Petula Clark, 84, pops up for her first performance in outdoor festival

Singer Petula Clark poses in New York, on Jan 19, 2012.
Singer Petula Clark poses in New York, on Jan 19, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Grammy winner Petula Clark sang her global hit Downtown at the weekend - to thousands in a field in rural England.

It was the 84-year-old's first outdoor festival in a career spanning eight decades.

"I'm always trying new things," she told Reuters.

Clark's set at the Fairport Cropredy Convention included some of her other 1960s hits, including Colour My World, I know A Place and Don't Sleep In The Subway but also new songs from her latest album From Now On.

"This is not an old 1960s thing by any means, I don't do ... looking back," she said.

Indeed, she is working on a new album of French-Canadian songs ahead of a tour next May.

Clark closed her Cropredy show with Downtown which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. It paved the way for her first Grammy and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.

Clark, whose career stretches back to World War II when she sang on BBC radio to entertain British troops, has never shied away from breaking new ground.

In the 1950s, she moved to Paris and recorded numerous songs in French.

She has appeared in numerous films, including singing and dancing with Fred Astaire in 1968's Finian's Rainbow, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

So no plans to slow down? "Not at the moment. My voice is in great shape. I don't really do anything to help it, I just go out and do it," she said.