by Margaret Chrystall
IT took a long time for Louise Cairns – who sings by the name Loupie Lou – to find her way Home, the title of her EP launched this week.
Lou – whose short Scottish tour with friend and musician Franc Cinelli also starts tonight at the Old Bridge Inn – began studying music as a youngster.
"My mum is a piano teacher so I had no choice," she laughed.
"I did all my piano grades and originally went to university in Glasgow to study music – and classical singing.
"But while I was doing my degree, I developed nodules on my vocal cords, so ended up not singing for my entire degree, which was a bit strange.
"It was awful at the time.
"But now I think it was a blessing in disguise because I think the quality and tone of my voice isn’t suited to classical singing at all.
"It’s led me to discover what I really like to sing and what I like to do. So it’s worked in my favour.
"I started getting involved with student media and started making music documentaries. So that got me into live music and then I moved to London to work in TV.
"But after a few years, I decided to give the music scene a go."
Now back in Glasgow, Lou also plays in piano bars over the winter when she is not pursuing her own music.
She teamed up with Franc for her EP launch tour after bumping into him in America last year at a mutual frend’s wedding.
"We decided to put out a full tour togther – Franc tours quite a lot and was looking to put something together in Scotland and I was putting out my EP.
"I had an album out in 2010, self-released. One of the tracks was used on a fly-on-the-wall TV show out in America called Dance Moms.
"And it helped me decide to get some other stuff recorded.
"I was lucky to work on my new EP with John Somerville from the Treacherous Orchestra. He plays on it and Michael McDaid from the Paolo Nutini band also plays on it, plus Scott Mackay on drums from Manran and Roddy Hart.
"For me the experience was a massive learning experience just being in the studio with them!"
Lou and Franc play the Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin, tonight (Friday) and at The Tea Posy in The Greenhouse, Dingwall, (2pm) on Saturday.
For more on Franc’s music: ww.franccinelli.com and justgettingstarted.viinyl.com
For more on Louise’s music: www.soundcloud.com/louisecairns and at loucairns.bandcamp.com