Star Interview: Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack
Paul Carrack
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Those building a life’s work in music are usually lucky if they manage to land a single hit with one band.

But, in a career which has spanned four decades, Paul Carrack has been responsible not only for a string of hits with a range of high-profile groups, but he also continues to carve a name for himself as a songwriter and successful solo artist.

Paul, who is known for time spent in the bands Ace, Squeeze, Mike and the Mechanics and Roxy Music, has recently released his latest album, Good Feeling, and will soon be taking his solo tour to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

Paul is still remembered for a huge array of hits such as Mike and The Mechanics’ The Living Years and Over My Shoulder as well as Squeeze’s Tempted, so how has he decided what to focus on in this tour?

“We do a bit of everything and that is the balance we have to strike,” he said. “There are a few hits that people expect to hear and we have to perform these songs, but we are not a nostalgia act. I have this new album out at the moment and a lot of that will work well in live performance.”

Paul produced his latest album himself and plays most of the instruments on it, but he was joined on drums by his son, Jack. Paul said: “Jack has been in the band for the last two tours and plays with our support act, Tinlin. I’ve got four kids and I didn’t really want any one of them to get into the music business because I know it is hard. I have been fortunate to have had a long career, but it isn’t getting any easier to make a living from music. But Jack is a talented guy and a chip off the old block in as much as he followed his instincts.

“I left school at 15 and I was already playing in bands. I don’t want to even tell you how hand to mouth it was; you would never believe how we lived back then, sleeping on sofas, but I think there were more places to play.”

Looking back at his time in Mike and the Mechanics, he said: “I had some good hits. Sadly we lost one of our main members, a guy called Paul Young, and it took the heart out of it a bit. I sang some of the major hits, like Over My Shoulder, and when Paul passed away I was doing most of the singing.”

Although the group continues today, the former Ace man – who had hits such as How Long – left the band in 2004 and solo career is going strong.

“I had a call from Eric Clapton and he would like to tour with me and that is right after our tour in March so I will be doing that,” said Paul.

“As a soloist it has been quite tough, I have never had the same oomph behind me as some of the bands. When I started my own label in 2000, people still didn’t know the name of Paul Carrack. It has been hard work but we are getting there. I just want to keep the show on the road, to keep making records.”

Paul will be performing his show at the Royal & Derngate on October 22. See www.
royalandderngate.co.uk