Maria Lawson

Westlife at the Faenol Friday 25th August 2006

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Opening the Faenol with a spectacular show, Westlife certainly didn't disappoint the 12,000 audience. The Faenol Festival's opening night was a sell out and there wasn't even room to swing Champion's Kev Bach, let alone a cat!!!

Westlife's supporting act was Maria Lawson. You may remember Maria was controversially knocked out of the X Factor (last year) by the Conway Sisters, (political voting by Louis Walsh perhaps?). Sharon Osborne was fuming and the rest is history.

Maria was given a great reception at the Faenol and she was obviously enjoying it all.

She sang a fantastic version of 'Beautiful' which was well received by the Welsh crowd.

She sang 'Let it Break' which is included on her first album which will be released on Monday the 28th.

She completed the set with her single 'Sleepwalking' (out 18 August) which went straight into the top 20 and the classic 'Take Another Piece of My Heart' which she sang on the X-Factor.

Her official website can be found on

In an interview with Maria

So what's been happening with you since you were cruelly booted off 'X Factor'?
It's been quite a whirlwind actually, so much has happened since then. Straight after I got kicked out I was offered four record deals and so I was trying to decide who to go with. Sony was my last meeting and I met with Phonogenic, a sub-label of Sony, and musically we were on the same page. They were happy for me to do a lot of writing for the album, to make it personal and from the heart, so I decided to go with them.

After that I went on the 'X Factor' tour with all the guys and had a brilliant time. What was so cool about it was that we weren't in competition any more, it was literally just going out every night and singing to all the people that supported us on the show – so that was amazing.

I flew over to LA the day after that finished to record the album, which was pretty manic. I had to run home, wash my clothes, pack them again and straight off to the airport. I stayed out there for a month and my album's now finished and I'm so excited about it.

What do you think your fans from 'X Factor' will make of this album – is it similar to the stuff you were doing on the show or is it very different?
It's kinda similar because I did a few pop-rock songs on the show like 'Brown Sugar' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and it's got that kind of influence on it as well. There's a song called 'Woman's Intuition' on it that's kind of rock-soul and another big rock ballad called 'It's Love' so there's a nice mixture.

What were your main objectives when it came to making your first album?
That it would represent everything about me in a way that is biographical and that it's honest and personal and hopefully people will be able to empathise and feel or have been through some of the things that I've been through as well.

Kate Wright

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