Music interview: Paul Young talks about The 80s Invasion tour

Paul Young
Paul Young
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WE are about to be invaded. Invaded by four icons of a past decade. The 80s Invasion tour is the latest in a long line of package tours featuring stars of ‘the decade that fashion forgot’.

Paul Young, who had hits with Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), Love of the Common People and Everytime You Go Away just three of his 20 plus hits, is headlining the tour which travels the UK in March.

Also on the bill is Martlka, whose Toy Soldier was a chart-topper in her homeland of America while achieving top five status tight at the end of the 80s.

As a singer, actress, writer and television presenter, Toyah Willcox has been entertaining us since the late 70s.

And China Crisis enjoyed a run of 11 hits from 1982 to 1987 including Wishful Thinking and King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up).

Taking a break in his busy schedule, Paul Young tells me about the show and why the 80s decade is so popular.

Toyah

Toyah

“As to how I got involved is quite simple,” he says. “The promoter contacted me. I’ve worked with them on a number of projects, most notable the Here And Now tours and we seem to work well together.”

There are a number of 80s acts doing the rounds these days, it seems that nostalgia for the decade is on a par with that for the 60s and 70s.

“Oh, it’s definitely as strong as that. You see, the 80s was an ‘in your face’ decade in both the changes in technology and fashion, and it was the middle of the Thatcher era and we felt that anything could happen.

“In a way, it was the same as when punk came on the scene – there was a big shake up and everything was very exaggerated.”

From the moment we stepped on stage, we all knew that history was being made.

Paul Young

Young first came to our attention in 1978 when his band Streetband, whose novelty hit Toast was a surprise hit at the end of the year. He then formed The Q-Tips, and whilst they had no single hits, their 1980 album charted.

Young takes up the story.

“To be honest, I prefer being in a band. A solo deal wasn’t something I was looking for, but I was offered it as I’d put some music at one side as The Q-Tips didn’t want to do it.”

He glosses over Streetband though.

China Crisis

China Crisis

“It was a hired band really, and you needed a sense of humour.”

These days, he fronts a Tex-Mex band called Los Pacaminos.

“Most of my touring these days is with Los Pacaminos, we have great fun playing music we really love.”

As his solo career started, he first hit the top with Wherever I Lay My Hat and from then on he was one of the most popular of the 80s hit-makers.

His is also the first voice we hear on Do They Know It’s Christmas and also appeared at Live Aid.

“That was a day,” he recalls with a smile. “From the moment we stepped on stage, we all knew that history was being made.”

Although he sometimes can change his mind about it, he does have a favourite song from all his hits.

“Yes, although Wherever I Lay My Hat is the one that broke me, I tend to say Everytime You Go Away as that finally put the seal on my worldwide success. It’s my ‘jewel in the crown’ if you like. And it’s so pliable, you can do lots with it.”

Luton-born Young is up for the tour and is enthusiastic about playing in a particular area.

“I’m really looking forward to this tour,” he says. “Especially Scotland as they get missed sometimes. The Edinburgh Playhouse is really nice.”

The 80s Invasion, starring Paul Young, Toyah, Martika and China Crisis will be appearing at The Town Hall, Huddersfield on Friday March 17. https://tickets.kirklees.gov.uk/en-GB/shows/80s%20invasion%20tour%202017/info

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