Wolverhampton unsigned artist Elizabeth Fields gives 100,000 Welcomes
The old advertising slogan declares 'good things come to those who wait'.
And Wolverhampton singer/songwriter Elizabeth Fields is clearly someone who believes in this mantra. She this year released her debut record - 100,000 Welcomes - and it is the culmination of a decade of work.
"I've funded it all myself, which isn't exactly easy on a part-time wage," she tells us. "I ran out of money halfway through so I needed to build some more up and hire people as and when they were needed. I was pleased to meet John Stewart who mixed it in Coventry. He put the extra hours in with me to get it done and get it done right."
And the hard work has been worth it as Elizabeth, who teachers guitar and vocals as her day job, is now starting to see the plaudits come in.
"It was album of the month in [local music magazine] Ryan's Gig Guide when released and has also been getting some play on Black Country Radio.
"There's been some great feedback and I'm getting a few more bookings. The album has a real summer vibe which is obviously great at the moment. The majority of the response has been positive, and one comment I really loved was that it was 'fun music'."
So would she do it the same again?
"I could have maybe done a 'less is more' approach to the music. Some of it actually sounds quite busy and if I was to do it again I'd probably take a more stripped back approach to the sound."
Elizabeth has an idyllic-sounding process for writing her material. While many major artists talk about having a muse, maybe not so many would tell you that theirs has four legs, a tail and likes to chase squirrels.
"I spend a lot of time walking around Bantock Park with my dog and taking inspiration. I then sit down with my pencil, a piece of paper and the guitar. That's how I do all my writing.
"I wrote the majority of the tracks in the middle of the night. I am naturally a night person. I would start with either the melody and add the vocal lines or vice versa.
"I've always been inspired by music I am listening to. Kate Bush is definitely a huge influence, I love the way she writes, especially her song Love And Anger. But there's loads of different artists that influence me. I really like jazz. I really like Average White Band and Nick Harper [formerly of Squeeze].
"Nick Harper actually inspired one of my songs in particular - In Our Time. I told him that once and he was really chuffed. That was nice to hear."
When playing her material Elizabeth is far from a lone wolf. She plays with her friends, named the Elizabeth Fields Collective, with different musicians joining in 'depending on demands'.
They've got some musical credits between them. Wolverhampton's Parvinder Bharat plays the tabla, and he also does so for Stevie Wonder and The Dhol Foundation. Then there is Beverley Knight's bassist Ian Reid, also a Wulfrunian, as well as vocalist Vix from 80s Brummie band Fuzzbox.
It once again highlights the fruitfulness of the local music scene. It's something Elizabeth has been well aware of on her journey to where she is today. Her early jamming buddies at various music spots were Scott Matthews and Ben Drummonds.
"When I first started writing my album there was a big city scene. I used to go to City Bar and play at their Sunday jams. It would be me, Scott, Ben and Parvinder would be there too.
"Ben and Scott were in a band Positive Firefly together so we used to just play and talk about music together."
She still performs in her hometown too - last month lining up at the city's Wolvesfest alongside former Unsigned acts The Icon and Alex Ohm.
"Wolvesfest was fantastic, it was absolutely lovely on the main stage," she says. "The musicians were all lovely and sounded great."
And she has plenty in the pipeline, too. On Wednesday, Elizabeth will be taking her collective to Shrewsbury to play at Albert's Shed Bar. It's an all-female line-up that night, with free entry and the show kicking off at 8.30pm.
And on September 15 they will be in Walsall at the Music Xchange event at Goscote Greenacres Community Garden.
Release-wise, things have slowly been building up for a number of years. In 2002, a trance remix of her song Speak In Sympathy by Solarstone went global and she was sitting in her living room watching it bring in attention.
"Kiss FM picked it up as their single of the week which was amazing," she remembers. "And then it went wild. it charted in Jerusalem, Denmark, Sweden. It was crazy.
Her album 100,000 reasons was out in March, which followed the single The Colour Of My Dreams being released in February accompanied by a music video put together by local musician and director Nick J Townsend of the band Weak 13.
And then in May, Elizabeth revisited her songbook to release Don't Wanna Know It via her own record label, which has 'charted on MySpace in the jazz charts'.
"I've also got a single called Half A Mile which I recorded but didn't end up putting on the album," she informs us. "I will re-record that and use it to help build my collective, perform live shows and also promote the album."
Copies of Elizabeth's album are for sale on her website www.elizabethfields.co.uk with a limited edition run of signed copies available for just £10. For updates on her collective and their live dates, find them on Facebook @elizabethfieldscollective
By Leigh Sanders