If you are a big fan of 80s Scottish pop band Wet Wet Wet you will be wishing you are lucky enough to get tickets to see its frontman live in concert next month.
The group’s lead singer and established solo artist Marti Pellow is currently celebrating 30 years in the industry by heading out on the road with his Private Collection Tour.
And he is bringing it to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline on June 9 at 7pm.
Formed in 1982, Wet Wet Wet had a number of big hits during the eighties and nineties and their debut album, Popped in Souled Out went to the top of the charts. The group’s most popular singles included Wishing I Was Lucky; Sweet Little Mystery; Temptation, Angel Eyes, Goodnight Girl and probably the Wet’s biggest chart topper, Love Is All Around which was at number one for 15 weeks in 1994.
But the BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winning singer songwriter has proved there is more to his musical repertoire than just his hits with the band as Marti has also had huge success in musical theatre performing from Broadway to Tokyo and the West End in hit shows such as Chicago and Blood Brothers.
Next month he is performing in Fife and he told the Press what audiences can expect from the concert: “Last year I did a couple of shows under the title of ‘The Private Collection’ and sometimes you meet people in the street and they say ‘hey Marti that song ‘Goodnight Girl’ reminds me of when my daughter was born’, or ‘it reminds me of my first dance’,” he said.
“I have songs like that in my life – I can hear a song on the radio and it reminds me of a holiday or of a certain part of my life because music is so important to me, I want to sing songs that give me more back and that bring back memories for people, so on the night it will be a bunch of songs like that, that people will know – new songs, some old songs and some borrowed songs.
“I just want to come out and have a good time.”
The Clydebank-born singer revealed he has been to the Kingdom previously: “I have been to Fife before and I have been through Dunfermline, particularly with my dad when I was a wee guy, but I have never played Dunfermline. This will be my first concert there and I’m really looking forward to it.”
And he plans to go with the flow on Saturday night: “When I am on stage engaging with the audience, I gauge how they react and I react to that,” he explained.
“I won’t be going on with a set list of songs, so depending on how the audience react it might be more uptempo songs that I do. When you have 30 years of music to draw from – I can go on stage without having a set list. I might think ‘I will sing that song for a wee change’ or I might think of a song that I just feel like singing on the night. Because this theatre is a smaller venue I can get away with doing that.”
When asked about performing some of the big Wet Wet Wet favourites like ‘Sweet Little Mystery’ he said: “I might perform that one and the great thing about these songs, is that they can be played in different ways, for example just with a guitar.”
But does he get bored with performing certain songs, for example, Love Is All Around?
“No that’s not what it is about. These are songs that people hold close to their hearts so you can’t just say I’m bored with it so I won’t sing it. Love Is All Around is a beautiful song and enough time has passed now – about 25 years – so I can enjoy singing it. I think it’s great that people still talk about it so fondly. But if I was bored with a song, I would not sing it.”
The 53-year-old Scotsman does have a couple of favourite songs he enjoys performing: “My personal favourite songs to sing are Julia Says and Goodnight Girl – I am a big fan of that song.”
But why did he feel the time was right to leave Wet Wet Wet last July?
Marti, whose real name is Mark McLachlan, said: “It is all about time management – there are certain things I want to do in my career and I felt it was the time to do them. When you do musical theatre you are doing it for around six to eight months. I have done that and I also wanted to do my own songwriting so I thought I would go away and do it. Will I go back to Wet Wet Wet? Well you never know. You can never say never.”
The Glaswegian has performed in a number of musicals but does he have a favourite?
“I think for me it has to be Chicago. I really enjoyed doing that one. You develop a certain skill set but I never saw that one coming. Because it was the first one musical I did it has become a favourite and I did a year on Broadway.
“I enjoy doing musicals as well as performing my own songs, I like the variety of music. I enjoy working with a collective – either within a band or a solo concert working with a bunch of people, I enjoy the dynamic of that.”
As well as his Private Collection Tour, Marti has also been busy working on another project: “I am writing my own musical at the moment,” he said.
“It has two musical themes through it and one of them is Scottish. The working title I have for it is The Celtic Warrior – it is about some old folklore stories my grandad used to tell me. It is about a sacred stone that will free a nation. It is very mythical and it features traditions from Scotland fused with Moroccan music.
“I thought I would have a wee shot of doing one of my own musicals. Scotland has such a rich musical heritage and there is a lot of passion to tap into.”
Marti said he won’t have time to do any sight-seeing when he is in Fife, but he does have fond memories:
“I am coming straight up from England to do Dunfermline, Edinburgh and Glasgow so it will be a whistle-stop tour. So I don’t think I will be able to see much of Dunfermline. The last time I was there was about three or four years ago with my dad when he was still alive. We had a cup of tea and a slice of cake, well my dad had a few beers and I had tea as I was driving. I think Fife is a wonderful place. I am among my own there and hopefully I will be well looked after.”
But how do Scottish audiences compare with audiences from other places?
Marti said: “First and foremost I can speak as fast as I want as I am among my own. It is very much a case of let’s go out and have a great night, particularly as it will be a Saturday night. I am bringing a fantastic band who have played with the likes of Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. So they are really on it. It will be my first time performing in Dunfermline so it is going to be a memorable evening.”
Tickets are available from: www. www.alhambradunfermline.com
About Wet Wet Wet
Wet Wet Wet formed in 1982. They scored a number of hits in the UK charts and around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
The band is Graeme Clark (bass, vocals), Tommy Cunningham (drums, vocals), and Neil Mitchell (keyboards, vocals). Lead vocalist and founding member Marti Pellow quit to go solo in July 2017.
A fifth, unofficial member, Graeme Duffin (lead guitar, vocals), has been with them since 1983. The band was named Best British Newcomer at the 1988 Brit Awards.
They are best known for their 1994 cover of The Troggs’ 1960s hit “Love Is All Around”, which was used on the soundtrack to the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was a huge international success and spent 15 weeks atop the British charts.
The week before it could have equalled the record for the longest-standing UK number-one single, held by Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, it dropped to number two.