- 10 Jan 07
Soul sensation Amy Winehouse has the voice of a fallen angel and the mouth of a docker. And that’s before she’s even got a few vodkas into her.
Limbering up for a boozy appearance on national telly, she tells Stuart Clark she’d love to go on a bender with Atomic Kitten and explains why she heckled Bono.
It’s 7pm and Amy Winehouse is limbering up for her Tubridy Tonight appearance with a vodka.
“No ice or lemon,” she instructs the bow-tied waiter who promptly fetches her a generous slug of Stoli.
“You not having one?” Winehouse says accusingly.
“No, I’m working tonight,” I reply, always the consummate professional.
“Never stopped me!” she cackles.
That’s evident three hours later when, much to the bemusement of Tubridy and his up-from-the-country studio audience, the 23-year-old slurs her way through – irony of ironies – ‘Rehab’.
It’s not the first time it’s happened, with YouTube bearing witness to the spectacularly inebriated nature of Winehouse’s recent Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Charlotte Church Show appearances.
Add in a penchant for dissing her rivals – Katie Melua is “the singer of shit songs her manager writes for her”, Madonna “an old lady who should give up” and Dido plain “rubbish” – and a history of public tantrums, and the impression one gets is of a female Pete Doherty in the making.
Well, the impression is totally wrong, with Ms. W turning out to be affability personified.
“If Noel Gallagher or Robbie Williams mouth off, it’s considered a bit of fun, but if it’s me or Lils (Lily Allen) we’re ‘gobby cows’,” she proffers. “It’s a complete double-standard. That said, I am trying to cut down on the insults so that I don’t have to spend all my time either justifying or apologising for ‘em!”
The new, insult-free Amy Winehouse took the night off recently when she heckled poor old Bono at the Q Awards in London.
“Poor old Bono, my arse!” she snorts derisively. “Can I tell you a joke?”
As long as it’s of dubious taste, she may.
“U2 are on their finale at a gig. The crowd’s screaming ‘Bono, Bono!’ He goes (Adopts the worst Irish accent in the world…ever), ‘Shhh, everyone.’ He raises his hands to the microphone and, to absolute silence, claps once…claps twice…claps three times.
‘Every time I clap my hands a child in Africa dies.’
And someone from the front goes, ‘Then stop fucking clapping, you cunt!’”
At this, our budding stand-up dissolves into howls of laughter, which make heads all around the Berkley Court Hotel tearoom turn.
“Do you wanna know what happened at the Q Awards?”
“When they went up to collect their ‘Best U2 Award’, he had a whole poem prepared. It’s not Beat night – you’re supposed to go, ‘Love you Mum, bye’, and then get off. Anyway, I was sitting at the table next to theirs with my Dad, who was my date, and as the compere launched into the ‘The most rockingest band, they’ve done this, they’ve done that’ pre-amble I turned to my press fella and said, ‘If it’s U2, I swear to fuck I’ll do summat!'
“Bono might as well have got the scrolls of The Torah out, he’s so self-important. I wasn’t even that pissed and went, ‘Shut up, shut up!’
I went up to him later though and said, ‘Thanks for funding my two albums’, ‘cause U2 are on the same label as me. I’m sure Bono’s a lovely bloke who just happened on this occasion to get my goat.”
I’ve subsequently stolen the observation – see the HP-10 Summit interview in our Christmas issue – but Noel Gallagher was spot on when he said, “If I were Girls Aloud or Rachel Stevens, I’d look at Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen and think, ‘The game’s fucking up!’”
“That was nice of him,” Amy beams. “The thing about me and Lils is we don’t give a fuck. I don’t care about breaking America or Mars or wherever – if it happens while I live my life the way I want to live it, fine. If it doesn’t, you won’t find me going boo-hoo.
“Cheryl Tweedy walked past me at the Q Awards – she’s so beautiful, I’d love to kiss her. Kimberley came up, all-nice, and said, ‘Hi, Amy’. There’s a couple of ‘em I don’t like, but the rest of Girls Aloud are nice ladies.”
As were Atomic Kitten when Hot Press interviewed them a couple of years back.
“That’s 'cos they're proper Liverpool girls who love their beer and their football. I always apply the ‘Would you want to go on the piss with ‘em?’ test and you definitely would with Atomic Kitten.”