Scottish singing icon Horse McDonald is preparing for a triumphant return to Aberdeen having recently battled Covid.
The 63-year-old and her band were sidelined with the virus earlier this month.
It was the latest set-back on a tour that has been dogged by illness and hospital visits.
Thankfully Horse and her band have recovered and are ready to deliver a memorable show at The Lemon Tree on Saturday.
Horse will play the Granite City to celebrate the 30th anniversary of debut album The Same Sky.
Three decades on the acclaimed singer shows no signs of slowing down.
Instead, recent single Leaving indicates Horse is speeding up!
Getting back in the saddle
Horse said: “It has been quite the tour, quite the mountain to climb.
“I was taken to hospital in London and had some tests.
“My keyboard player had shingles and my bass player had gout.
“There were various hospital visits and then when we came back up from England we all had Covid.
“I was worried because I have asthma that suddenly goes ‘bang’ and my stats drop.
#day7 #thehouseofRona finally feel like I’m coming out of a tailspin … thanks for all your good wishes all of us are now #comingupforair back to #samesky #Anniversary #uktour hopefully by Saturday 🕺#covvy pic.twitter.com/XeDREHAKQV
— Horse McDonald (@horsemusic) April 10, 2022
“We had been very cautious and stayed away from people for the whole tour.
“The week before I got Covid I was on steroids for my asthma and I think that may have staved the worst off.
“It’s not been easy, I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near 100%.
“Hopefully we are on the up now though.
“Onwards and upwards.”
A snowy night in Aberdeen
One of the most respected voices in Scottish music Horse has toured with artists including Tina Turner, BB King, Bryan Ferry and Robbie Williams.
Horse is relishing a return to The Lemon Tree and recalls a memorable rescue mission outside the venue.
She said: “One very snowy night we came out of The Lemon Tree after playing.
“In a splitter bus you’re supposed to switch the power off to everything when you leave.
“However, someone left the video on after we had been watching Still Game.
“We came out to a foot of snow and the van wouldn’t start.
“It just so happened there’s a police station nearby.
“I walked in and the sergeant on duty, a woman, said ‘Horse. What are you doing here?’
“She was a big fan and so annoyed she was unable to see my show because she was working.
“Then I walked into the station. She gave us a jump start and I gave her some Horse goodies as thanks.
“Although she didn’t get to see the concert she got a personal visit.”
Surprise in store for Aberdeen fans
The coronavirus lockdown denied musicians the outlet of live shows for more than a year.
It also denied fans that personal connection with musicians.
Horse insists the reaction at shows since the return of live concerts has been ‘astonishing’.
And the singer-songwriter promised a special surprise for Granite City fans.
She said: “People singing live is the missing link that we have not had these last few years.
“The reaction we’ve had live when playing is astonishing.
“We do an encore, I won’t say what happens, but it will get people up on their feet pogoing.
“We jump up and down as well, it’s a real thrill to be singing and dancing.
“Doing that is amazing, such an exciting moment.”
Leaving is an ’empowerment song’
Earlier this year Horse released single Leaving.
It is a powerful, defiant statement from an artist with a singular voice and unwavering sense of self.
Leaving is accompanied by a striking video of Horse as Joan of Arc, shot by Kris Kesiak, at The National Theatre of Scotland.
She said: “Leaving is an empowerment song, an anthem for anyone who was put down or held back.
“This is my way of saying ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore’.
“You know, from that movie Network. Without going too much into politics if you think something isn’t going to get any worse… it does.
“It’s so exciting to have the new single.
“I work with the same photographer and have done for a number of years, Kris Kesiak.
“When we spoke about the video I said I saw myself in chainmail and being Joan of Arc.
“We got to use a studio at The National Theatre of Scotland.
“There’s something really dramatic about the video.
“He made me sing at twice the speed.
“So when it came back to the correct speed it was slightly swimmy and moving around a little bit.
“It’s all in black and white and very Kafkaesque.”