Relaxing in the sunshine backstage at the Big Top, we sat down with Hue and Cry’s Pat and Greg Keane to discuss their UK tour and Island performance…
Question: There has of course been a lot of media coverage this year about the weather and traffic problems, but what are your first impressions of the festival?
Muddy! The ferry crossing was nice and the port (Cowes). Our band come from all over the world so it’s been planes, trains and automobiles to get here for most of us. We sat and watched the chain ferry – it’s the most amazing waterway. We saw all the training canoes being taken out to sea with the kids so it’s been a fantastic experience so far – the harbour master has a hard job!
Question: As part of your UK tour you are set to play some stripped down performances as well as your classic hits, but what can festival-goers expect this afternoon?
A full 8 piece band, playing stuff from our new album Hot Wire as well as the last 18 albums. We are going to play some intimate acoustic things and hopefully if not rocking the crowd, soul funking the crowd- maybe rocking it is stretching it too far!
Question: How is the tour going so far this year?
It’s been good. It’s the first major uk tour we have done for many years. The best thing about doing these tours is that you get to see the world. The people that comes to our gigs are of a certain age, they’ve got stories of the last 20 years and we really enjoy doing it. The thing about these stripped down gigs is that they are very intimate – there’s not as much feedback as there is now (referring to the sound checks for the Big Top in the background).
It’s a chance to meet fans we’ve had for 20-25 years and we hang out with them afterwards and hear stories about what we’ve both been up to.
Question: How does playing a festival such as the Isle of Wight compare with your recent live tv performances?
Festival playing – I quite like playing on big stages ’cause my normal mild personality expands by 400% so I end up running around believing I’m a more significant personality than I am. I usually enjoy festivals.
We went to Bristol festival and we actually played the very moment they released balloons – it was quite a weird and wonderful experience. I think if you get they combination of the sun breaking through the clouds t the same time as balloons being released it captures a mood so its quite nice to do that.
Question : What has been the initial reaction to your new album ‘Hot Wire’,which your promoting with this years tour?
Very, very good. We’ve done a radio tour around the country and you don’t get them if your not wanted. Things have changed though – we did a radio station gig the other week and they were filming for their website. Even the radio stations have got more multimedia.
The album has been received really well all over the country and we’ve received some good reviews…in the press! The telegraph gave us 3.5 stars out of five, better than the normal 1 that’s for sure!
Moving on to talk about their experience of the Isle of Wight, we asked…
Question: Have you seen much of the Island since you arrived?
Your the first thing we’ve seen other than our dressing room – we’ve got a great dressing room though.
Question: Are you staying on the Island for long, or is it a whistle stop tour?
We are going to stay a little while and see Springsteen tomorrow – my partner is coming down with her son so I’ve warned them about the mud! I’m going to have to try and buy some wellies myself tonight in Portsmouth (where they are staying) – Portsmouth are probably out of Welles ! We are going to try and say hi to Biffy Clyro as we rehired with them in Glasgow.
We are going to have a wander around, try out the food stalls and the silent disco – as long as there is 70s funk we’ll be there.
Question: Which song are you most looking forward to playing at the festival?
Good question. Little Man. It features our bassist John Paul Spears doing a Scottish rap – I love singing it and then at the end the bassist walks forward and does it. Hopefully the audience will go ‘that’s quite good’. If one half is FFS and another is OMG that will be quite good.
Question: What are your plans for Hue and Cry in the future ?
Hot Wire is our eighteenth album. We’ve built up own social networking club called the Hue and Cry Music Club, we’ve got 5000 members – as long as it keeps growing we will keep making records. We’re quite self sufficient now, we’ve got the social network and the ability to make our own records and the current band we’ve had for 6 years.
Question: Is there anything else that you want Island Echo readers to know?
Just for people to join the music club on Facebook where you can share pictures and memories and access all recordings from over 20 years ago. We ask people that if they do record our performances, to place them onto YouTube and link to the music club to share the experience with everyone.
If you like Hue and Cry then it’s the place to go – it doesn’t cost any money and it’s a very content-rich, social place.