It has been nearly 17 years since 80s soft-rockers T’Pau released a new studio album.
Red, released in 1998, was the last studio effort from the same band that scored simultaneous number ones in 1987, with the album Bridge of Spies, and the single China In Your Hand; and even that album only featured vocalist Carol Decker from the original line-up.
This year, however, Decker surprised fans by announcing she was working on a new album, with her original band member, Ron Rogers, and a new line-up of T’Pau. In 2013, they toured the UK, and work began soon after that. Pleasure and Pain, their new record, is set for release in February. Next month will also see them hit the road for a UK tour.
Speaking to Decker while the album was still being mastered, she explained what finally prompted her to get back into the studio.
“I guess gathering a little confidence from the 25 year tour. I haven’t put a studio album out since Red, which is, embarrassingly, 16 years ago. I just sort of thought ‘what’s the point? Who cares, any more?’, if I’m honest about it.
“Then we has such a great reaction on the road, and I’ve got my own little label. I just thought if we sell it on the road, that will be fantastic.
“I think it was having that expectation of what my albums used to shift; but I think it’s coming to terms with where you are, who’s still interested, what you think you’re going to sell. You have to measure that against the fact that you are a creative person.”
Decker is no stranger to the fickle nature of the music industry. In 1991, despite having another hit single and a Top 10 album with The Promise, T’Pau were dropped from their label. She has often commented that she was never able to get the same kind of traction back into her career after that, and her confidence suffered as a result.
Now back in the studio with Rogers, very little seems to have changed. “We’ve got a couple of new tracks and, as my good friend Nik Kershaw says, ‘you go back and harvest’. Sometimes, you have to have some distance from your ideas and revisit them.
“Ronnie and I disappeared down a black hole yesterday over the intro to a track called One Lesson in Love. Eventually, I just said, ‘Oh, for God’s sake, I don’t care, I’m going home, do what you like!’ Hopefully he did something good,” she laughs.
February 6, Warehouse 23, Smyth Street, Wakefield, 7pm, http://warehouse23.co.uk/events/tpau-2/