Carla Jenkins

On first sight, it would be easy to think that Eddi Reader is always in an unlikely pairing. Between sharing the songs of Robert Burns or a stage with Jools Holland, her musical versatility could give cultural whiplash. But, when she explains it, it makes perfect sense.

"I met Jools very early on," says Eddi. "Fairground Attraction had got No1 and Jools invited me to a party. He wanted me to sing with his pals – everyone seemed to be there. I was starstruck – he was in Squeeze – and I thought that he would have loads of fancy pals.

"I did the usual Glasgow thing and just got everyone singing around the piano, and I think that he loved that. It was nice to be in his company."

The duo have spent October and November performing together and will this weekend bring a bit of Boogie Woogie to Glasgow's Armadillo.

"When I met Jools, I remember he showed me a giant train set he was building in his house. The train got to a village, and three wee miniature people got out and started singing Perfect. It made me scream with laughter.

"He's an eccentric guy, and I remember thinking, 'this man is my cup of tea'. He seemed like such an egalitarian and it felt cosy to be in his life. Jools has phoned me during various times in my life and asked me to sing, and in the past I wasn't able to do it. But this time, it coincided with a break.

"We get to do the thing that we do in parties, and I get to be on holiday, musically. It's nice to be treated nice and when you work with Jools, he makes sure that happens."

This weekend's audience will certainly know the feeling of being treated nice musically when Jools and his Big Band roll into town. Alongside Eddi, Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall will also take to the stage with Jools.

It's one of her favourite gigs to perform, says Eddi. "I try to make sure in every show that my audience knows we only have this moment together, so we have to hold ourselves and enjoy ourselves personally, individually and collectively.

"Performing with Jools is like having a wee break for a minute. We all need what we need from life, and society, but in these shows you have a night of living in the moment in the joyous sense.

"Everyone gets up and dances, which I love. The next morning nothing feels as overwhelming as it did before. We all need those moments, and music is great for that.

"That's our jobs, as musicians, to be minstrels and give light relief. I'm not any different from someone in 1420 doing the same thing. I just get people saying nicer things to me than they did," she laughs.

Eddi has been doing her thing musically for a while now – although maybe not as long as 1420 – and with every new project she continues to surprise her audience.

Alongside the Boogie Woogie, she'll be performing a few songs from one of her other favourite musical pairings – that of Rabbie Burns, whose works she turned into an album, Sings the Songs of Robert Burns, in 2003.

The two have a natural affinity, she believes, and if anyone would understand her role as a musician it would be him. "When you're led to something it can be a feeling. Recording with him I felt like I was being guided by the ghost of him.

"I know that it's odd, but the more involved I got with the songs it was being involved with him – he wanted to be out the shortbread tin and into people's lives.

"I started looking into his life and saw him as no different to any other writer, or Dylan or Bowie. He was impressed by celebrity, yes, but saw everyone as equal. He was a feminist. Although he fell in love with most women that he met I believe he saw them equally, and what he did to portray Scottish people is unforgettable."

Eddi is the only Scot that could make Burns sound a bit like Jools. Come this weekend, the three of them may sound like each other in the Armadillo, and what a night that could be.