May 22 2009 by Andrew Welsh, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
SCOTTISH rock legend Edwyn Collins’ Perth Festival of the Arts gig will be his first in the Fair City, he revealed yesterday.
In an exclusive interview, the former frontman with influential early-Eighties outfit Orange Juice told the PA that his Perth Theatre outing on Sunday will be a journey to unknown territory.
Collins (49), who has started touring again after a life-threatening cerebral haemorrhage four years ago, said he was looking forward to making his belated Fair City debut after three decades as a major player on the UK’s musical map.
“I was invited to perform at the festival, and was happy to come to Perth, where I’ve never played before,” said Edwyn yesterday.
“Although I grew up close by in Dundee, I don’t know Perth very well.
“I’ll be playing my acoustic set with two members of my band, Andy Hackett (guitar) and Carwyn Ellis (bass).
“I’m enjoying playing a great deal.”
The Girl Like You hit-maker, who is also set to star at July’s T in the Park at Balado, returned to the limelight last year after receiving encouragement from his family and songwriter Roddy Frame.
And Collins praised the Aztec Camera star, who is a long-time friend, for joining his band on the initial string of successful live dates he played following an improvement in his health.
“Roddy has had to move on,” Edwyn explained.
“It was wonderful of him to help me back to my old life on stage, but it’s time for him to get on with his own career now.”
Collins is revered as much for his production work for other artists as for his own songs, and he said a host of home-grown acts, some of whom he will be rubbing shoulders with at T in the Park, have caught his attention in recent months.
“I like Franz Ferdinand and Glasvegas because their songwriting is strong,” he enthused.
“I also love The Cribs, whose second album I produced, and Cherry Ghost is another.”
Fans can expect to hear a mix of old and new material on Sunday, with Edwyn claiming he enjoys playing classic works by Orange Juice, like Rip It Up, more than ever.
“I’ve begun to write again quite recently, so I'll maybe try one or two new songs,” he declared.
“At first I couldn’t sing at all, so I feel a new sense of delight in my songs.
“I have always found songwriting enjoyable and easy. After my stroke, there was nothing at first.
“No ideas. But it’s all coming back and I’m writing again.
“My style is different, but I have lots of ideas and work fast.”
Looking ahead optimistically to better times, Edwyn revealed that performing was now playing a key role in helping him put his health problems behind him.
“I feel a little nervous, but I can cope,” the singer admitted.
“When I’m on stage, no problem. I get a lot of strength from performing. It’s helping my recovery.”
Tickets for Edwyn Collins’ Perth Theatre show are available from the venue on 01738 621031, or on-line at www.horsecross.co.uk