Pete Williams

Pete Williams was a member of successful 80’s band Dexy’s Midnight Runners who had classic hits like “come on Eileen” since the 80’s hey days he forged an incredibly successful solo career winning many awards. Here we talk about song writing inspiration and playing shows in the North East of England.

LB: You’re playing The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe, Stockton on 2nd October; how do you find Northeast Crowds?
Usually, and in my experience, thankfully very warm and expressive, if they like you they let you know, but, same if they don’t, I have played a few places up your way, over the years. Middlesborough University with the Dangerous Bros (Rik Mayal and Ade Edmonson) when we supported with my band These Tender Virtues in about 1986, The Stockton Weekender a few years back, most recently Newcastle City Hall with The Proclaimers in November 2015 and in the summer of 1982 a bit further up the coast at Whitley Bay at the back of Spanish City… happy daze.

LB: What can people expect from your solo set; will you be playing some Dexy classics?
It’s a two handed set actually, I’ll be doing it with my very talented guitarist Andy, I’ll be playing songs from both of my albums, 2012’s ‘SEE’ and last years ‘Roughnecks and Roustabouts’ as well as some stuff from further back….

LB: You released “Roughnecks and Roustabouts” your second solo album in 2015; what inspires you in the song writing process?
So many things inspire my music and songs; the way light hits a building, snatches of half heard conversation, birdsong, films, paintings, humans, oceans, animals, and love and Hate all the usual stuff. My last album is quite a reflective piece of work, some of it looks back to my early days and adolescence in the West Midlands Black Country and leaving school at 15, going straight into a factory, working in bands on weekends and nights and gaining some success as a young man with Dexys. But saying that it’s also a very hopeful, forward looking record.

LB: What has been the highlight of your career either as a solo artist or part of Dexy’s Midnight Runners?
Doing Top of The Pops with a Number 1 record as a young man was pretty exciting, but so was crossing the States as Support to The Pretenders with The Bureau hard to say maybe the real highlight is yet to come.

LB: Over the years you’ve visited many countries, which was your favourite and why?
I spent a week in Finland and played the Lappajarvi Festival, high up, just inside the Arctic Circle in the brief Scandinavian summer months, years ago. It was wild and intoxicating and I couldn’t sleep and walked about in the ‘midnight sun’ very memorable.

LB: If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone famous dead or alive; who would you invite and why?
Probably David Bowie, who I’d like to thank for changing my life when I was about 13.

LB: What advice would you give to a band or solo artist just starting out?
Keep at it…Don’t give up, be honest, listen to yourself/each other and follow your instincts.

LB: How do you think the internet and social media have changed the face of music?
To quote the great Stevie Wonder ‘music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand’
Internet and social media haven’t changed what music is, or what it means, only the way that its produced and consumed, people don’t have to be in the same continent to collaborate, and make records now, when we recorded Dexys first album, the first people to commit anything to tape (as it was then) was drums and bass, it was important that we had each other’s eye line and were in the same room.
Although my last album was recorded digitally using a mixture of very modern, and vintage equipment, I still apply the ‘being in the same space’ rule when it comes to getting the basic feel of a track down.
Social Media is without doubt a powerful marketing tool but can also be used to exaggerate ‘likes’ and twitter followers etc. can be falsified and bought.
I’m useless at managing my own Socials but keep trying and realise ‘you can’t put the Genie back in the lamp’ @PeteWilliamsMus

LB: What does the rest of 2016 hold for Pete Williams??
We have The Love Music Festival in September and we start recording my third album in October.

By peter on August 17, 2018

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