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Interview: GT talks to Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding

But this time, the girl is going it alone...

What better way to celebrate St Patrick's day than sitting down with our favourite half-Irish popstar – Sarah Harding. The former Girls Aloud star is getting ready to go it alone, and dropped in to GT towers today to talk her brand new album, going solo and, urm, using her whips on us. Yes, really.

GT: Sarah! It's St Patrick's Day – shouldn't you be out celebrating?

SH: I've been too busy working to be celebrating! I've got so much going on and I haven't finish rehearsing yet. I haven't finished the vocals on some songs yet, so I need to get my head around them. But you know the ones I'm most worried about? The Girls Aloud ones! There were five of us singing before, and now it's just me.

So what can people expect from your big live showcase at London's Islington Academy at the end of the month?

Well, I'm only going to be doing about three Girls Aloud tracks. The majority are all mine, and I might do a couple of cheeky covers as well. I really can't wait to get going, though. I've just sorted out the order of the setlist today, and I'm really excited. It's that one step closer.

I think we’ve reached the light of the end of the tunnel and i’m actually really excited. Once I get to the venue I'll know exactly how i’m going to play the stage and the audience, and where exactly I want everything to be. At the moment I’m excited – but tomorrow I’ll probably be crapping myself. It comes and goes. It’s one end of the spectrum to the other – scared, happy, scared, happy. It’s a roller coaster.

The important question – have you decided what you're going to be wearing yet?

Oh yeah! Or lack of! [laughs] It's going to be cool and it's going to be hot.

And as well as the showcase, you've got a gig at Kensington Palace coming up for the charity Street Child...

That's right! I'll be doing a couple of my songs and a Girls Aloud track as well, and that's going to be acoustic. Anything that's for a good cause, i want to be a part of. And being asked to sing at Kensington Palace as well – hello! Kate! Wills! [laughs]

Are you nervous?

It's scary – doing it acoustically without any production! I've already done one rehearsal with the guys before. But for me, growing up I came from a musical background, so I'm used to the minimal stuff anyway. I prefer to just go back to basics. It's going to be a real tester for me, though, to see how I cope with being on my own. I'm just going to imagine I'm up there singing with my dad's band, or with my brother on one of his acoustic sets doing The Doobie Brothers.

So when can we expect the debut album? It's what everyone's waiting for!

I’m the only one who hasn’t really done the solo album yet! I’ve done the soundtracks, but not this! I like to keep everyone waiting… no, it’s not through any fault of my own. It’s just the timing has never been right. And now, I just feel like I have enough songs to put out there and give people an idea of what I’m about, and to see what I’m like on my own live.

I’ve been basically been working on stuff on and off for years, but I’m such a perfectionist I’ve never really come to the conclusion of it all being finished. There’s still stuff coming in now that I really wanted to work on. There’s no actual finish date on anything.

But what I want to do is just start getting it out there and getting some feedback. The fans have been going on at me forever and I’ve been wanting to get out there again and perform, because that’s what I love to do, is perform live. I just love to get entertaining and get the crowd going.

Girls Aloud has always had massive support from the gay community – why do you think that is?

Well, it was all about five outspoken naughty girls. Look at Kylie – she’s gorgeous, sexy and quirky… And every one of us all had a different element that people could relate to. And we’d play up to it as well! The banter, and strong women...

Well, we do like a strong woman to keep us in check…

If you keep talking like that i’m gonna get my whip out. [laughs] Men love fabulous women, what can I say?

You can read more from our interview with Sarah Harding in a forthcoming issue of GT.

Sarah will play London's Islington Academy on Wednesday, 26 March. Tickets are available now – click here to buy.

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