Scottish pop smoothie and erstwhile frontman of Wet Wet Wet is currently flying solo, with a packed post-lockdown tour schedule. With a show at St David’s Hall in Cardiff included in the itinerary, Carl Marsh grabbed a quick word with a most personable Marti Pellow.
Marti Pellow: Aye, as you know, last year I managed to get a few shows in. And it was wonderful. So, this is like the second part of my Greatest Hits tour where I’m just celebrating all of those songs that people enjoy me singing. But, Carl, I just wanted to have a night out where it’s more about entertaining than educating.
I might try to squeeze in a couple of new songs, but during lockdown, when I did those online sessions, most of the people that were commenting kept asking me if I could just do the songs that they know – and we’ll have a no-brainer of an evening. And having been blessed enough to have a back catalogue of songs, I can do that. So I thought, “Right, I’m game!” With some of the songs, I’ve not sung many of them in such a very long time, and I just thought – that sounds like a brilliant night out. It’s not rocket science, Carl…
I’ve seen some of the lockdown sessions that you did, and obviously, it’s about the music – but you’ve got one wicked sense of humour.
Marti Pellow: I always like to think that I navigated that whole period with a smile on my face. Some of my mates struggled with all of that. But it was the most time that I’ve ever spent at home in the last 30-odd years, you know? So once I’d got a structure in my day, I was away!
And when it was getting to the end of it all [lockdowns], my family were saying to me, “why don’t you get back on the road, you know!” I was like, “OK, I hear you!” I loved doing those sessions where I was able to sing some songs, as they came from a good place – a place called honesty.
It’s easy to forget how many hits you’ve had, and some knocked me back as there were some that I didn’t even know were Wet Wet Wet songs! So many!
Marti Pellow: Aye, completely. That’s the beauty of music, Carl. I started writing as a teenager, and I remember meeting people in 1987 who’d come to my shows and stand outside the stage door or whatever. They’d be babies, just like myself. Now, I’m in my 50s, and when I meet these people, they still say to me that they still loved Angel Eyes, that they dig it. I’d be joking and laughing with them, then someone would say, “but I’m 87”. And that would freak me out!
But they are connecting with the songs, whilst in the same breath, I’d turn around and see an 18-year-old couple who had discovered my music on YouTube or Spotify, or a mother and daughter who’d say that her mum and dad used to play my music – that she was brought up on it. I relate to this with them, as my mum and dad did that with music. And that’s what my energy gives.
Marti Pellow, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Wed 20 Apr. Tickets: £32.50-£40.50. Info: here
words CARL MARSH
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