Singer songwriter Marika Hackman was a huge fan of indie rock band Alt J, so she wrote asking to work with Charlie Andrew.

Her bold move resulted in her new album, I'm Not Your Man, being produced by Charlie, and an invitation to be the featured vocalist on Alt J's song Warm Foothills.

"Charlie is a unique producer and we had a lot of fun,'' she said. "I am a big fan of Alt J and got to know them on tour. It was awesome.''

Marika is promoting her new album by performing at a string of in-store acoustic gigs, before hitting the summer festival circuit, including Reading Festival. She will dropping into Sound Knowledge in Marlborough on Tuesday, June 6.

The singer had a taste for the macabre which shone from her music, but in this new album she says she has moved away from her dark side.

"It is a bold departure, a heavy sound, recorded live, giving that raw excitement. It will be great to be on stage with a band for the festivals. I have pulled together a band that is a mix of friends and musicians I have played with before,'' she said.

This will the second time the singer has played at Reading Festival, the first time she was on the Reshuffle stage and now she is back with a bigger band opening the NME/Radio One stage on the Friday.

"I have never been to a festival where I have not been performing but I like the vibe. The songs on my new album are more suited to the festival field. They will not dampen the atmosphere,'' she said.

Marika likes to keep the reigns of control over her career in her own hands, and has some off the wall ideas for music videos, including filming in her old school, Bedales.

"Cannibal was filmed at Bedales because the school hall was appropriate, and Ophelia was filmed in the desert because I had visualised a sea of sand. We trekked three hours south of Los Angles and found these massive sand dunes at sunset, it was beautiful.''

Marika's parents were both animators and her brother is a music producer so she was always encouraged to be creative. She took an art foundation course but decided that music was to be her career and art her hobby.

"I always have a sketchbook on tour,'' she said.

The singer was signed to the same record label as the 1975 so they became friends and shared the stage on several occasions, despite performing very different styles of music.

"Their fans were very welcoming, especially when we played somewhere special like the Royal Albert Hall,'' said Marika.

Admission is free to see Marika perform a short set in Marlborough when you pick up a copy of her album. She will be signing them after she has performed. For more detail call 01672 511106

For more details about Reading Festival or to buy tickets visit.. - Flicky Harrison