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"TAKING A BREAK WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A RISK" NIK KERSHAW TALKS RADIO MUSICOLA AND LIVE AID




Nik Kershaw had huge success in the 80s with tracks like 'Wouldn't It Be Good' and 'The Riddle'. He also penned 90s smash hit 'The One and Only', recorded by Chesney Hawkes. As a musician, he's also worked with the likes of Elton John, George Michael, and Steve Hackett.


He is on tour with his full band for the first time in 11 years at the end of September, but we caught up with Nik ahead of his set at Rewind South.


PHOTOGROUPIE

How does it feel to be back at Rewind?


NIK KERSHAW

It's great. I mean, it's very familiar and it's not very different every time: But that's not a bad thing. Everyone knows what they're doing and when the audience comes they know what they’re going to get and we know what they're expecting. So it's a very simple contract between the audience and the performer.


PHOTOGROUPIE

You're been doing 80s Classical which is very different from some of the other things you’ve done.


NIK KERSHAW

Yeah, that wasn't something that I woke up one morning and decided I was going to do. It was just a troupe of people that decided that was what they wanted to do. There was this guy called Cliff Masterson, who uses the Opera North Orchestra. We started with shows in the town square in Leeds, Millennium Square. And that's been going for about four or five years with, with the orchestra.

There's there's a long-standing franchise in Germany called Night of the Proms. And they've been doing it for years and years. It keeps it fresh and it gives the songs maybe a bit more gravitas than they deserve sometimes.

PHOTOGROUPIE

Oh, I don't know about that! Lyrically, you're very astute and very clever and I've always enjoyed that aspect of our songwriting. Does that inspiration come easy?


NIK KERSHAW

No, not really, Lyrics take ages with me. Over the years, I've found a way of doing it, which is just getting the rhyming scheme and the rhythm of the words together just by writing a load of old nonsense. Then when you've got that, it's like the skeleton to hang the meat on and you just change it line by line until it actually makes some sense. It's astonishing sometimes, how little you have to change to actually turn it into a song.


PHOTOGROUPIE

I really like the Musicola album. How do you feel about the record?


NIK KERSHAW

I'm very proud of that album. It was me just getting carried away with myself a little bit. I produced it myself, the Record Company trusted me to do that. We spent an absolute fortune, and probably much too much time, too many overdubs, making it even more difficult to mix and stuff like that. So it was it was quite a mammoth operation. But yeah, the final product I was very pleased with.


PHOTOGROUPIE

Do you get frustrated that it doesn't get as much credit as your earlier records?


NIK KERSHAW

No, in the end, it is what it is, you know. The first two albums were hugely successful and taking a break and walking away from it for a bit was always going to be a risk, and I think I understood that at the time. So it's almost deliberately trying to sabotage my own career. I was just kind of exhausted by all the attention. It wasn't that I sat down and decided to make a record that nobody was gonna buy, but there weren't all the same kind of reasons for making the record that there were four or five years before.


PHOTOGROUPIE

You do a lot of the instrumentation yourself, is that something that comes naturally to you or is that still something you have to work on?


NIK KERSHAW

Yeah, I do. Yeah, mostly, I'm a control freak. And I've always been lucky enough that if I get an idea I can hear most of it. In my head, I can hear, what the bass is doing, what the keyboards are doing what the guitars are going to be doing. Sometimes, obviously, you don't want to repeat yourself. So it's a bit of a longer process now.


PHOTOGROUPIE

You don't want to plagiarize yourself.


NIK KERSHAW

Yeah, exactly. So you end up spending a bit more time, just trying things. The tricky thing is just making decisions, especially when you're doing something on your own, you almost have to be two people. Yeah, it's very difficult. Just because I'm too cheap to pay for a producer.


PHOTOGROUPIE

What's your proudest moment?


NIK KERSHAW

Most people would expect me to say Live Aid, but it wasn't because Live Aid was a car crash. Compared to the technology now, it was rushed, it got bigger than anybody was expecting very quickly. There we re things going on that didn't work out there should have been and everybody had that issue. Other than Queen I don't think it was anybody else's finest hour. There have been loads of great little moments on stage, I spent most of my most of the gig worrying about what's gonna go wrong. Or some guy, but four rows back, he's just staring at me with his arms folded, who's whose girlfriend has brought him along. And maybe a tiny little moment in the middle of the gig while I'm presently and I was in the moment and just loving it. I just living it and I'm on automatic pilot and it's just the words are coming out. The notes are coming out and it's all just there.

PHOTOGROUPIE

Coming up you've got the No Glitz, Just Hitz and Other Bitz Tour, and it's the first time you've been on the road with the band in 11 years.


NIK KERSHAW

Yeah, that's just me getting in front of an audience - my own audience again and having the luxury of not just playing the hits because I will, obviously because that's what it says on the poster. But it's just selected highlights from the last forty years.




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