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'suitcase of hits' Marti Pellow speaks of upcoming Irish tour after successful lockdown sessions

'I've been blessed to have had a career that spans decades'

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Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow

SINGER and songwriter Marti Pellow is on his way to Ireland with a greatest hits show chosen by the 12 million people who tuned in to his lockdown sessions.

"The audience picked the set, they picked the songs they wanted to hear," Marti tells Shuffle.

"Now my plan is to pack a suitcase of hit records and just tour it about. I might squeeze in a couple of new songs, but most of this is about songs that they are familiar with."

With an arsenal of hits that include Sweet Surrender, Goodnight Girl, Sweet Little Mystery, Angel Eyes and, of course, Love Is All Around, Pellow is spoilt for choice and he promises to deliver all the big guns we've come to know and love.

"I've been blessed to have had a career that spans decades, and at the beginning I was prolific with the songs I wrote for my band Wet Wet Wet," he says.

"We made some great records together and what ran adjacent with it was a very prolific solo career. My next album will be my 13th solo album, so there is a whole back catalogue to draw from, as well as the songs that were popular during the lockdown sessions.

"Whether I wrote the songs or not, it [the greatest hits tour] is about songs you are familiar with that I just want to sing. I've had more number ones with other people's songs than I've had with my own. As a songwriter, as a singer and as a teller of stories I don't care where the song comes from. A good song is a good song and it deserves to be sung."

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Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow

The Scottish star says he's also up for taking requests from the audience at the live concerts. "If you shout out loud enough when I'm there in Dublin and I know it, I promise I'll give it a shot."

Pellow says he finds it gratifying when people tell him how his songs have been a special part of their lives. "I love to hear 'Goodnight Girl was the song we got married to', or 'I walked my wife down the aisle to Love Is All Around', or 'Angel Eyes was the song when my daughter was born.' I love hearing stories like that because as a songwriter it means your music has weaved its way into the fabric of people's lives. And that is so special."

Looking back on his early days, Pellow, who comes from a humble background in Clydebank, admits he had a struggle with fame at the beginning. "You can dream about what you think it's like, but when success and that fame and adulation comes, how you navigate it is a different thing," he tells me.

"I always equate it to living most of your life in the basement and then suddenly getting an express elevator that takes you to the penthouse. You've not been able to get off in certain spots and take in life. So you say, 'how do I deal with this, how do I go about my business when people's attitude towards you changes?'

"Suddenly you are on TV or on the cover of the magazine, which is great because that's what you wished for. But people might react with you in a different way, so you are always trying to re-evaluate that situation. There's a whole minefield of things to deal with.

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"But as life unfolds you get a lot more used to it yourself. It is a job, but it's a vocation in life that I'm extremely passionate about. It's what I love to do. And it just so happens to be a by-product that everyone knows your name or your voice or your face. That's what you wanted. It's what I thought about in my little bedroom when I was 14 years of age. It was dreams I managed to see become a reality."

MARTI Pellow's Greatest Hits Tour plays Dublin's Bord Gais Energy Theatre on Sunday, April 10. Tickets are now available through Ticketmaster.

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