IT’S all just as much fun as ever, says Shakin’ Stevens as he sets out on a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first UK hit Hot Dog.
“I started at a young age in this business,” he said.
“It’s my life. And I have got a lot more to record yet.
“The recording industry is in a mess at the moment, but we are going out with a 10-piece band – which is trumpet, tenor sax, two lead guitars, piano and three girl backing singers.
“We are going to do some of the hits and we are going to do some surprises – and we are going to have a great time.
“We are going to have a party!”
The tour takes in Worthing’s Assembly Hall on Friday, February 25 (tickets on 01903 206206).
“I just enjoy what I do,” said Shaky, who remains the UK’s 16th highest-selling artiste in the history of the charts.
“It’s hard work, but I couldn’t sit back. I am very pleased with the success that I have had.
“The first hit was Hot Dog but I had been going a long time before that.
“You always hope for a hit record. You do your best.
“Luck is a part of it, but it was just a very, very catchy track to me.
“My first album was 1969/70. I made a couple of albums with no success at all.
But you need the commitment from the record industry.”
But then the breakthrough came: “It did change things. The audience was larger! I did work abroad, in Holland and Denmark, and as the hits got more, the whole thing got bigger. It was great fun.
“When I left school, I had day jobs but I couldn’t keep them because my heart and soul was into singing.”
Looking back, after that first run of hits, there should have been a moment of taking stock: “After five years, we should have reviewed the situation. Unfortunately the management and the people around me didn’t see that, and I was just dashing about here, there and everywhere.
“Looking back, I should have sat down and changed the interviews that I was doing.
“I was doing Saturday morning shows.
I should have done the more adults shows. I should have looked at my image.
“Every artiste has to move on, but we just kept going with the same thing until the end of the 80s.
“The image started to be a bit outdated. There is no doubt about that.”
But Shaky survived it all and is back as strong as ever: “The people that have not seen me live for a while remember me the way I was at that particular time, but the people that come to see the shows now will see that I have definitely moved on. Sure, we do some of the hits, but some of them we now do in a different way.”