A few weeks back the Warwickshire gay community came together to show off their talents in front of a motley panel of judges and voting audience to battle it out for a headline slot at this year’s Warwickshire Pride event on the 4th July.
After a tough competition of singing, dancing, poetry, music and harmonica playing a winner was finally crowned. THEGAYUK nabbed a chance to chat with this years winner Tarn Fulford who’ll be performing on the day to thousands attending.
Congratulations on winning Warwickshire Pride’s Got Talent. Quite clearly you were the public’s choice by the sounds of cheering in the room. So tell us a little about Tarn?
Im a 56 year old retired grandmother. I have two daughters and five granddaughters and live with my partner of 18 years John Clarke. I love spending time with the grandkids we have a brilliant relationship and do lots of things together including days out to theme parks, days in watching films or just chilling, chatting and of course laughing! Three of my granddaughters are teenagers so they keep me young and daft. (Laughs) I like singing of course but also like gardening, writing and reading. In fact I’m never without a good book on the go.
What made you enter the competition and did you think you’d win?
Well I was going to go and watch it then I was asked if I would like to enter? Well I was ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ about it but my friend Claire persuaded me so I said ok, It will be fun if nothing else but I never thought for one minute that I would win! I was genuinely shocked when I did because the youngsters who entered were so good.
Have you always been a singer or is there a day job?
I’ve aways loved to sing but never thought I was much good. When I was young my older brother was in a band and I used to go to practice sessions with him and sometimes sing, but nothing serious. Then I met my partner John and he got me into singing karaoke. I just went from strength to strength and grew in confidence. I started singing with a friend Noel Willis who plays guitar and we did some open mic sessions which I loved as I was able to meet more musicians and started to sing with various people. I love to entertain folk and prefer to sing with live musicians because you can then put your own stamp on a song. There is no day job as I’m retired now though in the past I have worked on various jobs just to keep the wolves from the door (laughs). When I left school I was a greyhound trainer but after settling down and having kids I just did whatever jobs came along.
We hear you’re a bit of a Karaoke pro! What’s your top three favourite songs and why?
Top three favourite songs to sing hmm… that is a hard one because there are so many I love to sing but will go with Patricia the Stripper by Chris de Burgh because it’s not just about singing this song I can actually perform it as well and it always goes down well with the crowd. Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan/Adele because it’s emotional and I can throw my heart and soul into it. Then finally I will go with House of the Rising Sun by The Animals because it has such a great range up and down so I get to throw my voice a bit.
Have you ever had an embarrassing Karaoke moment that you’d like to share with us?
I can’t honestly think of an embarrassing moment really. There’s been lots of “epic fails” over the years like starting in the wrong key, mucking up the words or trying a song for the first time and realising you can’t actually sing it! Basically you just have to laugh, make fun of yourself and carry on. Don’t take it to seriously it’s fun at the end of the day.
If you could duet with somebody famous who would it be and what song?
Probably Rod Stewart because he has always been one of my heroes (laughs) and I love his unique voice and it’d have to be the song First cut is the Deepest I think because I sing a lot of Rod Stewart songs but that’s one of my favourites.
Have you decided what songs you’ll be performing to the crowds this summer?
At Pride Im performing four songs. My winning song Can you Feel the Love tonight by Elton John and Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan/Adele, and I’m in the process of deciding my other two songs. Maybe You’re Sixteen by Ringo Starr but not sure yet.
Apart from performing, what are you looking forward to most at Warwickshire Pride?
I’m looking forward to spending the day with all my “Girlies” and watching all the other acts because the line up seems real good. Also just to generally enjoying the laid back atmosphere of the event, meeting friends and having a giggle.
Do you have any other talents?
Apart from singing I love to write poetry. I have an uncanny knack of making up a ditty in three minutes flat (laughs). Seriously though I love to write comical stuff and serious stuff. My grandkids love it because they give me a subject, always something way off the radar, and then give me a time of 5 mins and I have to write a quick poem about it. Usually a funny one. I write serious stuff as well and want to get my poems published into a book for my grandkids.
Who inspires you most to sing?
To start with my partner John inspired me because he can sing as well but I cant really think of anyone famous who did. Lately my grandkids because they can sing as well and Noel Willis, Paul Buckley and George Holmes who are my musician friends I sing with. When my two daughters were young they used to love me to sing them at bedtime and that was always inspiring.
Warwickshire Pride is on the 4th July at the Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa. The day is a free event for all to attend with donations gratefully received on the day. Tarn will be performing alongside a number of acts throughout the day including the unforgettable Wagner from X-Factor. Do come and say hello to TheGayUK team on the day who’ll have a stall showing off all the latest issues and are always happy to natter.
For more information visit: www.WarwickshirePride.co.uk