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Do you enjoy touring?
Of course, otherwise I would not be doing it at this stage. It is harder work than it looks (I’m not complaining) I feel under pressure to perform at my best every night to give value for their hard earned money.
What is your favourite venue?
I like the small theatres where people can appreciate small musical subtleties and details.
The big venues are now about big production and the scale of the event.
You have been a member of several bands. Do you prefer singing solo or working with a band?
I have had my own touring band for over 10 years with more or less the same personnel. There’s more responsibility being the main guy but I am too old for the politics of a democratic band.
You replaced Jools Holland in Squeeze. What was it like following in his footsteps?
Difficult, but I think Squeeze fans took to me well.
Mike and The Mechanics was one of your famous bands and you had some huge hits with them. Would you like to hit the road again with them?
No. Mike and The Mechanics is more of a brand name now as far as I am concerned and I am happy going on my own sweet way.
How much time do you get for writing songs? How do you get your inspiration and is there any particular place that you like to write?
I write most of my songs at home in my studio usually when it is time to make an album. I try not to force it.
Of all your albums which is the one that has given you the most satisfaction?
The new one (I’m bound to say that) or may be Satisfy My Soul which was my first independent production.
Did you always want to be a musician?
No. I really wanted to play football for Sheffield Wednesday until I saw The Beatles at Sheffield City Hall.
Is there any musicians that have inspired you most?
I cannot think of anyone in particular. There have been so many. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles to name three.
Which musicians have you most enjoyed working with?
Eric Clapton. BB King.
What do you think of the current music scene and talent shows like X Factor?
Not a big fan but my family all watch it and ban me from the living room. I am just jealous!
In 1997 you played organ for Elton John on the single Something About The Way You Look Tonight. What was it like working with Elton?
How do you relax when you are not touring?
I still go to watch Wednesday. Not that that is relaxing. I love to go to Spain for family breaks.
What is your favourite meal?
Big fan of all good food. I get spaghetti Bolognese withdrawal systems if it goes too long.
If you had not been a musician what career path would you have followed?
No idea as I had little academic ability and little talent for anything else.
n The album, Good Feeling is out now.
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