Australians not
so cold: singer

''Australian audiences have been great", American singer Melanie Safka said in Canberra yesterday.

"I was warned that Sydney audiences might be a little cool, compared to Melbourne ones"', she said. "But they really responded, and after a while I told them that I was expecting them to be cold. And some guy yelled out, 'That's only when we get a cold performer up there' ".

She said the hardest thing about touring was leaving behind her two daughters, Leilah, 2 and Jeordie, I.

"I can't do anything else", she said. "I miss them a whole lot, but it wouldn't have been good to bring them. I wouldn't have been able to do half of what I've done. It's best that I finish totally what I'm doing. But I'll never leave them for that long again.

"As long as I'm working and am busy it's OK. I'm doing what I have to. I believe deep down inside that if you spend time with your children you ,should give them all of you. I really do believe that it's the quality; not the quantity".

Miss Safka feels that she has survived being typecast, or classified as a particular type of singer. "I think it's awful that people can get frozen after one recording or one photograph used for publicity . . . ", she said.

"I haven't had a hit for a couple of years, and I feel freer. I haven't really tried. I can't write a hit when I want to. I write songs I feel. Some can be commercialised, and some can't. Nothing is better than following what you feel is right. My last two albums have been done when I was pregnant and were very thoughtful".

When it was suggested that her newest album, 'Sunsets and Other Beginnings', contained a more mature style of music, she laughed; "I should hope I've grown up after all these years', she said.

She will perform at Canberra Theatre tonight.


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