With a long career to his name, Steve Harley could be forgiven for becoming a tad gig-weary, but as he will be the first to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.
Accompanied by his long-standing Cockney Rebel members James Lascelles (piano/percussion) and Barry Wickens (violin/guitar/mandolin), Steve will be performing at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds at 7.30pm on Monday, November 7 as part of a tour taking in nine venues over 28 days.
Last summer he was on tour with a full rock band, playing outdoor shows, but for this series of gigs the songs have been pared down to the basics, with a little bit of technical trickery thrown in and smaller venues selected to increase the feeling of intimacy.
The playlist will include signature songs like Make Me Smile and Judy Teen, plus the Cockney Rebel’s debut single of 1973, Sebastian only this tour will see the song performed without the rousing accompaniment of a full orchestra, just as it was back in the day when Steve was an out of work musician busking in London.
He said: “We’ve got the violin and Barry can kick a button on a pedal so that one violin becomes a quartet. He can hit a button on preset and he can sound like a big string section.
“I will present it with my acoustic guitar and how it was written and how I used to sing it in the subways when I was unemployed.”
The Apex is almost a home gig for Steve, who has lived near Clare for almost 30 years, but to him, the distance of the venue from his home is irrelevant as it is an aspect of life in the music industry that he still loves.
He said: “Once that spotlight hits me, I’m just in love with it. Once I get on there with a guitar and my inner ear monitor is working and I hear it I think ‘this is what I do and I’m quite good at it’.
“I’ve been doing it a long time and I really like this job. I’m really privileged. I’m getting paid quite a lot to do this job. You never forget that.”
He is also effusive about the Apex, where he has played twice before and where he goes to see gigs. He was last there to watch his friend Midge Ure play in 2015.
Steve said: “What a great venue. I love it. I think they are really lucky to have that place. It’s got everything. It’s very user friendly for the visiting artists.
“It’s just got a lovely air about it. There’s just enough seats and i like coming there.”
For tickets call 01284 758000 or visit www.theapex.co.uk