LEGENDARY singer-songwriter and Cockney Rebel frontman Steve Harley is looking forward to a Wirral first.

He has played all over the world - sold millions of records, appeared on the West End stage in Phantom of the Opera, written books and had his own Sounds of the 70s show on BBC Radio 2.

Steve has sold out venues from the Albert Hall to the biggest stadia across the world.

But, he tells the Wirral Globe during a break from his current UK tour: “ I’ve never, ever played New Brighton Floral Pavlion before.

“I have heard so much about the place and I am looking ahead to taking time off before the show’s sound-check to walk along the promenade and see the Napoleonic Fort Perch Rock and the lighthouse.

”Wherever I play, I want to see the town or the city.

“I just love that side of touring.

“This is a job I love doing. My family comes first, then the job.

“But, I tell you now I will come away with a few Wirral post cards.”

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel were never out of the charts with hits such as Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)Mr Soft, Sebastian, his cover of George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun and the classic Friend of Life.

Two of his biggest hits appeared in television advertisements in the 1990s: "Make Me Smile" for Carlsberg Lager in 1995, prompting the track's return to the UK Top 40, and "Mr Soft" for Trebor Softmints between 1987 and 1994.

"Make Me Smile" was used again in a 2005 advertisement for Marks & Spencer. It was also used on the soundtrack of the 1997 film The Full Monty and 1998 glam rock movie Velvet Goldmine.

He is at home with a full orchestra as well as his acoustic show - which comes to New Brighton's Floral Pavilion on October 21.

Steve, born in Deptford, London in 1951, has a real fondness for the Merseyside area and says he goes where the music takes him.

“I love performing and every audience is different, every show is different.

“I know what the fans want to hear, you get the mood of the people who come to see you and have always supported you.

"So I mean it when I say am looking forward to New Brighton as much as I would do to playing with a full orchestra in London or Manchester or Liverpool.”

Steve says he will also try to visit the Liverpool Palm House in Sefton Park, which he helped renovate by performing concerts and auctioning off memorabilia.

“I used to write songs there in Sefton Park, and when I saw that the beautiful Palm House had fallen into disarray, I knew I had to do something."

He did, and when it re-opened he played a gig there - even paying his band to travel and buying guest tickets himself.

He efforts are acknowledged with a plaque in the building.

For now, he is on a streamlined tour and has recently played Chester.

“i didn’t know they did concerts there, but great people , great city," he said.

Whether it is a Steve Harley with strings or with two of his stalwart musicians, Steve is ready to rock and roll and sing his famous ballads.

Would he ever consider NOT singing his anthem Make Me Smile?

“How could I?

"I have probably written better songs – but you know I was in taxi one day and the song was on the radio in the cab and the driver was tapping his fingers and singing along, he didn’t know it was me in the back."

He certainly made Steve smile.

So after this tour, what next?

“I have a boxed set out, another tour...performing, writing and recording.

"But I guess, at the end of the day, I am and always will be just a wandering minstrel.”

Steve will be presenting his acoustic three-man set with Barry Wickens on violin and guitar and James Lascelles on piano and percussion at the Floral Pavilion on Tuesday, October 21.

His new boxed set collection is called "Best Years of Our Lives (The Definitive Edition)" including a CD of a cracking live performance in London.

For Floral Pavilion tickets go online to www.ticketswirral.com or telephone the theatre box office: 0151 666 0000.