WHEN Mark Morriss officially called time on the Bluetones last autumn, it seemed inevitable he’d be back in the musical fray before long.
So there’s no surprise to discover the singer will be drawing on some of his finest hits from his extensive indie back catalogue, plus a healthy dose of new material for his eagerly-awaited return to Worthing at St Paul’s Arts Centre on Saturday.
Incredibly, it’s been more than a decade since he last played our stretch of coast, when the band were filled with the kind of confidence instilled by no less than three top 10 albums and a slew of hit singles to their name.
Unlike many of contemporaries, their chiming melodies have weathered the passage of time well, with early tracks such as Slight Return, Bluetonic and Cut some Rug still sounding as fresh as the day they were released.
Rather refreshingly, it seems their eventual end after a triumphant tour (which included a Brighton gig) was a genuine case of them feeling the time was right to explore other avenues rather than a classic rock and roll bust up.
“I will always be a Bluetone – we’ve just stopped jamming. We still see each other, but we’re just spending our time on other pursuits. I’m enjoying life and have been doing this a long time now,” explains Mark breezily, chatting on the way up North to a gig in Preston, which forms one of many spots on his latest tour.
Though he’s now very much a family man, it seems the Tunbridge Wells-based singer has commendably lost none of his enthusiasm and drive for his work. His debut album in 2008, Muscle Museum was well-received and hinted strongly that the old creative spark was very far from being spent.
Intriguingly, it seems the past few months have seen him far from idle, with plenty of new material in the bag. He’s clearly in good spirits and with new projects including having his own radio show, life does indeed seem pretty sweet.
“I did consider taking a step back from performing for a while and all the travelling that comes with it, but I don’t know what I would do with out it.
“That last tour with the Bluetones made me realise just how much I do enjoy being on stage and how much I get from doing it. I’m loving doing radio as well now - there’s such an eclectic mix of material on there, full of songs that people might not have heard for a while and stuff that just never gets played anywhere.”
Life in kent is clearly treating him well, but it seems a trip across the borders into West Sussex is long overdue and he’s genuinely enthused by his upcoming seaside trip.
“It’s been a good while since I’ve been to Worthing, so it will be good to be back. I’ll be playing a few new songs but not hitting them with too many as it’s important to have some balance- people like to sing along and feel relaxed, so I’ll be playing a lot of Bluetones songs –# they’re like my children, I’ve let them go out into the world now.”
Mark Morriss plays St Paul’s Arts Centre in Worthing on Saturday, June 9. Tickets are £12.50 visit www.wegottickets.com