I’ve sold millions of records...but I still worry about making every single new one (From Clacton and Frinton Gazette)
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Nik Kershaw’s triumphal return
EIGHTIES electro pop icon Nik Kershaw is making a triumphant return to the musical mainstream with his latest album, Ei8ht.
It’s the Essex-based recording star’s first studio album since 2006 and his eighth in total, but he still feels a little bit of trepidation.
“We’re doing something a little different with this one,” he tells me. “With the last two albums I just allowed them to escape and pointed the hard core fans in the right direction.
“With Ei8ht we’re making a real effort to get the word out there. “After launching the record label, it’s something I’ve been wanting to try out for a while with the view of doing it for some other artists. I’m just being a bit of a guinea pig.”
What an album it is with a mixture of musical genres to delight in. There’s first single, also released on Monday, the Sky’s The Limit, which is a beautifully understated pop song that reminds you Nik is a songwriter who has been nominated for three Ivor Novello and four Brit Awards.
Then there’s You’re the Best, which has a touch of the Bond soundtracks to it, and opener These Tears, which is a real blast to Nik’s Eighties past. Nik, who has lived in a small village just outside Braintree for the past ten years, signed with MCA Records in 1983.
His debut album Human Racing gave him his first UK top five singles with the hits Won’t let the Sun Go Down on Me and Wouldn’t It Be Good. The equally successful the Riddle followed with the title track, Wide Boy and Don Quixote all reaching the UK top ten.
In 1990, after four albums and sales of more than eight million, Nik left the spotlight to concentrate on songwriting and producing.
“It’s generally harder writing songs now because you don’t want to repeat yourself,” he adds. “I never sit down and decide to make an album. A few tunes and words get inside my head and torment me until I give them a voice. “It’s not like I have a choice, the songs just demand to be written. When the ideas run out, the album’s finished, simple as that.”
In September there will be a chance to hear some of the new tracks live when Nik plays nine dates to celebrate the re-release of his 1984 iconic multi-platinum debut album Human Racing.
Nik says: “The last tour I did was 2001, so I’m really looking forward to it. “This one is a little bit different because for the first half of the show I’m playing the entire Human Racing album.
“The record label phoned me and told me they were re-releasing it. I don’t want fans getting ripped off, so I thought rather than just ignoring I might as well embrace it.
“The other half of the concert will be bits and pieces, some older stuff and hopefully some songs from the new album.
“It’s a little bit daunting, but then I’ve always said you should do something that scares you every day.”
I suggest he may want to start with something a little bit smaller like Great Bardfield’s High Barn, the closest venue to his home. “I think that would be a little bit weird,” he replies.
“These are the people I share the school run with and have a pint with in the pub. I like that relationship. It would just spoil it if they were in the audience.”
Nik Kershaw’s Ei8ht came out on Monday along with single the Sky’s the Limit. Tonight he’ll be playing a special set at BT London Live in Hyde Park. Nik’s UK tour starts on September 19 at the Sheffield 02 Academy and ends at London 02 Shepherds Bush Empire on September 28. For tickets go on-line at ticketweb.co.uk or call 08444 771000.