SINGING has been part of Lavinia Blackwall’s life for as long as she can remember.

“I always wanted to write music and be in a band and I was lucky, my parents were really supportive,” she explains.

“My mum used to sing around the house, my dad played the organ - they weren’t musicians, they just really loved music, and they instilled that in me. They encouraged me to follow my dreams.”

Lavinia’s voice, which switches effortlessly between wistful folk and joyous pop and everything in between, has echoes of a whole host of iconic female singers - everyone from Fairport Convention’s Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell to Karen Carpenter seems to be in there somewhere.

The classically trained soprano, and former frontwoman of Glasgow psych-prog-folk outfit Trembling Bells, is appearing at Frets in the Strathaven Hotel on May 13, part of the venue’s ‘stripped-back’ acoustic series of concerts which has also played host to Lloyd Cole, Tim Burgess, Altered Images, James Grant and many more.

“It’s quite different for me. I’m used to big, upbeat, quite rocky live shows,” says Lavinia, smiling.

“So a small, up-close-and-personal gig will be something nice to do.”

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Lavinia released her debut solo album, Muggington Lane End, in 2020. The name harks back to her childhood, growing up in Derbyshire. She is currently working on a second.

“On the road to school, I used to pass this sign that said Muggington Lane End. There were no houses or anything, just a sign – and it always made me think, where does that go, what is that?” she laughs.

“I thought it would make a good album name one day, so when I actually did record an album, it seemed a good idea."

Lavinia moved to Glasgow when she was 18, to study painting at the city’s School of Art.

“I dropped out after a couple of years – I think I was just too young,” she admits.

“Maybe if I’d come to painting later, I’d have had more of an open mind, and something different would have happened. But it wasn’t for me.

"So I left the art school, but I stayed in Glasgow.”

Now, Lavinia lives with partner - fellow musician and producer Marco Rea - in Hardgate, near Clydebank, and combines writing songs and performing with her day job as a primary school teacher in Glasgow.

“I’m in charge of teaching the kids music, which is really wonderful,” she smiles.

“From five-year-olds to primary sevens, kids are so open-minded about music - and they are up for anything. You really have to think on your feet, though.”

The songs on the album are a wonderful mix, and include everything from poppy tunes to sorrowful ballads, from the 60s-style John’s Gone, to the gentle Hold on to Your Love.

The Way That She Laughed is Lavinia’s tribute to her mother and grandmother.

“I lost my gran a few years ago, and it felt like the end of an era,” she says.

“This was a way of paying tribute to two women who were obviously very important in my life.

“I feel like a lot of the songs are about time passing, about things slipping away from you.”

She adds, with a laugh: “Maybe that’s just because I’m getting older. But there is a lot of joy there too – you have to enjoy life.”

There are “all kinds of influences” in her singing, Lavinia says.

READ MORE: 'Songwriting is a mystery' - Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble to play gig in Strathaven

“I can’t help it,” she adds.

“I really love singing Renaissance and Baroque songs, the period from around 1453 to 1700, but I also love a lot of 60s and 70s songs. All kinds of music finds its way in.

“I didn’t come to Joni Mitchell until much later in my life, and I love that – the fact you can really not be in to someone when you are younger, but enjoy them later on.

“You just have to keep an open mind. I went through a period in my mid-20s of loving 60s garage records, so who knows what’s next?”

She grins: “Maybe I’ll finally love all that 80s pop I previously thought was dreadful.”

Lavinia Blackwall is supporting Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble at Frets ( in the Strathaven Hotel on May 13.