MARC Almond heads to Wirral next year for the opening night of his new album tour.

The star - who came to fame as the voice of 1980s band Soft Cell - will perform at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on April 16 as part of the Velvet Trail Tour, his first major solo jaunt in nearly three years.

The show will include a mixture of old and new material and will have an emphasis on the pop, big ballad and electronic rock side of Marc's catalogue.

There will also be tracks from his new album, together with acclaimed 2014 extended EP The Dancing Marquis and chance to relive his greatest hits and old classics.

Southport-born Marc, last year's recipient of the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award, is currently touring with Jools Holland.

He told the Globe: "A new tour is always exciting, getting to meet some of your audience, a chance to perform some new songs from the new album The Velvet Trail and Dancing Marquis for the first time as well as performing some old favourites that always get a great reaction. One or two surprise songs too. I never get tired of it.

"My last proper solo was almost three years ago, I've toured since with John Harle and The Tyburn Tree and am currently touring with Jools Holland so it'll be nice to do a show with my own songs."

His new album, Velvet Trail, is due out in February. Marc said: "It was produced by and co written with LA based producer Chris Braide, its a return to very polished high production Pop, and Electro Rock.

"There are some big Ballads of course and even some songs have Soft Cell-ish feel. That's inevitable as Chris is a soft Cell fan and it influenced his writing.

"After working with legendary producer Tony Visconti last year on songs for The Dancing Marquis mini album which reignited my love to write Pop songs.

"I wanted to return to more Pop after projects such as Ten Plagues and The Tyburn Tree which were more classical, Progressive Rock and Opera influenced.

"Chris sent me some killer tunes and I was inspired. Its joyous, infectious songs but with a dark reflective melancholic side that runs through my work.

Looking forward to playing in New Brighton, he said: "It's not my first time in the Wirral, I'm Merseyside-born and bred but its the first time I've performed there. The Floral Pavilion Theatre looks very nice."

After graduating from Leeds Polytechnic with with a B.A honours degree in art he met David Ball and together they formed the internationally successful 'electro duo' Soft Cell in 1979.

Their biggest hit Tainted Love has been covered many times by artists as diverse as Marilyn Manson and The Pussy Cat Dolls. Soft Cell parted amicably in 1984 to pursue solo projects.

Asked whether he thought he would still be in showbusiness after all these years, he replied: "Yes, but not necessarily as a music recording artist.

"I thought I would probably go into theatre or something, but I've been lucky that my musical career has shown no signs of slowing down.

"I find I'm busier and in more demand for different music projects than I ever have been. I can't imagine doing anything else at this point."

In August, he entertained thousands as one of Jools Holland's guests at the end of Carfest North in Oulton Park.

He said: "I always joke that I love performing on stage so much, that I act like I am even when I'm not.

"There's nothing like a live show and a great audience reaction.

"Jools and his band are always wonderful to perform with, I'm enjoying the tour with him this year even more than the others I've done with him."

Marc was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in 2004. He was in a coma for two weeks and sustained near fatal injuries that took the next few years to recover from. He began to slowly gain vocal and physical strength and today he is performing and singing better than ever.

Recalling the incident, he said: "It's so long ago now that I barely think about it. I don't like to talk too much about it any more as I refuse to let it define my life.

"Needless to say it gave me a refreshed outlook on my life and career and to appreciate both more.

Describing himself in one word he used the word "Mercurial".

Looking ahead he said: "Next year will be a busy year with the release of the Velvet Trail album at the end of February and my tour in April.

"I have a couple of other musical projects I'm slowly developing."

Asked what he would have done if the music career hadn't worked out, he ended: "There wasn't really much of plan B, there was never originally a plan A either. It was all a case of fate and lucky chances."

Tickets for his Floral Pavilion show are from the box office on 0151 666 0000.