Festival profile – Lynn Goulbourn

Lynn Goulborn is one of the star performers at the Hinckley ACT Festival of music. She frequently appears with long time collaborator Steve Hicks.

Hinckley ACT fans have enjoyed Lynn’s wonderful voice on more than one occasion. So we decided that it was high time to find out more about her. This is your chance to find out what makes Lynn tick…

Growing up in the north east

“I’m from a village called Dunston, in the borough of Gateshead, and grew up in the North East where I went to school at Blaydon, as in the famous song, ‘The Blaydon Races’.  I still go up there quite regularly and enjoy the culture and gorgeous beaches of North Northumberland.

Lynn Goulbourn at the Hinckley ACT

Lynn Goulbourn at the Hinckley ACT Festival of Music

“I particularly like going there because they understand my sense of humour!   I have a dog called Bruno who, coming from up there himself, speaks broad Geordie.  He is my soul mate.

“When I’m not singing, teaching or walking the beaches in Northumberland I often engage in a spot of DIY and a few years ago took a year off work to completely renovate my house, everything from insulating and re-laying the concrete ground floor to wiring, (by a qualified electrician), plumbing, carpentry, drainage and decoration.  But it’s a bit like the Forth Road Bridge – just when you’re getting near the end its time to start over again – and of course there are still several bits to finish off….”

A shaky start

“My singing career didn’t get off to a good start when I failed to get into the choir at my junior school. I was devastated!  I did go on to be a member of the choirs at both my secondary school and later on at Nonington College of PE where I trained as a teacher.

“I taught myself to play guitar and would frequently venture out to folk clubs to join in with singers’ nights and listen to visiting guests.   I grew up surrounded by the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, whose harmonies I loved, but then there was Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention along with Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.  I was always singing along.

“In recent years I’ve had the pleasure of attending singing courses run by Maddy Prior at her home up in Cumbria and that has been a real inspiration, highly recommended for anybody who enjoys singing, whatever your level.

“At college I teamed up with two other women and we would go into the sports hall at night and stand in the middle, in the dark, and sing our hearts out, coming up with some really spine tingling harmonies.  To this day we meet for a weekend, about once a year, but we now chip in and hire a singing coach, Abbie Lathe from Shropshire, who works with us on harmonies and songs from all over the world.  It’s always a brilliant weekend and so calming.”

Steve Hicks

“I met Steve Hicks at a gig he was doing in Staffordshire.  The gig was arranged by a mutual friend, John Montague.  Steve and I had much in common as we’d both spent a lot of time in the USA.  I asked if he’d be interested in getting together to try a few songs and he agreed.  That was about three years ago.

“Since then we have amassed an ever increasing repertoire of songs which we play in addition to his wealth of instrumental pieces.  We typically perform our own arrangements of songs and tunes but I have a number of songs whizzing round in my head and recently performed my first ever self-penned song at a local club.”

The “day job”

“I work part time as a special needs teacher in Nottingham and have a special interest in young people with Autism.  Working part time allows me to pursue the love of my life, singing and playing with Steve, who is a brilliant accompanist and never fails to come up with something that bit different and unexpected in his arrangements, often applying one of his ‘tailor made’ tunings.  I love getting out to clubs and performing at different venues.  We meet some really interesting people.

“I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up…”


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