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Art: Imelda May

You were raised by a Hollywood-loving mother and a dance instructor-turned-decorator father. Was that as arty as it sounds?

Yeah, it was a pretty arty house. My family was a normal working class family from Dublin. It was a real working class area with no money but a great community.

How did those artistic pursuits fit into that environment?

It was an antidote to hard times. My mother saw a lot of kids in the area getting into bad gangs and drug problems, so she and a friend set up a local music and drama group. That gave my mum an outlet for her ideas as a dressmaker, and my dad did the backdrops. So the house was full of all this stuff.

_How important is the visual side of your music? _

It was definitely the music that attracted me first, but I’m sure as a teenager the whole package had something to do with it. I mean Adam Ant, say, and Ian Dury were very visual onstage and I absolutely loved that. And I loved Siouxsie Sioux. I think I was always drawn to things that slightly scared me but thrilled me at the same time.

A man in Warrington had your face tattooed on his arm this year. And you punched him.

Well, it was more of a slap than a punch! He lifted his arm and showed me and I went: “Oh, Jesus!” and punched him!

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.