Mick's simply soulful

As the lead singer for Simply Red Mick Hucknall has enjoyed considerable success.Today, as he prepares to tour the UK with his solo project, he chats to JAMES MARSTON.

James Marston

As the lead singer for Simply Red Mick Hucknall has enjoyed considerable success.

Today, as he prepares to tour the UK with his solo project, he chats to JAMES MARSTON about his passion for soul and love of

performing.

MICK Hucknall is doing something a bit different.

He said: “The tour is a solo project and it's very different to what I do with Simply Red.”

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Mick has announced a summer tour of the UK and is due to release his first ever solo album “Tribute to Bobby” on May 19.

Singer-songwriter Bobby Bland has been an influence on Mick Hucknall since he first heard him aged 18.

Mick said: “His music has this sophistication to it, a jazz tinge. There's also the darkness of his lyrics - Bobby sings with a really twisted pain and sorrow.

“He's one of the vocalists who influenced my singing style long before I became a slave to pop success”.

Appearing at Ipswich's Regent Theatre on July 9 with the Tribute to Bobby show, Mick said his idol's songs suit his voice.

He said: “Its not traditional blues. There's jazz in there as well. The lyrics are interesting. His music suits my voice and style.

“It's an exciting challenge. I've had a 27-year career and this is something I haven't done before.”

The UK tour, which includes dates in London, Manchester and Oxford starts in Bristol on June 29.

Mick said: “I'd been listening to Bobby's songs for so long that is was almost second nature to try and do these tunes.

“I'm a songwriter and singer and performing is what I do. The tour gives me the chance to share this music and introduce it to new fans.

“As the years go on I like the travelling less and less. I don't think anyone likes airports, but I've always really enjoyed being on stage.

Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Junior Parker, Bobby Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with blues and R&B.

He sang classics such as big-band blues number Farther Up The Road and in the 1960's released tracks including Cry Cry Cry and I Pity The Fool.

Mick added: “I'd been listening to Bobby's songs for so long that is was almost second nature to try and do these tunes.

“I'm doing this album for myself, it's my own personal odyssey. I feel more at home here.

“This is the beginning for me, I hope my old fans come along, and I hope we can make some new friends with it too.”

Mick Hucknall Q & A

Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?

“I don't think I do.”

What's the highlight of your career?

“When the album with 'Fairground' on it sold more than a million copies.”

What's your most embarrassing moment?

“Going on stage with my flies undone.”

Tell us something about yourself which our readers won't know?

“I am an ambassador de grand vins de Bordeaux. I have a wine business.”

What's your diva demand in the dressing room?

“I like a glass of champagne after the show.

What car do you drive?

“A Hybrid Lexus.”