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Decades on, it’s still all about the music says Texas’ Sharleen Spiteri ahead of Ipswich gig

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 September 2017

Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Texas, will be back in Ipswich with the band tonight.  Picture: JULIAN BROAD

Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Texas, will be back in Ipswich with the band tonight. Picture: JULIAN BROAD

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Texas return to the Ipswich Regent tonight, but there was a time a few years ago when the band looked as if they may have reached the end of the road.

There was a time a few years ago when the band looked as if they may have reached the end of the road when guitarist Ally McErlaine collapsed with a brain aneurysm. Photo: PA Wire/PA Archive/PA Images There was a time a few years ago when the band looked as if they may have reached the end of the road when guitarist Ally McErlaine collapsed with a brain aneurysm. Photo: PA Wire/PA Archive/PA Images

Following a four-year hiatus starting in 2005, when singer Sharleen Spiteri was working on a solo effort, the band were due to regroup and start work on a eighth album before guitarist Ally McErlaine collapsed with a brain aneurysm.

He spent six-and-a-half months in hospital and took even longer to make a full recovery.

She said: “It turned everything on its head. You’re in a situation where someone you love and have grown up with and is part of your life is in a life-threatening place.

“At that moment and time you can’t think about the band you’re just like ‘our friend has to get better’. Time came to a standstill.”

After more than 30 years together, Sharleen says Texas are still all about writing great songs and putting on great shows.  Photo: David  Jensen/PA Archive/PA Images After more than 30 years together, Sharleen says Texas are still all about writing great songs and putting on great shows. Photo: David Jensen/PA Archive/PA Images

As soon as Ally had made a full recovery, the band knew he needed to get a guitar back in his hands so they put their album plans on hold and went straight out on tour.

“I’ve never even had the conversation with him about that,” said Sharleen.

“I think after what had happened to him he had to maybe prove he could play still. I don’t know what it was, but he needed to get on stage and play guitar and so that’s what we were going to let him do.”

She’s been on the road since she was 18 but - other than aching knees - struggles to remember she’s turning 50 in November.

“My knees are probably are about 70 to be honest, but it’s weird. In my mind I’m still starting, I’m just beginning in Texas at the moment, it still feels fresh and exciting. There’s different things you appreciate and you’re able to slow things down when you get older so you can really look at something from the outside and enjoy it.

“When we were young the excitement and the adrenalin because we hadn’t experienced certain things it goes a little fast so it’s great at this point as I can stop and enjoy things.”

After more than 30 years together, Sharleen says Texas are still all about the music.

“It’s literally writing great songs and writing great records and putting on great shows. There’s a proudness and work ethic within us that makes that our number one priority and aims to make it perfect there and then. We don’t always get it right, but it’s not through lack of trying.”

Texas’ ninth album, Jump On Board, is out now.

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