Singer songwriter and Brit Award winner Beverley Craven, best known for her tear-jerking smash hit single Promise Me, plays Dorchester this month. She tells Peter Mann why she's looking forward to playing the county town

IT’S nearly 30 years since one of the UK’s most celebrated female singer songwriters told the world: “Just promise me, you’ll wait for me; ‘Cause I’ll be saving all my love for you.

“And I will be home soon.”

Now, a very youthful, energetic 56-year-old Beverley Craven, coming off the back of two hugely successful Woman to Woman tours with “my gal pals Jude and Jules” (Judie Tzuke and Julia Fordham) heads to Dorchester for an intimate, one-off show, with a few friends of course.

“It’ll be quite a ballad-heavy show and the string quartet I’ll have with me lends itself quite well to those parts,” explained Beverley.

“In fact I’ve been working on those string components of my music over the past couple of weeks.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Dorchester though as it’s been a while since I last performed here and I’ve family in the area as well – my father is in Dorset, my sister used to live in Wimborne, and I’ve nephews here as well.”

Having begun at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh on August 19 last year, Beverley has enjoyed two tours alongside those girlfriends, Judie and Julia, combined they run through to St David’s Hall, Cardiff on June 26 this year, it has certainly been a busy twelve months for the Ceylon-born, Hertfordshire-raised mother of three.

Not only that but collaborating on an album, an update of her autobiography, Truth Be Told, and undergoing a course of chemotherapy has only added to a period which she has, on the main at least, enjoyed and continues to do so.

“The tours with my two gals were such a good laugh and the three of us really bonded,” beamed Beverley.

“The sound of the three of us performing together is just so enjoyable, I mean just listen to us in the stairwell at The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, the acoustic in there are just amazing.

“Although I did think we were the first to do it but apparently others have as well but that moment, right there, was just beautiful, magical.

“I always knew that the three of us together was to be a success though.

“As for the album (a ten-track masterpiece which also includes Beverley’s signature single Promise Me as a bonus track), it’s a great collection of songs, a really cool album and rather diverse.”

It’s easy saying that now but, in the early days and the putting together of Woman to Woman, it wasn’t quite that way for the 30 year music veteran who herself arrived on the scene with her self-titled debut album, Beverley Craven, back in July 1990.

In fact that also contains ten tracks beginning with Promise Me whilst also including an aptly named Woman to Woman – she could visualise the future!

Three decades on and Woman to Woman the album is the perfect ode to three of those most celebrated of musicians, even if the putting together of it took Beverley a little longer to warm to.

“Yes, I’m thrilled with it now, but honestly, they all bullied me into doing it,” giggled Beverley.

“And Lee (tour manager Lee Noble of RLN Music) can be quite persuasive as well when he wants to be and here’s me sat there thinking why, and here we go again.

“But overall I’m thrilled, really proud with what we’ve done.”

All of that touring, and writing music with her girlfriends has certainly re-lit the fires within as well.

Not content with the Woman to Woman album and the process of chemotherapy firmly behind her, the after-effects of which are a touch visible in her glamorous new hair style. “The timing has been quite sublime and I’m sporting greyish-white hair which is the in thing right now.

“That and I’ve got some great curls, I’ve never had curls before so I’m going for the Meg Ryan kind of kink look,” she smiled, Beverley has begun writing again, even linking up with her old producer, Paul Samwell-Smith (bassist of The Yardbirds who’s also worked with Cat Stevens, Carly Simon and Chris de Burgh among others).

In fact Beverley has been lending herself to both musical and literary writing over the past year, adding a further three chapters and bringing Truth Be Told right up-to-date, but it’s musically where she is re-born, a few new songs already in the pipeline.

“I’ve got my favourites on the Woman to Woman album, I mean who hasn’t because it’s amazing,” beams Beverley with understandable pride.

“Personally I love Julia’s Christmas song (A Photo Every Christmas) and Cowboy as well, whilst Jude’s track, Temporary is just fantastic.

“Myself though, I actually thought that my song-writing days were over with, I really did but all of this, the past year, has most certainly reinvigorated me again and I’m happy to say that I’ve written a few new songs.

“In fact my partner received a phone call from a friend a month or so ago asking if I’d be interested in putting some words down for a Christmas song for AVUK (Auditory Verbal UK is a charity that was founded in 2003 for deaf children to provide access to auditory therapy for the first time).

“What started off as something quite small is now going to be our new song with all the proceeds from sales going to AVUK, and I’m really, really excited about it.

“That’s part of why I’m looking forward to returning to Dorchester later this month, because it’ll be fun.

“It’ll be a fun evening we’re all going to enjoy ourselves, and I’m going to get myself a new pair of shoes.”

*Beverley Craven …Strings Attached (with special guest appearance from Judie Tzuke), takes place at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Friday, September 20, tickets priced at £27.00 from