One of the first UK rock chicks was Elkie Brooks. Today the sassy singer has lost none of the fire in her belly, but is more comfortable in her solo career and performing with her blues band.

The singer whose hits include: Don’t Cry Out Loud, Sunshine After The Rain, Lilac Wine, No More The Fool and the classic Pearl’s A Singer, will be making a welcome return to Swindon's Wyvern Theatre on Friday March 24 from 7.30pm.

Elkie said: "I have visited Swindon so many times over the years and we always have a good night. The Wyvern has a great atmosphere and the crowd is always very warm and appreciative. We are looking forward to coming back.''

Her Swindon date is part of her UK tour and she says she will be bringing a few surprises along the way.

She said: "People can also expect a lot of my hits, I can't get away without doing the favourites,'' she added.

Elkie believes in keeping it in the family as her husband, Trevor Jordan is her sound engineer and her son Jay is both her manager and collaborator on her new songs. She has co-written and sung with many famous names in the business over the last 56 years of her career including Leiber & Stoller who worked with Elvis Presley.

During a difficult time in her life, when she was struggling to find her direction in the melee of the 1960s, Elkie supported The Beatles, lent a helping hand to the Small Faces and toured America with The Animals. Her brother, Anthony Bookbinder, whose stage name was Tony Mansfield, was the drummer with Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas on their run of 1960s hit records.

Elkie said: "For me, it wasn't a good time. I was very unhappy with where my career was heading, and although it was an honour to perform alongside some of these artists, it wasn't until the 70s that I started to feel more comfortable with how things were progressing, and I had artistic control.''

Elkie started out at the young age of 15 when she entered and won an early reality-style show at Manchester's Palace Theatre. Her prize was a national pop package tour and this was a start of her musical journey which would see her touring religiously ever since. She says it gave her a stepping stone as today's reality TV shows help up and coming artists.

She said: "I think they are great, especially The Voice. They do encourage people to get out there and sing and find confidence in themselves. What isn't nice is how many of these people are treated after the programme ends, and they are dropped without any nurturing.''

In the 1970s Elkie became joint lead singer with Robert Palmer in Vinegar Joe, the alternative rock band that notched up a huge cult following, and Elkie found herself as the Face of 1973.

Elkie said: "BBC 4 have been repeating some footage lately of Vinegar Joe from the Old Grey Whistle Test and I have seen it a few times now. I really was quite the rock chick back then. We had some times in Vinegar Joe. I don't miss it, I miss Robert but am far happier with my career now.''

In the 1980s Elkie became a household name with a string of solo hits and world tours with her family. In 1986 she scooped a top five single, top five and top ten place in the album charts and saw the arrival of her second son Joseph Jordan - all in one week.

"Joey now has his own fitness clothing range which he launched last year,'' said the proud mum, who is currently working on her latest album with her eldest son Jay.

Tickets to see Elkie Brooks in Swindon are £26.50 - £27.50 from 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison