Born: April 5, 1983 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Lucy hails from the small pie-eating, rugby-playing town of Wigan, firmly planted in the north-west of England. She was raised on the music of Frank Sinatra and Doris Day and skipped to school singing 'I Got Rhythm' rather than stomping along to the sounds of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' like most kids her age. “This didn't really help my cool factor” says Lucy. “I remember my mother trying to teach me the words to Greenday songs in an attempt to help me fit in” needless to say, it didn't really work.
But it wasn't long before Lucy realised she didn't really want to fit in. “I’ve always seen my life as a musical, I have a soundtrack that follows me around” Sitting in her bedroom as a child singing along to Doris Day and Judy Garland Lucy found a way to express herself through the music she loved.
“I have always sung. I probably drove my family mad!” But she never really seriously considered it as a career and worked diligently at school in the hope of getting ‘a proper job’. After 2 years of study at college Lucy didn’t continue on to drama school as everyone thought she would but after flirting with a degree in ancient history and archaeology ended up training as a pharmaceutical production technician and lecturing in pharmaceutics “God knows how I ended up doing that! I guess I have many interests” But there was one thing Lucy kept coming back to “I never stopped singing, I just can’t shut up!” And finally at the ripe old age of 25 Lucy gave up being ‘normal’ and turned professional.
Her debut performance was as guest singer with ‘The Northern Swing Orchestra’ “What a rush!” she says “performing for the first time professionally with 13 brass players blowing the back of your head off” Undaunted by the noisy musicians Lucy has forged herself a little home in the world of jazz and has since sung with The NSO many times along with performing with her own smaller jazz outfit ‘The Lucy Ward Quartet’
Lucy is often asked why someone of her age would be so interested in songs written years ago “people often think of jazz as being miserable and exclusive but it’s neither. These tunes have been around for a hell of a long time, there has to be something in that” Lucy’s influences range from Nancy Wilson to The Scissor Sisters and her new album ‘shakin' the blues away’ features some of the pop/swing tunes played by the ‘well swung big band’, a project conceived by her MD and partner Pete Faint. They have recorded big band swing versions of ‘Livin' On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’ by the Arctic Monkeys and ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’ by the Scissor Sisters. Lucy also performs many of the classic jazz standards we all know and love such as Gershwin’s ‘But Not For Me’ and ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’ and the all time great ‘Stormy Weather’. “I like a song I can get inside of and walk around in, it has to mean something to me, speak to me in some way you know? I still have to hold back the tears every time I sing ‘You’ve Changed’”