Your new solo album, Pale Rider, is a more
subdued affair than your last LP This Is The Life. Was that a
conscious decision? It's difficult to say what's a conscious
decision when you're making an album. I was aware it was
happening, as I wrote the songs. But the album had a different
balance this time last year and then I decided to take some of
the more 'up' tracks off it. On tour, it's going to be
piano-vocal and guitar-vocal. I love simple songs.
I wish to God I could write a song like the
first one on the album, She Gets Me Inside, every time. When I
wrote it, I was like 'Where did that come from?' And every time
I've played the title track live people always respond
positively to it. You still tour and perform with Deacon Blue.
How different an experience is touring your solo material in
With Deacon Blue, songs would be thrown
into this melting pot, but when I do things on my own, it's
different All the things I do in an acoustic solo show are the
things that make it a different kind of thing completely.
I toured the last album acoustically and
with a band, but it dawned on me that I'd been doing something
quite creative with the solo acoustic thing. I get nervous but
I'm getting better at dealing with that, and there's a nice
intimacy to things this way.
Besides, every time we've got together to
do Deacon Blue shows, which we've done very few of over the last
few years, they've become increasingly more enjoyable. But we
wouldn't want to do it full time again. You kicked off the
Tsunami Wave Aid gig at the SECC this year. Being the elder
statesmen, how did you get on with some of the younger Scottish
bands. It was lovely. These things can often be fraught
backstage. I remember doing the Poll Tax benefit gigs in the
'80s and there were all sorts of feuds going on behind the
But that wasn't the case at the SECC. I
spent a lot of time chatting to Fran and Dougie from Travis
about songwriting. It was a great night and I was genuinely
shocked and surprised when the audience knew our stuff so well.
I'm never any good at explaining why. I suppose we've become
part of Scottish pop history. Paul English