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Paul Carrack's 'tempted' back to Wirral for guitar festival
PAUL Carrack returns to Wirral for this year's International Guitar Festival.
Fresh from a worldwide tour with old friend Eric Clapton, the former frontman of Mike and The Mechanics and the voice behind world-wide hits such as How Long by Ace and Squeeze's Tempted comes to the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on November 17.
He took part in the celebration of all things guitar last year and is looking forward to coming back.
But he told the Globe this afternoon: "It's a bit of a shock really, because I've always thought of myself as more of a keyboard player than a guitar legend, but it's great to be coming back to Wirral.
"I played at the Floral Pavilion last year and remember it being a great venue."
One of the hardest working figures in modern music, the Sheffield-born entertainer is back on tour, celebrating more than five decades in the music business.
Initially finding fame with Ace and Roxy Music, the 62-year-old has gone on to enjoy a successful career spanning 40 years.
It includes guest appearances on more than 60 albums, as well as writing for The Eagles, Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Michael McDonald and Jools Holland among others.
The timeless classic The Living Years firmly established him as a solo performer.
The secret of his longevity, he believes, is down to a number of things. "I think I’m just a slow burner and was prepared for the long haul.
"It's also the fact that I never really made it as a solo artist; no-one knows who I am apart from the fans."
Last year BBC4 screened The Man With The Golden Voice - a programme that documented Paul's emergence from his Sheffield upbringing to the star he is today.
On his career path he said: "I had no plan 'b'. I left school without any qualifications and went into music.
"I'm from a working class family and somehow or other I’ve made a career and managed to feed my four kids and keep the roof over their heads."
Over the past decade or so Paul has worked increasingly in his own right on many solo albums, which include Satisfy My Soul, Groovin', It Ain't Over, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue and I Know That Name.
His last album, Good Feeling, came out in September last year and another is due for release soon.
He said: "I had such a busy last year, touring with Eric as well as hitting the road with own band, that I was pressed for time to start work on the new album.
"I'm pretty sure this one will be of the best that I've done.
"There are five original songs and five covers, including Ray Charles’ Come rain or come shine, which I did during the tour with Eric.
"I’m not sure whether we’re going to get this out quickly or maybe leave it until January."
Paul's time as a member of Eric Clapton's band took also recently toured the US, the UK and Europe.
He recalled: "It's not like I’m best mates with Eric, but I’ve played on a few tracks of his.
"He called me up one day and asked if I wanted to go on tour with him, but I don’t think he really expected to me say yes, as he knows how busy I am with my own stuff.
"But I said yes and it was one of the best things I have ever done. He has an amazing drummer, who is very impressive."
This year’s guitar festival takes place from November 6-28 and will be opened by British rock and roll legend Joe Brown at the Floral Pavilion.
Tickets and full programme details are from www.bestguitarfest.com or 0151 666 0000.
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