Miss Hope Springs is the glamorous cabaret creation of composer, lyricist and entertainer Ty Jeffries and she is launching her brand new album, The Devil Made Me Do It, on a UK tour starting at Wigmore Hall in London in two weeks’ time. Dave Cross had a catch up with the divine Miss Springs to find out more.
We are very excited to hear that you are releasing a new album – is there an overall theme to The Devil Made Me Do It?
Yes. I am of course good as gold, but life’s twists and turnings have confronted me with many difficult choices and some mistakes may have been made along the way. Like when I slept with Englebert Humperdinck. I found out in the morning it wasn’t the real Englebert at all but an impersonator! However, Sandy turned out to be the nicest lesbian I’ve ever met.
We really like the song Seedy Little Nightclub In Pigalle – can you tell us about the inspiration?
Ah yes, Pigalle. This is a new solo piano version. It’s based on a real venue in Paris where I spent some of my misspent youth modelling swimwear on a swing…Don’t ask! It was a dump, but I fell in love with a diminutive kitchen porter named Jean-Jacques and found out the hard way that, in this funfair called life, the rollercoaster ride of heartache has no height restriction.
What’s the story behind Please Don’t Desert Us At Dessert?
I worked with Noel Coward at The Pink Pelican Casino back in the early Sixt… I mean Seventies. He was so charming and had that understated masculine energy I go for. Same with Liberace. Don’t Desert Us At Dessert is a song Noel wrote for me over lunch one afternoon. There’s also a brand new song I wrote about my unconsummated relationship with Barry Manilow, It’s A Love Song – he was very much in love with me of course… just too shy.
Is the title track the ultimate bad girl song?
You said it! I have a lot of people sending me photos or telling me situations they got themselves out of by saying ‘The devil made me do it!’ My pal Kel Surprise uses it all the time. It’s always fun to take the shitty things that happen in life and turn them into a catchy show tune, n’est pas?
Have you actually done all the naughty things in the song?
If I told you I’d have to kill you! I’ll leave it to your imagination. Let’s just say I’m not now nor have I ever claimed to be an angel… Charlie’s or otherwise.
What are your other favourite songs on the record?
The new Ferris Wheel song is a favourite – Liza wants to record it. And the title song from my musical based on Joan Crawford’s last movie TROG! is fun too. The ballads Queen of Fools and The Music of My Life I suppose tenderly explore my more intimate inner parts.
How does this new album differ from your past releases?
It’s purely solo. Just me and the piano. I suppose it’s the purest representation of my work as a composer and lyricist. This is what I do.
We know you have led a colourful life – is it possible to sum it up in a few cheeky lines?
My life and career has been full of ups and downs. I’ve enjoyed going up… and I’ve also enormously enjoyed going… well, you get the gist.
What can we expect at your Wigmore Hall show and the UK tour?
A rather tall middle aged blonde at an enormous Steinway concert grand in a very big room! They have made a concession to ‘cabaret’ and allowed me a follow spot. I’d be lost without one. I’m lucky to be embraced by the world of classical music. I did the Branscombe Festival last year and will be appearing at the London Festival of Song in the autumn. Who knew? And I’m very excited about the tour.
When is the album released and on what formats?
It’s out in time for my Wigmore Hall debut. I’m the first non-classical artist to play that fabulous room so it’s an honour. The LP will be available at my shows, online for purchase and download, and I am thinking of doing it on vinyl, cassette and possibly wax disc.
Miss Hope Springs UK tour dates
Wigmore Hall, Marylebone, W1. Friday 16 June at 10pm.
Chapel Arts, Bath. Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June.
Astor Theatre, Deal, Kent. Saturday 8 July.
Wilton’s Music Hall, Whitechapel, E1. Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 July.
The Stables, Milton Keynes. Friday 14 July.
Komedia, Brighton. Friday 21 and Saturday 22 July.