it off straight away - "it was instant attraction", she says. "I do believe in love at first sight."

Steve, 29, has written songs for the likes of Liberty X, and is hoping to embark on a solo career of his own. When Katherine tells me he is "talented in all sorts of ways", the cheeky glint in her eyes tells me I don't want to know too much more.

Has she ever thought of working on a collaboration with the love of her life? "Absolutely not," she says. "When you get a collaboration with people who are involved, it doesn't work, it just seems to be fate that it's going to ruin everything for them. I wouldn't even consider it."

Between the two of them, she says they have a huge record collection. "Have you heard of this new band Maroon Five?" she asks. "We're playing that a lot at the moment. We got the CD because we liked the first song, and they're supposed to be one of the big bands of this year. I've got a lot of soul music as well, like George Benson, Stevie Wonder. I like all the old stuff."

She is due on stage in less than 45 minutes now, and, quite sweetly, she asks if she can put on her make-up while she goes on to tell me what she thinks of the current state of the pop charts.

"I think the forecast for this year was that people are going to buy more opera and rock. I think maybe the market's been flooded with too much manufactured Pop Idol and Fame Academy sort of things. It's difficult for really talented people to get into music. I'm hoping people want to try something new instead of all the pop stuff."

While her taste ranges from 70s soul to Christina Aguilera, much of Katherine's own material comes from the hymns she sang as a youngster. She won the Welsh Choirgirl Of The Year competition at 12, and religion is still an important part of her life.

"I'm not as dedicated as I would like to be, because I can't make it to church on a regular basis. But whenever I am at home at the weekend I will go with my mum, and I always go for special occasions. But just generally I do believe in God, and I do think there's someone who's looking down on me because I've been led down a very fortunate path. I definitely believe there's a God."

As curtains up rolls nearer, the foyer is positively teeming with people eager to take their seats for a concert featuring two of the best young singers in the world. If tonight goes well, in less then two weeks those same people will be clamouring to buy Premiere.

"It's a little bit nerve-racking, because my whole dream is hinging now on these two weeks," Katherine says, not long before taking the stage. "But I just feel dead proud."

Two days later, I speak to Genievieve again to ask how the Llandudno gig went. Really well, apparently. After late soundchecks, missed connections and chest infections, perhaps somebody up there really is looking out for Katherine, after all.


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Article located by the Roger Mansbridge


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