Interview with Nik Kershaw
Following the success of his 2014 "Me, Myself and I" tour, Nik Kershaw returns with more solo shows. An intimate evening of songs and stories in the company of one of the UK's most respected songwriters. Nik chatted to Jo about the tour, music and what it’s like being a former popstar and one of the UK’s most acclaimed songwriters.
J Are you all ready for the tour?
N Ahh, nope!
J Ha ha!
N That’s kinda what I’m doing now, basically the frantic last few weeks trying to get my stuff together. You think “It's just a bloke on a stage with an acoustic guitar, how much is there to prepare”? But I’m using three video screens, I’ve got to get that all together and get all the video and media to trigger correctly. I got 4 or 5 songs I’ve never performed before, that need rehearsing, and all the nonsense and stories I chat between songs..it can’t be the same as three years ago!
J You’ve quite a varied range of events you’re playing on the tour, 80’s revival festivals etc. But at The Sage it will be an intimate evening of songs and stories.
N That’s it, yeah I did a similar thing at the same venue about three years ago but you have to mix it up with new stories, different songs.
J I saw you back in 2012 do something like that at The Cluny and we did see a different side to you from the one we saw in the 80’s- funny, kind of relaxed.
N Yes you do find that back in the day it was very much like a mirror. You never really got to mix with the people who were buying your records. So being on stage with just a few hundred people, in that kind of close proximity, I took questions last time, I might do that again. It is more intimate, you feel almost you can have a conversation with the audience. Instead of me just entertaining with the big wall between me and the audience, I don’t want that.
J I remember you had a bit of a fight with the loop pedal back at The Cluny!
N Story of my life! I have a love/hate relationship with my loop pedal!
J I guess you have a different perspective now, as a parent, as a songwriter, looking back at the pop star era. The song The Sky’s The Limit, I believe was inspired by your daughter. As your life changes it must bring more inspiration for your music?
J Arguably your period as a songwriter for other people was even more successful than the pop star period although it was less visible.
N Yeah I could always write songs but had to learn how to write for other people. After about nine years it got a bit frustrating so I ended up releasing my own albums again.
J. Yes I noticed the resurgence of you releasing albums again. Where did the album name Ei8ght come from?
N Ha ha, nothing exciting about that one! I just couldn’t think what to call it. Nothing leapt out as an album title from the lyrics. It was the 8th studio album that’s as exciting as it gets.
J You got to play The Sky’s The Limit to 62,000 people in Hyde Park?
N That number just keeps going up! I mean how many people can you fit in Hyde Park? It was for the 2012 Olympics, I didn’t realise quite the size of it all. We set up behind these big video screens and then they parted and we expected a couple of thousand people on picnic blankets! It was huge. At the time I didn’t expect to be playing to a crowd that size, that was great.
J As my final question, is there another studio album planned?
N Well, yeah it’s in constant progress, I don’t wanna repeat myself! I spend a lot of time half recording things, I thow a lot of stuff away. It’s like one step forward, two steps back, but I’m getting there! Hopefully sometime next year there’ll be a release of some description.
J Great, thanks for talking to us and I’m sure the gig at The Sage on the 17th September will be great, have a great tour!
N Great talking to you!
Read the "About Nik" section on his website! Most amusing. Jo