Buxton’s Lucy does it her own way

Lucy Spraggan. Photo by Andrew Whitton.
Lucy Spraggan. Photo by Andrew Whitton.

In 2012, Buxton’s Lucy Spraggan charmed the nation, performing her own song Last Night at her X Factor audition.

Strumming her guitar and joking about waking up with ‘beer fear’, the crowd embraced her originality, spunk and humour and erupted into cheers.

Unlike fellow contestants her age, Lucy had already toured America, been signed to a record label and crucially, been scouted by producers.

Two years down the line and with top-ten album Join the Club to her name, the 23-year-old has continued to buck the reality trend, avoiding the faceless manufactured popstar stereotype and remained refreshingly funny.

Speaking while walking her Boston terrier Stephen through Earlsfield near her home in south west London on Friday, the singer-songwriter spoke of Buxton with a certain nostalgic fondness.

After moving to the town with her family aged 11, Lucy recalls growing up in High Peak as a series of misdemeanours.

There was the time while working as a barmaid at the New Inn, she brought a horse into the pub “for a laugh”.

Not to mention when she fell off a cherry picker and broke her leg while working for a demolition firm making way for Haddon Hall.

And lest we forget the countless occasions she was suspended from Buxton Community School for generally being a “bit loud and restless”.

“I liked doing things my way, and I haven’t really changed,” she laughed.

It’s fair to say the self-confessed headstrong tomboy, who also spent time working as a cave tour guide at Poole’s Cavern and as a plumber’s apprentice, was struggling to settle down.

One constant in her life, was her love of music.

After her stage debut at the Crich Tramway Festival, aged 12, she honed her repertoire at the Eagle, the Vault and the former Café Nats, before announcing she was off to America, aged 18.

“I had a gig arranged in Orlando and I ended up doing 23 states in three months. That’s when I decided it was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I had 200 songs, it doesn’t mean any of them were any good... but some of them made it onto the first album.”

One song, which has particular sentimental meaning, is It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas, which she wrote in memory of her friend and “top lad” Dale Yates, who passed away in Buxton on December 23, 2012.

Now working on her third album, the talented Tea and Toast singer said she had recently collaborated with Boy George, DJ Riva Starr and Preston from the Ordinary Boys.

Recalling her standing ovation at her X Factor audition, she said: “It was pretty amazing. I was blown away by it all, getting recognition like that. I’ve never had a negative comment about it. It was mental and it showed.”

Would she recommend the X Factor route? “It depends. If you want to go and do your thing and be a karaoke singer, do it. I saw it as a springboard.”

Charming like her lyrics and unpretentious like her girl-next-door appearance, Lucy ended the conversation saying she was spending the afternoon fishing with her best friend from Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Lucy will be performing alongside a choir of up to 6,000 children as part of the Young Voices concerts at the Manchester Phones4U Arena on March 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2015.