WHEN she finally gets time to look back on 2017, award-winning Burnley blues singer Lucy Zirins will be able to reflect on a quite remarkable year.

This summer she achieved a first class honours degree in songwriting, was invited to be the curator for the acoustic stage at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival next summer and this week she has released her first live album.

“I think people thought it was quite an esoteric thing doing a degree in songwriting,” said Lucy. “But I was also working two jobs to help pay the rent, gigging regularly - oh and I wrote music for a short film as well doing my dissertation. I’,m just about ready to drop.”

Lucy’s new album Live at the Old Courts was recorded in May in Wigan.

“I’ve got a studio record to come out next year but that’s taken longer to get it to where I want it to be than I thought,” said Lucy, “so this has come at a lovely time.

“I’m thrilled at the live album. Everything is what you heard on the night – it’s me on the CD. What you are getting is a moment in time. It’s an album for the fans I guess too.”

Those fans have already been ordering the album in their droves from Lucy’s website.

“I’ve just been to the post office and I think I’ve annoyed every person in Epsom,” she laughed. “I think I held the queue up for about 50 minutes I had so many to post.

“I wanted to get a physical album which people, could buy. My grass roots audience wants something they can hold and until I can afford vinyl it will have to be a CD but it looks like a record - it’s really cool.”

Live at the Old Courts is Lucy’s first live album and follows her debut release, 2013’s Chasing Clocks.

“I owed it to the fans who have been so supportive to put something out and the live album will buy me a little bit of time to get the next studio album done,” she said.

“I think I have 10 songs I’m happy with but I want to get 12 on there really. I always push myself.

“I’m looking to book some time in January and get some musicians in and start to pull it together although it probably won’t be released until autumn. I am a perfectionist and want to do the best I can.

“I do put lot of pressure on myself to get my music out there for my fans. They support me so much and I want to give something back.

“I think the new album will probably the most contemporary thing I’ve done in terms of production. It’s still got the heartfelt songs on there which are really small, just me and my guitar and then bigger ones where I’m playing electric guitar and we’ve got full sound on there. I’m really excited by it.

“As an artist you can never tell if you are doing the right thing. All you can do is create the thing that you want to make.”

Live at the Old Courts is available from www.lucyzirins.com