WHEN festival favourites Steamchicken come to Bury Met on Saturday night the show will almost be a homecoming for the eclectic eight-piece band’s lead singer Amy Kakoura.

For Amy grew up in Blackburn and got her first taste for performing at an acoustic night in Oswaldtwistle.

“We lived on Lynwood Road in Blackburn until I was 10 or 11,” said Amy. “I went to Sacred Heart Primary School which was just across the road and then the family moved away and settled in Coventry where they were originally from.

“I remember when I was about nine they would sneak me in to the acoustic club run by a guy called Dylan Owen in Oswaldtwistle. I’ve always loved musical theatre so I’d sing lots of folk songs and then they’d let me do one musical theatre number.

“I remember one night singing a version of Memory from Cats which had 13 or 14 verses to it. They were very kind and let me sing the whole thing.”

From those humble beginnings, Amy has established herself as the lead singer with Steamchicken who combine folk, soul and even ska in their shows.

The band have just released a new album, Look Both Ways, which Amy is extremely proud of.

“When we started working on the recording, even though I had been with the band for a couple of years there was no recorded material with my voice on it so we thought we’d do an EP, just something to sell at gigs really,” said Amy.

“But once we started work on it, we suddenly realised we had so many songs which we wanted to put on it that it became a full blown album.”

Look Both Ways includes a number of covers plus original songs, all of which showcase Amy’s amazing voice.

“I suppose I’ve always seen myself as a vocal music collector in a way,” said Amy. “It has taken me quite some time to pin down a vocal style that I can refer to as my own.

“I started off doing folk singing then musical theatre and jazz. I think I pick something up from every musician I listen to. They give me something that I can hang on to.

“I quite like it because I’m always surprised by what comes out of my mouth.”

Steamchicken have been around for over 20 years and still feature founder members Andrew Sharpe and Ted Crum plus a four-piece horn section.

“It’s such a great band to be part of,” said Amy. “There are so many musical influences in the band. Andrew and Ted have this wealth of folk and prog experience and then there’s Matt (Matt Crum who also plays with the Demon Barbers) who writes these amazing funk/soul riffs.”

Having trained at the Guildford School of Acting and performed in a number of stage musicals, Amy admits she was a little nervous when she first started out with Steamchicken.

“Their previous singer Becky had just gone off to university and she was an incredible singer so it was a bit daunting taking over from her.,” she said. “I think it took me a while to take it in my hands and own it.

“In terms of fronting the band as a lead singer this was the first time I’d done anything like that and it took me a while to realise that audiences weren’t out to trick me and that I could actually talk to them but I love doing that now.

“Being up there with the rest of the band is just such good fun.”

Steamchicken, Bury Met, Saturday, March 11. Details from 0161 761 2216